Muda and getting things done

A while ago I went to a lecture at Avega with Jim Coplien. It was quite interesting, since the subject changed back and forth from DCI to Lean. But given my last post I had to write this down as well.

This comparison is more between 7 Habits and GTD. A key part in 7 habits is to “begin with the end in mind”. In a tactical perspective this means focusing on doing the right thing at any moment. The doing part in GTD helps you protect yourself again procrastination and other things that might prevent you from ever doing a specified task. But there is also a built in part of GTD that just focuses on doing.

Now during Jim’s lecture he described the word Muda. For those of you who didn’t follow the link the word is Japanese and means doing things that adds no value. There is a risk in GTD that you will do things that have little value for you.

Given the nature of GTD where you can go through many tasks in a short period of time, the chances are that your productivity might still increase when using a personal tracking system. But there is a chance that your running your engines wastefully. If you and up doing something that does not add value to the end result then you could have ignored doing it.

You can see it as traction, the more tasks of this type you have in your list of things to do, the more you need to work to go the same distance.