What are the 8 Wastes?

Learn about the 8 Wastes and how to use this tool in Kure

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Written by Bill
Updated over a week ago

Waste is anything that ineffectively consumes resources, space and time. All processes contain waste. The 8 Wastes are eight types of process obstacles that get in the way of providing value to the customer.

Ready to identify wastes and start improving?

During the Process Walk, you look to see if the process matches the Process Map. In some cases it may vary, so dig into the differences and understand why. Perhaps the Process Map needs to be updated, or perhaps you have discovered a clue to the cause of the problem!

As you walk the process, you’re looking for issues or clues to your problem. This may include Loopbacks and Handoffs, which create a more complicated process. You also look for these wastes, or inefficiencies, that interrupt the steady flow of the work. You can improve the process by reducing wastes that contribute to the problem.

There are eight very common types of waste. You can use a memory aid, DOWNTIME, to help recall the wastes.

DOWNTIME stands for:

All 8 Wastes may not be present in a process, but knowing what to look for can help you identify those that impact your process. In some processes, we won’t be able to eliminate all wastes, but rather have more of one waste to minimize a different waste. For example, we may have a little more inventory to minimize people waiting for it.

Waste: Defects

Information, products and services that are incomplete or inaccurate.


  • Inaccurate applications

  • Broken parts

  • Missed deadlines

Waste: Overproduction

Making more of something—making it earlier or faster—than it's needed.


  • Extra copies of reports

  • Extra production for inventory

  • Redundant storage (hard & soft)

Waste: Waiting

Waiting for information, equipment, materials, parts or people.


  • Waiting for approvals

  • Waiting for equipment

  • Waiting for large batches

Waste: Non-utilized Talent

Not properly utilizing people's experience, skills, knowledge or creativity.


  • Employees unable to make decisions

  • Employees not fully trained

  • Skilled employees doing unskilled tasks

Waste: Transportation

Unnecessary movement of materials, information or equipment.


  • Handoffs between functions

  • Material moved between departments

  • Sending, resending emails

Waste: Inventory

Accumulation of parts, information, applications, etc. beyond what is required by the customer.


  • Stockpiling supplies

  • Information piling up for data entry

  • Keeping data longer than necessary

Waste: Motion

Any movement by people that is not of value to the customer.


  • Repetitive key strokes

  • Walking between equipment

  • Switching applications

Waste: Extra Processing

Any steps that do not add value in the eyes of the customer.


  • Extra formatting, extra fields

  • Extra features, excess details

  • Extra report information

Kure guides you through each step in your Process Walk and identifying wastes by asking simple questions and providing guidance along the way. Powered by our Process Optimization Path® (artificial intelligence), Kure will help you and your teams collaborate to complete process improvement projects together.

Ready to identify wastes and start improving?

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