Over-Production: The Most Costly Waste

Over-Production Golden Days in Manufacturing

Over Production destroyed value by forcing companies to use their resources to produce more than their customers needed. He worked with his colleague Inventory and promoted large production batches, tending to justify large production runs as “economies of scale”.  Over Production was a massive waste in manufacturing, but by adopting the pull based systems advocated by lean, Over-productions days as waste were numbered.

Over Production in Software

Over production quickly and easily found a home in software development, invited in by push based project management practices and long project timelines.  Few appreciate the disruptive nature of software and the business uncertainty software could create. With long project timelines (courtesy of Delay) many took a "spray and pray" approach to specifying software system features, hoping that a few of the features would gain acceptance with stakeholders and users. With stage gate methodologies, and vendor contracting strategies, many organizations were forced to commit far too early to their requirements. Over production certainly earns its reputation as the worst waste because up 60% of software systems  create little or no value for their users and stake holders.

Over Production's Vulnerability

Fast feedback cycles and small batches reduce opportunities for Over Production to create waste. The fast feedback enables developers and stake holders to learn what is really needed and avoid "spray and pray" thinking.