There is a lot of value to a production schedule that works. But it’s not just finishing the work at a time that you planned!
The heartbeat of many lean processes is a built-in PDCA loop of “plan vs. actual” performance.
In the case of the production schedule at the Lean Donut Shop, we made a simple analog tool to calculate the target end time of every batch of dough.
This target time is the “plan” of PDCA.
With the target time set, every person in the business can check production progress (the “actual”) against the planned target time throughout the production run.
This gave us frequent feedback and confidence in our on-time progress.
Standard time like this is also very useful for training.
One of the ways to know when someone is fully trained is whether they can match the standard time for the process.
In these ways and more, our stress was alleviated and our people were empowered by the well-standardized and well-functioning production schedule.