Knowledge base

What forms of waste are Mura and Muri?

Understanding Mura and Muri: Reducing Waste for a Lean Organization

Another two critical concepts we come across in the waste management realm align with Muda: Mura and Muri. The first one solves the problem of imbalance, variation, and non-standard work. Although it seems ridiculous that one cannot determine whether the process is unbalanced, doesn’t it? Find out why this sense of ambiguity is critical for Lean organizations to achieve operational excellence.

Understanding Mura:Managing Irregularities in Process Flow

Mura, which refers to the irregularities and fluctuations in processes, is another threat to the regular flow of activities. For example, consider a situation when Monday is a fast-paced day while Friday drags along soy as to bring work processes to a slow pace. As a result, such variability hinders the productivity and efficiency in Thus, Mura is also critical in the fight against.

In the Lean philosophy, the effects of Mura are established by two cardinal rules.

  1. Impact of Variation: The fact that any Mura-increasing phenomenon results in the further deterioration in the production line’s functioning.
  2. Factors Surrounding Variation: The idea that Mura is directly dependent on such factors as supply, capacity, and time, affecting the extensiveness and severity of its presence.

Mura ultimately thrives when processes are not well-aligned. In the context of various types of waste, mitigating Mura is the most relevant aspect of Lean. More resources and time to allow for variation may appear to be counterintuitive, but it actually inhibits waste. Keep in mind – the more Mura there is, the more Muda will result.

It is possible to cut out Mura in our processes using such work tool as Yamazumi Analysis. This structured method allows us to find and eliminate deviations while ensuring a better workflow.

Exploring Muri: Managing Excessive Strain on Resources

Now, let’s shift our focus to another facet of waste: Muri. This is excessive pressure on people, machines or systems that is beyond their strength. Regardless of whether it is an unreasonable burden on human forces or a machine working beyond its capabilities, the results will be disappointing.

Prioritizing Respect for People in Lean Principles

In Lean principles, respect for people is critical. Do not expose people to routine, dangerous, or irrelevant work, or work that causes stress, overwork, or absenteeism. By promoting the welfare of our staff, we minimize the effects of Muri, which are also manifested in reduced turnover, absenteeism, and equipment malfunction.


Using our arsenal of tools, we guarantee to relieve the pressure on our workforce; balancing their welfare with output efficiently. A Lean organization is efficient if it scrupulously maintains the accord between welfare and efficiency of its most valuable resource.

Online Lean courses
100% Lean, at your own pace

Most popular article