Are you struggling under over production?

Written by  Published in Lean Office

Understanding and ruthlessly eliminating muda, i.e.,” waste” is a key concept in Lean Office Methodology.  In this series we are highlighting 7 forms of “muda” or waste common to the office. The first letter of each of these wastes form a mnemonic, in this case a “name”; Tim Wood.  Today we are into the first “O” of the “last name”; Wood, i.e. which represents Over Production.

Whew, another area of waste that rears its ugly head in most every business, organization and personal workflow practices.  This is about producing more than is needed, producing something before it’s needed, faster or in greater quantity than a customer (or end user) actually really needs it! 

The end result of overproduction shows up as work in progress (WIP) piled on your desk or in your email inbox or too much finished product in stock. It could include extra copies, outdated business cards, collateral. In the digital world we overproduce when we print too many documents, or distribute superfluous weekly/monthly reports

 Overproduction is often the result of unstable or unbalanced workflow processes, large batch sizes, unreliable scheduling and frankly just bad habits. 

In your personal business practices, how many notifications do you need to send out about an upcoming conference, meeting or online webinar?  Best Practice Alert: If you host online meetings, tweak the quantity of auto-generated confirmations and reminders your online web platform pushes towards an attendee. 

Overproduction in Social Media and lead nurturing campaigns is becoming all too prevalent as well.  Best Practice Alert:    Pull back on the frequency of your tweets and social media posts if you are running the danger of becoming tuned out.  

Email Overproduction; well, its rampant.  Best Practice Alert: Avoid hitting RTA (reply to all) or FWD (forward) especially when the message arrived in your inbox with a subject line that reads “ Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd:” 

Look around your physical office or evaluate your email sent items for the last week.  Take a realistic look and I’ll guaranty you will find something that you personally over-produced.   Don’t beat yourself up about it, just consider how to avoid doing the same thing in the future.  Rita Mae Brown had it right: "  “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” 



Last modified on Saturday, 23 February 2013 10:20
Tracy Parks

Tracy Parks Principal and Founder of Simplicated, LLC is a gifted, engaging and enthusiastic leader, speaker, and experienced trainer, passionate about developing and delivering innovative and practical training and imparting skill development to help business professionals create a productive environment to accomplish their work and enjoy their lives.

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