LeanAcademy (Season 2)

The Lean Office & Administration Toolbox
Obeyaka / Lean Layout
Safety & Ergonomics

What is Value, what is Waste?


Value-adding activities are all activities that add value to our product or service and the customer is willing to pay for it

In the case of products, this usually takes place in production and assembly

Administrative tasks are necessary for the company, but usually cannot be assigned to value-adding activities. Excluding services that are part of the sold product.


Waste is the opposite of value creation.

Thus, all activities that add no value to the product or service are wasteful activities

There are two types of waste: avoidable and unavoidable waste

At first glance, administrative waste is unavoidable. However, there is also avoidable waste within the activities that must be determined.

Detect Value & Waste and cluster these into the Value-Waste-Matrix

Go through your offices and capture all activities you notice

Decide for all you see weather it is value-adding or none value-adding, and whether it is necessary or not

Sketch the value-and-waste matrix and sort all items accordingly

The focus of your value-stream design must lie on the necessary value-adding activities. Eliminate all the rest.