The term “takt time” comes from the German word “Takt,” which refers to a bar of music or meter. In the context of Lean, the term is used to refer to the pace of production required to match customer demand. Takt time is equal to a product’s sell rate. For example, if a car manufacturer sells one car every five minutes, the company needs to produce one finished car every five minutes in order to maintain takt time.
Takt time is calculated using this formula:
Available production time / units of production required
In the context of construction, note that the time available reflects the total number of days team members work to finish an area or work sequence. For example, let’s say a team completes one elevation of a building in twenty-two days. The takt time to waterproof one elevation of the building is:
22 / 1 = 22 days
Takt Time in Touchplan
Using Touchplan, teams measure and track takt in their construction projects using milestones. Teams measuring takt create a role identified as TAKT (see Figure 1).
This role color will make your takt sequences easily identifiable in your plans and give you the ability to clearly report out on all of your takt sequences. Something as simple as the tickets below in Figure 2 works great.
We recommend using a milestone ticket for the start and end of each of your sequences. You can see that the plan below is showing four takt sequences that the team is tracking (see Figure 3).
Below in Figure 4 is a rolled-up report that is used to track takt durations from the plan in Figure 3. This team’s plan has identified a required sequence to waterproof four elevations of their building.
Takt time planning is a tool for creating flow and aligning crews on site. However, it’s important to remember that it's just a plan, so it can be subject to change or even fail at times.
In addition to creating flow, takt time also helps to pinpoint where bottlenecks are arising on site. In the long run, that’s a good thing. Ignoring problems won’t make them go away, they’ll just grow—so the sooner you can identify them, the smoother your project will be.