What Is Muda? [the broken link was removed] by Norman Bodek
Excellent article on lean thinking, management improvement and eliminating waste.
Setup time and machine downtime are wastes and should be eliminated. I remember visiting a washing machine plant in Japan operated by Panasonic, where there was no separate maintenance department. The company taught operators in the plant to fix their own machines. And since Shingo’s great breakthroughs on setup reduction, changeovers are often done in seconds, not in hours.
And the biggest waste of all is the underutilization of people’s talents. If you just learn to ask people for their ideas and get them to participate in creative problem-solving activities, you will be amazed at what people can do.
via: Norm Bodek on Waste