Value Thinking

An important aspect of “Lean Thinking” is the idea of Value.Think about your own workplace for a moment which you toil in everyday.

I’d like to suggest to you that there are only three types of activities that are going on.

1.Value Adding Activities 

These are activities that, as the name suggests, “add value” to our customers. A “value  adding” activity is anything we do to transform materials or information into something that our clients require.

Example of value add
 : A caseworker making a decision based on the information presented to them 

2.Necessary Non Value Adding Activities

A bit of a mouthful this one. Basically a “non value adding” activity is something that consumes resources, does not create any value for the client but is still currently necessary to supply the service.

Example of necessary non value add : A caseworker sending out a letter to a client. If everyone had secure e-mail this could be done electronically (but they don’t at present). 


Waste is any activity that consumes resources, but does not create any value for the client. 

Example of waste : Walking to the other end of the office to get a file 

Now that we have defined the three types of activities that happen in the workplace, I would like you to try this EXPERIMENT.

1. During the day think about all of the activities that take place in your office.
2. Categorise these activities into three list; value add, necessary non value add, and waste.
3. Think about ideas to eliminate the wasteful and necessary non vale adding activities.
4. Implement your ideas.

Hope this helps

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