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For this question how would I go about identifying the non value adding?

In my opinion non value adding would be activities with a wait and huge delay = 2,3,5,6,9 and 10

On a side note, would any of these be business value adding? Can someone please provide formal definitions for each and a process they would use to identify and sort processes.

Please justify and correct my responses.

1 Answer 1


If you reduce or remove a non value adding activity the overall outcome won't change, but the process time will be reduced. Often the non value adding activities take some time, but they can be caused by unnecessary transportation, doing things again etc. In Lean production they are called waste. A couple of examples:

  • corrections: when you have to fix things
  • over-production: when you do more than you need
  • over-processing: when something can be done in a simpler way
  • transportation: when you move stuff around unnecessarily
  • motion: when you have to move around unnecessarily
  • inventory: when you have to store something
  • waiting: when you have to wait for somebody or something

These are all non value adding activities.

For example, if you have a doctors appointment, when you wait for it, it is a non value adding activity from your point of view. Another example, if you have a small kitchen and you have to move stuff around all the time to be able to make breakfast, that is also a non value adding activity, however it has nothing to do with time; it is a transportation waste.

I think your example is some kind of an exercise and I don't want to solve it instead of you, but when something sits or waits is a waste.

  • Wow that helped so much! What about stuff like authorization? The business still needs to do it...
    – confused
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 9:19
  • Authorization can be wasteful. From your point of view, when you are waiting for it happening it is a waste. When it happens, it can have all kinds of waste too. For example over-processing, when they check something that they have checked, or when they decline something because they didn't told you about it. Waste is always from a certain point of view. When you are waiting for authorization, you see waste, but that time is not waste for those who are doing it.
    – Zsolt
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 9:30
  • 1
    To help remember what Zsolt laid out, use the acronym Tim Wood. Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waste, Over-production, Over-processing, Defects. Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 10:40

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