What are Muri, Muda and Mura?

What are Muri, Muda and Mura? If you work in a manufacturing industry, you must know them.

Traditional Japanese craftsmanship creates excellence by trimming away the “3 Ms.” Muri is activity that is not reasonable or overly burdensome in relation to the task. Learning to apply just the right amount of force with a wrench is an example of weeding out muri. Muda is an activity that is wasteful and doesn’t add value. The master’s movements show an economy of motion that preserve his stamina so that he can be more productive than his young apprentices, who still show muda, wasted effort. Mura is inconsistency of process leading to uneven results. There is a right and wrong way to do every task. Those of you who went to school in Japan and had the job of cleaning the floors will know that there is one right way to fold, wipe, rinse, wring and store cleaning rags.

So if you want to work in a manufacturing industry in Japan, you should remember these 3 Ms: Muri, Muda, and Mura. These spirits are still commonly practiced all over Japan.

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