Chapter 4

How to Map a Process

Measuring Processes: Lead Time and Cycle Time

Lean focuses on reducing process lead time, and so the first step in Lean is to measure the lead time of the process as it is currently executed. For the process described in Figure 1 (see chapter 1), we need to measure the average amount of time that elapses from the time that raw wood is cut in the first step until the time when an end table is completed. Determining total process lead time is conceptually straightforward: We need to measure the average lead time required for each process step and then add all those times together. For the first step, where raw wood is cut to length and width, the elapsed time through this step is the time from when a particular ...

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