Lean Cycle Time Analysis Template

Talk about promising something that doesn't deliver. This document from bmgi.org bills itself as a Cycle Time Loading Chart. But it doesn't give you a chart! You have to draw it yourself. As if we didn't have enough work to do already. . .

Actually, this lean form is a very useful template for analyzing the cycle time of multiple operations. Meant to be filled out with a pencil or pen, it includes all the steps necessary for determining how many people you need in a given process.

This looks like an excellent presentation tool for a kaizen group. After determining the best repeatable cycle time for each process with your trusty stopwatch, you fill out the boxes on the top of the form. The graph paper below is set up so you can plot each cycle time on a bar chart.

Now you can compare the cycle times of each process. The chart's a great visual tool to see how balanced the process is at a glance. I usually draw these charts on a flip chart for comparison, but it's nice to see a template with all the information set up for you.

How does each process compare to takt time? 

The template doesn't let you forget this key information. On the right hand side is a place to calculate the takt time, by figuring out the available time and the demand. Once you have the takt time, you can add it to the chart you've created. If all goes as planned, the cycle times will be less than the takt time and you can do some re-balancing with your lean team.

With your handy chart in hand, the takt time calculated and plotted, you can now get down to some serious cycle time analysis. How many people do you need? Simply look in the bottom corner, enter your total cycle time and divide by the takt time. Voila! Cycle time analyzed.

This Excel cycle time analysis template can be found on the resource page for bmgi.org.

Look for the template aptly titled "Cycle Time Loading Chart."

If you're looking for more free lean templates and forms, check out my list of helpful lean tools and downloads. They're free!

By the way, speaking of taking cycle times and using stopwatches, I hope everyone is using a good quality stopwatch. When performing cycle time studies, it's critical that you can store some history on your stopwatch. You don't want to break the cycle every time to record and reset. Believe me, a good quality stop watch goes a long way. 

This Seiko stop watch is the one I use for my cycle time analysis. It's not a Timex, but I've dropped it numerous times and it keeps on ticking. As I mentioned, the main thing to look for in a stop watch is the ability to store multiple readings. This Seiko stopwatch stores up to a hundred readings, but they go up to three hundred if you want to spend more money. It will make your life easier. 


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