Kanban Terminology

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  • 1 min read

When I first started looking into Kanban, I thought I understood what Lead Time, WIP and Throughput Rate meant. I discussed how to calculate them, use them and even produced a video explaining why limiting WIP makes sense referring to them.

Then I got told by a bunch of experts that I’d misused some of them, and that I’d got confused with others. Unperturbed, I started to revise my video. But when I went to look the terms up on the web, I found a whole realm of confusion waiting for me. It appeared the world of Kanban couldn’t even agree on the definitions: some used Cycle Time and Lead Time interchangeably; others argued over the difference between Takt Time and Throughput Rate; some called for these terms to be replaced; and so on.

Well, after months of discussions, I’m ready to put my neck out again to claim that the following video explains four basic terms:

  • Cycle Time
  • Lead Time
  • Throughput Rate
  • Takt Time

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