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# Why i don't use cycle time in Kanban

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Cycle Time is an overloaded term that is used by different experts to mean different things. I've found avoiding the term and using alternatives the best way to avoid confusing myself and my clients.

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### Why i don't use cycle time in Kanban

1. 1. Why I don't use Cycle Time in Kanban Andy Carmichael @andycarmich
2. 2. Some people* say Cycle Time (CT1) is... the time between delivery of items... 0.5 days in this case * Ohno, Womack & Jones (1996), Chew (2000), Liker (2004), Lean Lexicon (2008) and others
3. 3. Some people* say Cycle Time (CT2) is... the time an item stays in the process... * Hopp and Spearman (2000), Reinertsen (2009) and others 5 days in this case
4. 4. I call this Lead Time* (or TIP) * George (2002), Anderson (2010) and others Others use: Time in process (TIP), Flow Time, Wait Time
5. 5. I call this the reciprocal of Delivery Rate* (or Throughput) i.e. 2 items per day in this case * George (2002), Anderson (2010), Little (2011) and others Others use: Throughput, Arrival Rate, Rate of Completion
6. 6. Little's Law Lead Time = WIP Delivery Rate or TIP = WIP Throughput Note: The bar denotes "average"
7. 7. A nasty special case: when WIP = 1 Little’s Law expressed using the 2 definitions of Cycle Time is: CT2 = WIP * CT1 So when WIP=1… CT2 = CT1 !!! This special case compounds the confusion since so often the concepts are explained with a simple example where WIP = 1
8. 8. Stop starting... Start finishing