The Cycle Time is the completion rate of a product. It is the actual time from part-to-part measured after a process steps or production line in scope: Just try to picture yourself standing at the end of your process and count how many pieces of products are passing by in a certain time. Cycle Time is an important Value Stream metric and therefore often shown in a Value Stream Map.

Practitioner’s Tip: Use Cycle Time to get an idea of your process capacity: At what rate is each process step able to produce? In case the Cycle Time is longer than the Takt Time, the production capacity is not sufficient: There is a bottleneck!


Measure the time between consecutive parts coming out of the process step as they pass the Measure Gate and then average these times, or calculate it as follows:

Cycle Time = (Time of observation) / (Number of parts leaving the process in scope)

Learn more about this topic in our Lean Metrics Online Course.

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