The waste of overprocessing is caused when tasks, activities, or material is added to a product that does not meet the end customer’s requirements. It is an extra step that adds cost but not value.


  • Painting areas of a product that will never be seen
  • Thirty pages of instructions when you only need two pages
  • Extra packaging that is not needed

Costs of Overprocessing Waste

Overprocessing leads to additional labor costs and material costs. Employees or machines are taking additional time to add extra paint or packaging that is not required. This time could be spent on other activities. Every piece of material spent is material that cannot be used on other products.

Causes of Overprocessing Waste

The causes of overprocessing are not having standardized instructions or requirements, or over-designing the process to add additional tasks or activities that do not add value. During the initial design, tasks may be included into the process that are thought to add value but once the process is live you find out that they do not. A good worker will go above and beyond if there are not clear instructions on what needs to be completed in a task.

How to reduce Overprocessing Waste

To prevent overprocessing waste, implement standardized processes during 5S. Create standard operating procedures (SOP) for each work station and provide them to each employee and at the workstations. Having a SOP across workstations and shifts will improve quality and reduce overprocessing waste.