Engineering Lean Enablers - 7 Sources of Waste

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Process and pipeline safety programs that manage change will include steps where engineering is required. To various degrees, these activities will include: engineering design, oversight, and technical support. Engineering, like any other function, can be susceptible to producing non-value added work that contribute to waste in engineering projects including design changes during management of change (MOC) processes.

The book published by the Joint MIT-PMI-INCOSE Community of Practice on Lean in Program Management entitled, "The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs" calls out seven (7) sources of waste found in engineering processes:

Each of these can be present during an MOC and can add up to a sizeable amount across hundreds of design changes. Reducing or eliminating these sources of waste will create more time for engineers to work on the changes that are most critical to achieving program outcomes.

Plan-Do-Check-Act Questions:

  1. Which of these sources of waste is present in your engineering program?

  2. What impact would reducing or eliminating them have in achieving your engineering outcomes?

  3. Which source of waste can you start eliminating today and what step can you take towards achieving that goal?


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