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“Agile Takt Time” Helps Stabilize Production

While my earlier blog posts were focused on Agile Risk Management, I am taking some time off from this to familiarize myself with a new subject – Time Management.

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed” – Peter Drucker

One fascinating way that I have found to help manage my time is the technique of “Takt Time“. Rather than giving you a definition of the concept, I think an example would be more easily understood.

Let’s say you are participating in an eating competition in which one must consume 50 burgers in 30 minutes.  From this problem, you would be able to conclude that your Takt rate would be 1.5 – 2.0 burgers every minute.


With that being said, Takt Time is the “available work time” divided by the “demand rate“. Now lets try another example, let’s say a fictitious agile team completes 7 story points (or tasks) in 10 days of the first sprint. In this example, Takt time can be tweaked and calculated for agile projects. The formula for Takt Time is as follows:

Takt Time = Number of days / Number of stories or tasks

Agile Takt Time = 10 / 7 = 1.42

In this case, the Takt time is 1.42 per story or task. This is the number of days that can be either in each sprint, or for the whole week.  Keep in mind, however, the next prints may show different results and over time there will be small and large outliers.  Here is the sample range showing sprint history and distribution of Takt Times:

SprintDaysStory PointsTakt Time
Sprint 11061.67
Sprint 21061.67
Sprint 31052.00
Sprint 4881.00
Sprint 51081.25
Sprint 61071.43
Sprint 7890.89
Sprint 81091.11
Sprint 91081.25
Sprint 10991.00

While the range of Takt Time may be of no help to forecast the finishing date, but I assure you that the simplicity of the concept will help stabilize production.

Takt time provides the heartbeat of the production system. In fact, Takt comes from the German word ‘Taktzeit’ which means pulse, and it is necessary for every business must keep up the rate of their pulse in order to stay alive.

In my upcoming blog post, I will address the Monte Carlo technique and how it can be used to generate a simulated date in TAKT Times.

Be sure to follow up!


Thoughts on ““Agile Takt Time” Helps Stabilize Production”

  1. Dhanalakshmi C

    Simple, Clear and Neat explanation. Thank you for letting us know about it, Arun.

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Arun Ramakrishnan, Lead Quality Assurance Consultant

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