Waste (="not value") has been fought by countless warriors, who have classified it in different manners in order to develop their strategies better. As the information in the interwebs on the different kinds of waste is a plethora, I'll limit myself here to a brief explanation of each kind according to my division of choice, with an example in a "traditional" field of application, and other more music related, taken from my personal experience when possible.
- Transportation: taking items (raw material, work in process...) from one place to another without adding value to it. Traditional example: a piece that after being processed at station A must be taken to station B through a long corridor. Musical example: having to move a file from a folder to another when you need it in two parts of the process (for example, a list of instrument arrangements that you need during composition and later during the recording rehearsals).
- Inventory: any product in the making, or other stuff related to the process, that is left halfway through, laying in the way and causing all kind of problems. Traditional example: aisles of a factory filled with let's say the parts of a refrigerator, waiting for the machine that processes them to be available. Occupying expensive renting space, gathering dust, ideal to trip upon, deteriorating as they wait their turn... you get the picture. Music: a computer folder with hundreds of recorded riffs and fragments, waiting to be taken action upon...
- Movement: movement of the worker without generating value. Traditional example: "have you seen the stethoscope?/Didn't you have it a moment ago?/No, but don't worry, I'll ask Joe... guys have you seen Joe?..." Etc. Music: "OK, finished with the amp simulator, let's switch it off, where is it. This window? No. This one? No. This one? No. This one? Here it is. Click" (all the steps before the click are waste).
- Waiting: for a machine, a worker or other part of the process to finish. Traditional: "while the oven melts the metal piece I can finish this sudoku. What? I have nothing else to do!" Music: "I'm finally exporting my song. I am looking at the progress bar. The progress bar goes up, up, up... Oh how long and magnificent is this progress bar. It is about to finish. It's a great use of my life looking at this progress bar..."
- Overproduction: Producing more than what is required by the next step in the process. In other words, inviting mess (see "inventory"). It is better to send the worker for a walk than having him produce in excess. Traditional: "We made 8 pies for the event, to be on the safe side. At the end of the night, we had to throw 3 away". Music: recording 24 takes of a guitar part when you only needed 5 or 6 to piece up a correct track to completion.
- Overprocessing: Doing more work on something than what the client (the next link in the chain --can be ourselves) cares for. Traditional example: painting all the car's chassis', even the surfaces that no one will ever see. Music: obsessively editing out of a track tiny pops and cracks that no one cares about.
- Defects: things not got right the first time, which oblige to go backwards and rework. Traditional: a burnt toast that requires being scraped (=rework). Music: recording vocal tracks in different days without taking precautions to make the sound consistent, to find later that you cannot piece them together and have to record again (=rework).
- Skills: of the worker. The person in charge of the process, the person who is 'burning his eyelashes' day in and day out to make things march forward, is the most savvy in how to improve the process, and his views are gold that must be taken advantage of. Also, his personal knowledge from other areas and cross-formation can be used to enrich the process. Traditional example: creating systems so the ideas of the people in the front line are heard and implemented, daily. Music: the jazz pianist Earl Hines started his career playing trumpet, but it seems he was not very good at it; he moved to piano and developed a unique playing style that included elements from his previous formation, and in fact was called "trumpet style".