In business, we consider time as a very important commodity. To improve your productivity, optimizing the use of your time is essential. When it comes to understanding your team’s capacity to deliver products continuously, you need to know how to measure the amount of time spent on creating each product. This is what Takt time is. Need more clarity on what is takt time and why it’s important? Read on to find out more.
What is Takt Time?
Takt time is a fundamental concept in Lean manufacturing which identifies the amount of time spent to deliver a customer’s demand, be it in the form of a product or service. The term takt is a German word for the baton used by an orchestra conductor in regulating the tempo of the music being played. In relation to music, you can consider takt time as a measurable beat time. But when it comes to Lean, it’s measuring the time from the point when a specific task or production process is initiated until a product or service has been completed and the demand has been met.
How to Calculate Takt Time
For example, a publishing company needs to print out 1,000 books in a week’s time. To calculate the time they need to print out each book, they should take into account the work hours that they can render within the whole week to be able to pull through with the customer’s demand by the deadline. The formula for takt time is as follows:
This means, apart from knowing the customer’s demand, you will also need the total available work time your team can allot to deliver. So if a publishing company operates only on weekdays at 7.5 hours per day, then we can first compute for the work time by multiplying the work days with the number of hours per day.
Now that you have determined the total work time available, you can start computing for your takt time by dividing the total work time by the customer demand, as follows:
From this computation, the publishing company’s takt time is 135 seconds or 2 minutes and 15 seconds.
Why is Takt Time Important?
Understanding takt time is valuable not just in Lean manufacturing, but also in other corporate processes. The ability of any Agile team to deliver similar outputs or services in succession can help them build a process that is more efficient and more effective in the long run. Be it in software programming, graphic or web design, content writing, customer support, accounting or even in the food industry, calculating takt time can make process improvements easier. By understanding this concept, you can reap the following benefits:
- Improve your manpower forecasting. You can plan your team’s manpower availability better depending on the need to deliver your customer’s demands.
- Identify necessary process enhancements. To continuously improve or kaizen your processes, takt time can help you understand if there is still room for improvement within your current process.
- Enhance project visibility. Knowing your takt time means knowing the amount of work your team can complete within a given day. This helps you better predict the amount of output your team can deliver within the day.
- Reduce or eliminate “waste”. To make sure that you are implementing Lean processes in your company, it’s important that you are reducing, or better yet, eliminating wasteful activities.
- Set your customer’s expectations. It will be easier for you to set your customer’s expectations and understand if a certain delivery time and productivity goal is achievable or not. This can also help improve your business’ reputation by being transparent on what your team can commit to.
Improve Your Productivity with Kanban
Knowing your team’s takt time helps you have better insights on how your team is performing. It can help you understand if there’s still room for improvement. Managing your team’s productivity requires better visibility of your processes and workflow. For this, the Kanban methodology can come in handy. If you are thinking about using Kanban to boost your team’s productivity, you can check out Kanban Zone.
To learn more about how this virtual Kanban board can help improve your workflow and process visibility, request a demo today.