Reducing Lead Time Changes Everything [Lessons from the Road]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-18-12

My latest column for Industry Week, Lessons from the Road, titled Lessons from the Road: Reducing Lead Time Changes Everything has been posted. Here is the intro:


Ever hear “get it done faster”? It comes from many sources, most importantly, customers. The most time-tested — and ineffective — means to actually get faster is to work faster.

Why is getting it done faster so important? It’s not what most people think, so they can get more done. That confuses lead time with activity, or what I call calendar time and clock time. Calendar time is how long it takes between the request and the completion. Clock time is how much work went into getting it done. This column, for example, takes the same amount of time on my clock whether I get it done in a day or a week of calendar time. If I wrote faster, I might slightly improve my clock time, while likely doing nearly nothing for my calendar time, or lead time.


You can read the entire post here.

Following are my previous Lessons from the Road columns:

The Leader’s Role as Coach
Improving your coaching skills offers rich rewards for you and your people.

Decision about Making Decisions
There is much advice in the business world, and beyond, about improving decision making. It is broad and complex, and tackling the challenge is much like taking on culture change. But what specifically can lean teach us about decision-making?

Don’t Waste Your Metrics
Four keys to making metrics a better part of your evaluation process.

Experiment Your Way to Success
How the mother of all learning methods can help your organization improve.

Securing the Elusive Lean Buy-In
Take advantage of this four-step process to achieve buy-in for your lean efforts.

Building Manager Standard Work
Standardization can help you free up time and use it more proactively.

Going to the Gemba
Far from a stroll on the plant floor, a gemba represents a purposeful attempt to learn what is really going on.

How to Train Without Training
When training dollars are scarce, there are still good ways to develop your workforce. Try these three strategies.

Lessons From the Road: Sustaining Your 5S Efforts
5S too often is short-lived, but these six steps can help keep it running smoothly.

Lessons From the Road: Surfacing Problems Daily
Advice for building a problem-solving culture.