“If you cannot describe what you are doing as a
process, you do not know what you are doing.”
What is a process?
A process is a series of independent tasks
that transforms an input into output
material of higher value for the
1. Honda transforms steel, rubber, and plastic into
2. McDonald’s transforms meat, potatoes, and
sauces into packaged food
3. Dell transforms customer orders into PC’s
Why do we need to analyze the process?
- To identify inefficient tasks
- To spot possible effectiveness improvement
- To understand where value can be added
How can we analyze a process? Map it!
What are the relevant performance measures?
Process Analysis: the performance
Assume a process is in place. What do we need to
measure in order to understand how efficient it
• What is its capacity? How many units per unit time go
through each task? The process as a whole?
• What is the bottleneck? Which production step limits
the process capacity?
• What is the throughput time? How long does it take to
get through the system?
How do we measure capacity?
Capacity of a task is the physical limitation in terms
of “how much can be processed at this task”
Cycle Time: Average time for completion of a unit at a production step or
process. Does not include waiting. Measured as time/unit
Throughput Rate: Average number of units processed over a time
interval. Measured as units/time
Capacity = throughput rate
Computing Cycle Times
Processing a fixed amount of work
Example: Producing 100 cars. On average, production
takes 5 hours per car. It takes 50 hours to set up the
Cycle Time =
Set-up Time + (Batch size) x (Time per unit)
Computing Cycle Times
What is the cycle time between points A and B of the
process, if we work in batches of 10?
What is a bottleneck?
Bottleneck is the
process stage with the
smallest throughput rate
(longest cycle time)
Which task is the bottleneck?
Capacity of a process
The capacity of the process is:
minimum throughput rate at any of the stages
What is the capacity of this process?
How do we measure throughput time?
Throughput Time: Average time that a unit takes to go through
the entire process (including waiting time).
Work in Process(WIP): Average number of units in system
over a time interval. Measured as
3 Stages to Flow Improvement
1 - See the current state
2 - Analysis
3 - Take action to apply flow improvement
Stage 1- Current State
Flow Analysis Tool: 4 elements
Responsible for each part of the process
Stage 2 Analysis Understanding your Map
Review the completed current
state map and identify the value
and non-value added steps
Compare the value and non-value
steps identified on the completed
current state map
On the flow analysis map identify
waste and plot the different sorts
Total number Steps
Number of value steps
Value steps as % total
Total time Hrs:Mins
Time of value steps
Value Time as % total
• Uncoordinated activity
• Inappropriate processing
Waiting is the most important of all the
▲The process STOPS
▲Does not add value for the PATIENT
Take action to apply
Next - helping the value
adding steps flow
4 characteristics of smooth flow
1 Small batch sizes
2 Linked processes
3 Setting the pace
4 Overall co-ordination