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On knowledge waste

Waste not, want not.

Bruno Pešec
Bruno Pešec
1 min read
On knowledge waste

Innovation, as a process, is fundamentally about knowledge generation.

We have a number of unknowns, and we are running experiments to learn more about our assumptions and hypotheses. As we learn, we tweak our direction little by little, until we have that hit innovation.

In Lean Product and Process Development Ward and Sobek describe nine knowledge wastes in depth:

  • Scatter. Waste caused by interruptions in the design process.
    • Communication barriers. Waste caused by interrupted flow of knowledge.
    • Poor tools. Waste caused by inefficient techniques.
  • Hand-off. Waste caused by separation of knowledge, responsibility, action, and feedback.
    • Useless information. Waste caused by having to create progress reports and observe red tape due to hands-off approach.
    • Waiting. Waste caused by waiting for each other due to gated, linear processes.
  • Wishful thinking. Waste caused by making decisions without data.
    • Testing to specifications. Waste caused by testing according to design specifications instead of failure.
    • Discarded knowledge. Waste caused by failing to document all the learning accumulated during development.

Addressing any of the above is a great way to improve existing innovation processes.


Bruno Pešec

I help business leaders innovate profitably at scale.


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