Identifying and Eliminating Waste in Information Systems

Posted by on Oct 25, 2010 in Efficiency, Lean | 0 comments

Waste due to information is a major concern for many companies and organizations.  A lot of time is spent making sure information is correct and searching for missing data.  But there are many other forms of information waste.  Here are just a few:

  • Redundant input of data
  • Incompatible information systems
  • Data that is inputted but never used
  • Lost data
  • Corrupted data
  • Unclear data definitions
  • Converting formats

In order to make a process more efficient, you must identify these sources of waste and implement solutions that eliminate them.  You can start by making a simple process map or flow chart of the process.  At each step, identify and document the output of the step and the needed inputs for that step.  You can begin your identification of the inputs by thinking about the 6Ms.  These are Man, Machine, Material, Method, Measurement, and Mother Nature.  Information and data should be one of the material inputs.

Next, think about what causes delays or interruptions in each step.  Is the information in the correct form?  Is it on time?  If not, why?  There can be many reasons for information waste, but it is only through a detailed analysis of the process, step by step, that will help you identify and eliminate waste and add more value for your customers.

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