What is Takt time?
BY ABDALLAH BAYDOUN PRIMANED BELGIUM
Are you interested in reducing waste as a result of better planning? How about creating a continuous work flow which helps you meet your project’s deadline and reduces your waste? It is neither rocket science nor magic, achieving these goals is simpler than you think. In fact, whenever I explain to managers about takt time planning, I always feel their confusion, as if they are still waiting to hear something new that ‘’they do not know’’. Hence, the concept is really familiar to us, however many lack a systematic approach to implement it.
In this post, I will first uncover the basics of takt time planning by shedding the light on its definition. Then, I will state the systematic steps based on best practices that you can follow which will help you make your project leaner.
What is Takt time?
Takt is a German word for rhythm, or pace and it represents the unit of time within which an item should be produced to meet the client’s expectations. In other words, it is matching the production supply rate with the client’s demand rate. But this sounds very specific to production, what about construction or projects in general? Hence, I personally would like to define takt as the ideal pace within which a work package is handed over by one trade to the other, allowing a uniform workflow that is designed to meet the client’s demand. Note that I stated the words ‘’Ideal and uniform’’, this is because in reality not all trades produce at equal rates. However, if we would accept waste in our project, then takt can be redefined as the maximum allowed time per unit for all trades to meet the client’s demand.
Ok, now what?
Since defining our takt is demand based, we need to know how fast our work should flow to meet our deadlines. This imposes the biggest challenge for project managers and planning engineers especially if they are aiming to create an ‘’ideal’’ workflow pace for every trade in the project that is waste-free.