Operations Payoff

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Occam’s Razor – A Lesson for All of Us

Occam’s Razor is a principle attributed to the 14th century logician William of Ockham. It says, “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily,” or more commonly, “when you have two or more competing theories, the simplest one is the better.” In other words, the simplest solution is usually the best.

In the Lean world, the foundation for improvement is eliminating the seven wastes: waiting, over production, defects, excess inventory, transportation, motion and over processing. Many suggest unused knowledge or skills as the eighth waste.

I believe the eighth waste could be the waste of unnecessary complexity. Many companies make things far more complicated than they need to be. Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible.” Applying the principle of Occam’s Razor throughout your organization can remove complexity and set the stage for process improvement, innovation and speed.

© 2012 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved


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