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Lean Training System > Lean Reference Guide


Cycle Time (Audio Term & Part 2)

Cycle time is a major component of Standard Work module, part of our Lean Training System. Included in this module is a DVD, PowerPoint presentation, Student Guide, and a 96-page Lean Tutorial, Structuring Standard Work: A Leader’s Guide to Developing Standard Work that Works.

  1. Establish an accepted definition of cycle time. It is important that everyone in the company calls it by the same thing, or there will be confusion.
  2. Identify a fairly stable process and establish Standard Work for it. That will require documenting the cycle time.
  3. Identify parts of the process where the cycle time seems too long, where there is excessive variation, or where there are clear opportunities to improve.
  4. Do daily improvement or schedule a project to make the improvements identified in step 3.
  5. Go back to step 3 and repeat.

Note about timing your process: For the shop floor, use the Time Observation Sheet. In the office, use the Office Process Recording Sheet. You will likely learn a great deal about your operation simply by watching and timing. If your cycle times are significantly different from each other, you should start your improvement process by focusing on variation reduction.

If you need help improving your processes, contact us at Info@Velaction.com. We offer a wide range of Lean training and consulting services to help you accelerate your improvement progress.


Velaction offers a Time Observation Sheet that is useful for tracking cycle times when creating Standard Work. It is available at http://www.velaction.com/time-observation-sheet/.

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