Eliminating Process Inconsistencies Enable Operations to Perform Consistently

Eliminating Process Inconsistencies Enable Operations to Perform Consistently

The universal misconception is, to improve output, you need to work faster. Lean, along with various other methodologies – such as Scrum or Agile Principles, support sustaining a consistent pace of work.

Lean Six-Sigma experts, like Janam Sandhu, recommend working like a Tortoise (with a steady pace) instead of running like a hare, over-consuming energies, and taking rest before resuming work.

Mura is a Japanese word that translates into English as unevenness, variation, or irregularity that could occur due to the below-mentioned reasons:

  • Uneven customer demand
  • Irregular flow of materials
  • Fluctuations in Inventory levels
  • The inconsistent pace of production
  • Fast modifying production quantities
  • Variations in the quality of critical parts
  • Erratic tempo or speed of working
  • Uneven distribution of the workload
  • Irregular and unplanned training of the workers
  • Missing operational targets, and other non-uniformities in the processes

Inconsistency in the count of customers' orders may happen due to seasons, day in a week, or week within the month. This irregularity may also occur when workers are unable to support others when demand shifts, mainly because of inadequate training. Moreover, internal processes can lead to Mura, primarily when the work gets completed in batches – like at the end of the day or week. This variation in the process completion results in creating piles of work (or bottleneck) for the next worker in the process and thus causing Mura. Industry experts, however, suggest that businesses need to look for functional unevenness or irregularities in many more places.

Historically, unevenness was probably the last of the three operational defects (Muda, Muri, and Mura) identified in the manufacturing domain. There is rarely a standard cure for functional irregularities in Lean manufacturing. Implementation of appropriate operating standards, however, may often depend on the type and details of process unevenness.

Often, Leveling or Just in Time is the most applied countermeasures to Mura. Lean Gurus, however, consider this to be a too-narrow approach for material flow. Additionally, merely implementing Leveling may make things considerably worse. According to these experts, implementing the Pull strategy through Kanban is an indispensable element of Scrum and other Agile methodologies, as this technique enables businesses to achieve Just-in-Time, more effectively.

Before Mura, there were, evidently, other strategies that helped managing unevenness, for instance, Henry Ford and his assembly line. One early example was probably the implementation of a production rhythm in German Junker's aircraft manufacturing by 1930. This methodology made its way to Mitsubishi in Japan, and from there to Toyota. Later, Lean manufacturing was accepted across the globe, retaining its German name, Takt (rhythm, timing, beat).


Mura is the operational unevenness in the workload distribution across an organization. A production process is a sequence of connected tasks that depend on one another. It is, therefore, critical to ensure that every element of that process has an appropriate burden of relevant jobs. It is just as crucial to make sure that nobody is delegating the defined tasks that might cause bottlenecks down the line. The primary goal is to avoid having too much chaos and unproductive tasks.

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Posted on 22 July, 2019

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Categories : Lean Six Sigma White Belt Course

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pooja mishra 28/07/2019

Best and simply explained videos..kindly make more videos

Tushar 24/07/2019

Your lectures are to the point and your concepts are crystal clear.

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