The Alarm Clock goes off, you hit the snooze button and go back to sleep for a little bit, then it goes off 5 minutes later and you realize, "Oh my goodness, I'm Late!" So you start to rush panicking that you might show up late for the "big meeting." Finally you arrive at the office, jump out of your car and reach for your briefcase, your briefcase? Oh no, you've forgotten your briefcase. Well hopefully this wasn't the start of anybody's morning but to be quite honest it happens all the time in Kaizen Events, Projects or daily work activities. Nobody Keeps Takt of the time.
Takt time is the rate at which we need to complete our work, but most importantly it is the rate in which we need to complete our work according to the Customers demand and there needs. In essence Takt time can be compared to the way a heartbeats; the heart keeps pace or beat in order to provide our body with the necessary blood and oxygen it needs. What happens when it falls off pace? You get light headed, miss a step or worse yet come to a complete stop. Just like our body falling out of beat if we have no Takt time or precise interval of time it becomes much harder to tell when something is not operating at quite the rate it needs to be. Here are a few simple tips for Calculating and using Takt time to your advantage.
1. Assess where you are at
It goes without saying but if you are doing work there is a time figure you can use to assess the current situation. You may be able to pull data from your ERP/MRP system or take the Gemba approach; Grab your stopwatch set up an excel sheet and start gathering some times (cycle, process, lead). Be sure that the data you gather is in alignment with your objective.
2. Where is it you need to be?
This is the exciting point where we ask ourselves at what rate does our Heart need to beat in order for the customer to continue circulating a healthy amount of blood into the organization? Let's start with how we figure out the Takt Time. You will want to find out exactly what the customer demand is Per day (internal or external) and you will need to define how much "available time" there is in the work day (i.e. 1 shift 8 hours, 2 shifts 16). Once you have these two pieces of Information you can now figure the Takt time.
Let's look at an example of How we can figure Takt. Let's Say Our Customer wanted 100 pieces per day(keep in mind the pieces don't have to be actual materials they may be services or activities that are not so tangible) and our shift was exactly 8 hours or 480 minutes with no downtime and no breaks or lunches (breaks, lunches and downtime should be figured into your available time if you have them, and we hope you do) that would mean that each piece needs to be made in 4.8 minutes to keep up with the customer demand.
3. If there is a Gap identify it If not Support it
Now you can probably tell it would be very clear if we were meeting takt time or not (compare current as is situation to the Takt time). If you are not meeting the Takt time we suggest Identifying the Gap and any of the Contributing issues so that you can make a plan in order to reach the Takt time. As with anything else set your team up to win try to give them goals they can meet and inch your way to meeting the Takt time. If there is no Gap continue to support the crew's efforts and reward their hard work and labor.
4. Post It
Once you have defined the rate at which you need to complete activities, it will be to your advantage to make everyone aware of the Takt time, You can post it on Huddle boards attach it to a meter or any other way you want, the point is make it Visual. The purpose of making the Takt time Visual is that you can remove barriers as they pop up, remember we are here to "Support" the team in accomplishing their goal not monitor, spy, or tattle on one another. One way you can do this is by observing when the activity has fallen off pace, you can then identify the contributing issues and remove the Root Causes.
Not having a Takt time can cause you to be late for work, forget items in the hurry to make up time or place unnecessary burdens on individuals. Though it may not be quite as obvious to you if you are not involved in the activity, having a Takt time established will allow you to identify abnormalities and see lines or processes that may be out of balance. Just like any other Origin of Waste once we identify those abnormalities we remove them. Well you all better get back to work; If you need any support in keeping Takt of time feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, we would be happy to support. Let's make this week the week where you establish and keep Takt of at least one of your times. We would love to hear about your experience in doing it.