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Little’s Law goes a long way September 25, 2006

Posted by Joey Valdez in Ideas!.
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Arrow at Barrique'sOne of the most useful equations to understand in process management is Little’s Law, which ties together the concept of lead time, work-in-process, and completion rates. Lead time (LT) is essentially the time it takes to deliver one’s service/product, once it has been requested. Work-in-process (WIP) refers to anything that is currently waiting to be finished–people in line, requests/reports to be finished, etc. Completion rate (CR) is the time it takes to finish processing each item (i.e., minutes, hours, days, weeks). Simply put, Little’s Law states that:

Lead Time (LT) = Amount of Work-in-Process (WIP)
Average Completion Rate (CR)

This is extremely useful in understanding and improving processes–we can reduce lead time by reducing WIP or increasing CR. The simple act of tracking lead times allows us to see, understand, and reduce variations in our processes, which is the foundation of quality control.

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Comments»

1. beasleykennedy7883 - April 8, 2016

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