mura TPS dictionary


Mura is a Japanese word meaning “unevenness; irregularity; lack of uniformity; nonuniformity; inequality”,and is a key concept in the Toyota Production System (TPS) as one of the three types of waste (muda, mura, muri). Waste reduction is an effective way to increase profitability. Toyota adopted these three Japanese words as part of their product improvement program, due to their familiarity in common usage.


In companies such as Toyota, waste reduction is used to effectively improve productivity in order to increase profitability. If, in a production process a standard procedure is not followed, there’s the tendency for different results to be generated for a single activity. For example, if 8 different people test a process or product, with no standard procedures to follow, the result will be 8 distinct results for the same test. However, if there was a standard procedure, policies, or requirements in place for such test, then there’s the likelihood that each test will turn out with the same result for each individual.

What this means is that, for waste and time to be limited in a production process, there is the need to ensure there’s a standard practice for each step.