Any activity that uses up equipment, materials, parts, space, employee time, or other resources beyond the minimum amount required for productive operations. This can include waiting, accumulating semi-processed features, reloading, passing materials from one person to another, and other non-productive processes. The seven categories of waste that are usually targeted for elimination in businesses are overproduction, waiting for machines, transportation time, process time, excess inventory, excess motion, and defects. In product development, waste can refer to anything that adds cost or time to the development process without adding value from the customer's perspective. This could include unnecessary features, inefficient processes, or delays caused by rework or insufficient data. By definition, waste is anything that doesn't contribute to the final product or service meeting the customer's needs. Therefore, reducing or eliminating waste is critical in any product development effort.
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