Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Need-Want Matrix

I learned about Need-Want Matrix when was working for a large company and was into managing a large group of people. We were working on a Five S project implementation. Five S is a reference to a list of five Japanese words which, transliterated and translated into English, start with the letter S and are the name of a methodology. This list is a mnemonic for a methodology that is often incorrectly characterized as "standardized cleanup", however it is much more than cleanup. 5S is a philosophy and a way of organizing and managing the workspace and work flow with the intent to improve efficiency by eliminating waste, improving flow and reducing process unevenness. This concept is great for improving productivity or efficiency. This process also reduces waste.

When I was reflecting back, I found that the Need-Want matrix is really a good concept for decluttering our lifestyle also. Though I implemented in my work, I never practiced it in life. In my downshifting journey, it really helped me.

Most of the time, we plan to acquire what we want and not what we need. When the basic requirments are taken care of most of the things are wanted and not needed. I may need a car for four people, but I want a expensive large one. I need to buy a TV, but I want a large LCD. These are two examples, however when you replace all needs with wants the equations completely changes.

So when you want something, check out if you need it. People may ask why to do that. Is it frugal or we are going backwards? When we are asked toimplement the same at work to get more from less, why not in life to get more time and freedom.

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