Cycle time is the total amount of time it takes to move from the beginning to the end of your process. The key in defining your cycle time is to determine where the process starts and where it ends. In most cases, cycle time is defined by the process owner and the customer.

For example, at a doctor’s office, the process may start the moment the patient enters the door until the time the patient leaves the medical practice.

Let’s assume the average patient cycle time in this example is 1 hour.

If a medical practice wanted to improve the patient cycle time through the office, they could look for areas that take the most time. In some cases, this could be patient registration which may take up to 15 minutes (time is for example purposes only). Many offices have started mailing the registration forms ahead of time or posting the forms online so the patient can complete them prior to arrival resulting in a decrease in cycle time by improving the patient registration step in the process.

Contact Branner Consulting, LLC if you need assistance with determining the cycle time of your process. We can help you at any stage along your journey from process documentation to implementing process improvement projects. In addition, we can also help individuals prepare for an upcoming process improvement exams in either six sigma or lean.