We lean thinkers love talking about time… there’s cycle time, lead time, and, of course, everyone’s favorite - takt time. Sure it can get confusing, but by the end of this Gemba Talk you’ll be perfectly in step with all three of them.

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What is Cycle Time?

At 30 seconds we learn that cycle time is the amount of time it takes to complete a task from start to finish. So pull up your stopwatch app on your smartphone, and start measuring your cycle times.

What is Lead Time?

At 49 seconds we learn about manufacturing lead time. This is also referred to as "Production Lead Time" or PLT for short. This is simply the total time it takes, both value and non-value added, it takes a product or service to move through the entire value stream.

What is Takt Time?

At 1 minute 20 seconds we learn about takt time. Takt time is the rate at which we need to produce our products or services to satisfy our customers demands. Calculating takt time is a simple equation:

Takt Time Equation

Takt time equals net available time over customer demand.

Manufacturing Example: If you need to produce 200 coffee cups a day, and you have 240 minutes of time to accomplish this, you have a takt time of 1.2 minutes per cup.

Service Example: If you need to deliver 20 rides to the airport a day, and you have 480 minutes to do it, you need to pick up and drop off each ride within 24 minutes.

Want to learn more about time?

Be sure to watch our Transforming Your Value Streams course.

Have a question you want answered? Let us know!