Measure cycle times

Fundamental to any process improvement is measuring how long activities take to complete. This measurement is the long term average of several samples. The first average establishes the baseline for future changes.

A baseline gives you something to improve. Without an actual number to compare changes against you’re guessing. It’s fine to use intuition to on occasion save time. For the processes that occur often there needs to be metrics.

Pro athletes in most sports understand the power of cycle times. To them it is everything to be faster. The best runners in the world brag about achieving a 4 minute mile. Try running a 4 minute mile. You’ll appreciate the dedication it takes.

Not every process lends itself well to efficiency optimization. These are processes where being effective is difficult. Once you can be effective start measuring cycle times.


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