What does WIP stand for?

WIP stands for Work In Progress. It is a commonly used acronym in manufacturing, project management, as well as a wide range of other industries. In simple terms, it simply refers to any task or project that is currently being worked on. It can also be referencing an area where work is actively being done, such as on a construction site. Understanding its meaning, and how it is being used in a given situation, will help employees as well as others in the area to be able to respond appropriately.Work in Progress Caution Sign illustration

WIP in Production

When manufacturing a product, the product will be seen as a work in progress from the moment it starts until it has been completed. During this time the product isn’t generating revenue, so it is important to have it progress as efficiently as possible. Once the product is done, it can be sold to customers to generate revenue for the company. Of course, it is important not to rush something through production just to get it finished as this can lead to defects and other forms of waste.

Gathering information about a product that is moving through the production line can help to maximize efficiency. By spotting potential delays or other forms of waste that are present while the product is a WIP will allow changes and improvements to be made. These can then be implemented throughout the production line to help improve efficiency.

Alerting People to WIP

When using WIP to reference active work that is being performed, it is often necessary to put up safety signs. These signs will alert those in the area to the fact that work is being done and that they need to be careful. In some situations, adding signs that tell employees what types of personal protective equipment they should be used in a WIP area will also be beneficial.


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