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Takt time in the office?

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

Do you know the beat, the pace of your services?

What is Takt Time, why should I care about takt time for business processes?

It is the actual manual time spent on a process.

It expresses the work of a single person.

Takt time is not only applicable for Manufacture environments. In fact it is a fundamental measurement which should be taken and measured continuously within an administrative envionment, for any repetitive task.

How often does a customer buy a product from you?

I am sure you have plenty of reporting tools available for you to calculate your customer demand. You may want to take the whole department and all customers as a starting point, and then can break down to smaller groups (country, key customers) or even individual customers to calculate your takt time. You can also calculate for one administrator if they manage specific customers alone.

To calculate your Takt Time:

1. Decide how many customers you want to measure

2. Using your regular historic reporting, define your Customer Demand PER MONTH

3. Calculate how many people you have working on the demand

4. Calculate how many hours in total the people are working in one day, less any time allowed for lunch and breaks.

Also deduct any time for meetings and non administrative items. This is where business process managers find it difficult to calculate takt time, as typically an administrator is not only dedicated to order entry, but performs many other tasks during the day.

My recommendation is to time a standard order for entry and use that timing as an average. Or you can ask administrators their approx time to enter an order. Or you can estimate a % of their working day dedicated to order entry. But if you have an administrator purely dedicated to order entry, use that persons time to make the calculation.

This example is taking 5 persons dedicated solely to order entry.

5. Optional - If you have more than one shift a day e.g. an evening shift, you need to add in these total hours also.

6. Use the above to perform your Takt Time calculation

Takt time = Available time, divided by Customer demand

Scenario - 5 people working one shift daily, for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, with 1 hour for lunch


  • 9 working hours in a day x 60 minutes = 540 minutes

One hour taken for lunch, one hour planned daily meetings, and four hours for other administrative tasks

  • 360 minutes of other tasks deducted from 540 minutes = 180 minutes per day for order entry per person

  • 180 minutes x 5 administrators = 900 minutes (54,000 seconds) per day available to enter orders


  • 800 sales orders entered in a day across the team


54,000 seconds divided by 300 sales orders = 180 seconds (3 minutes) are required to enter a sales order

What can you do with this Takt time calculation?

If you see an increase in customer demand (a peak) you will need to release some of the other tasks or cancel meetings to accommodate workload increase

It makes visible what is the requirement of your administrators I.e. what is expected in terms of order entry turnaround

It helps identify administrators who are working at a slower pace, and introduce further training to help bring them up to speed

It helps support the need to move an administrator to another area if they are constantly under-performing and cannot meet the take time target

It gives the administrators a goal to work towards

If a takt time is given to each set of tasks completed throughout the day, it helps identify which processes are taking longer and work on improvement opportunities.

It helps your administrators identify by themselves if they are not meeting takt time and to escalate the need for support, the alternative is coming to work on a Saturday or staying late to complete the task. It is an early warning signal.

What if you are working well within your take time?

This is great! Utilize the additional time available for learning and development, training, networking, or work on improvement opportunities to make better other processes which are taking longer.


There are only benefits to calculating take time in a business process environment. You can given take time to everything, and only then, be able to focus on whats not working well, to continually improve across the team and your organisation.

Written by Bess, for Lean4U

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1 Comment

Sharif Yasin
Sharif Yasin
Aug 24, 2023

Many make this mistake in determining available dont multiple the time (after deducting mtgs & breaks) by the number of workers...Available time for the above example remains 180 minutes x 60sec .. So therefore the Takt Time is = Available Time/Demand per day= 180 min x 60 sec/800 orders= 13.5 sec/order..The number of workers is something you need to calculate .. & It can be determined from this calculation = SUm of Cycle time to enter Order/ Takt Time = no of manpower required...Sum of cycle time is based on the time requierd to enter ONE order, many use AVERAGE time, but ideally MODE is the best..

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