What is Muda?


Muda is a Japanese word meaning Waste. So, any activity that consumes time and effort and fails to produce the desired outcome is termed as Waste.

In a production plant, people transport materials from one place to another for storage of for next processing. The activity of transporting consumes their time and effort. But the material does not get any value addition because of the mere transportation. Hence, transportation is termed as waste.


Muda is one of the fundamental learnings in Lean Manufacturing and Kaizen. Taiichi Ohno, the developer of Toyota Production System or TPS, has provided guidelines to identify these kinds of wasteful activities in any process. And those guidelines are knowns as 7 Wastes of Lean.

7 Waste


T – Transport

I – Inventory

M – Motion

W – Waiting

O – Over Production

O – Over Processing

D – Defects