Takt Guide

General Topics

Takt brings problems to the surface because stable rhythms, capacities, consistent workflows, and workflows with continuity occur. It shows what should be done (Takt) and stops trying to project (guess) what will be done (CPM). If you want to know you are off course, you have to know the correct course. If you simply compare your course with another possible course, then it becomes a matter of opinion. Only Takt maps out a scientific flow for the project through simulation. It shows the most ideal synchronous flow for all sequences working together. When a work step within a work package does not meet that production rhythm, the team sees it as a deviation immediately and is able to correct it immediately with the smallest amount of latency or time delay. When problems show up in CPM, it is seen as a deviation to the current path only. Therefore, teams simply make another path by adjusting logic in a silo then another one, and another one, and another one until the only remaining options result in a crash-landing. To see a problem you need the following things:

  • Know the target.
  • See the deviation where it is.
  • See the deviation and what it affects.
  • See the deviation within 5-48 hours of occurrence.
  • Only Takt does the following:
  • You can see the target clearly on a single page schedule.
  • Each Takt wagon, with its work packages and work steps are tracked daily, so you can see any deviations.
  • The Takt trains move with the deviation so you can see what happens to the system to maintain flow, and,
  • You are able to see this real time without waiting two weeks to update a schedule and hit “F9” or run the forward and backward pass in CPM

Here is the genius of Takt: it is visual and other scheduling systems are not yet on the long term. Remember the analogy of long sword and short sword combat? We need a long sword strategy that is visual, and that is Takt.

Takt, again, is a great communication tool for the project team to see what needs to be done and when. If we can all see that, we can make decisions and collaborate with common knowledge and therefore, act or head in the same direction together. As Patrick Lencioni quoted in his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” This is what Takt planning does for us. Takt, along with Scrum and Last Planner®, help us to move in the same direction by allowing us to see as a group, know as a group, and act as a group. Seeing the plan is powerful. This is the main reason…

The fact that Takt planning and Takt control brings problems to the surface faster in a visible way is the very reason it is better for the team. The team is able to see and fix problems as they go instead of responding to massive issues when it is or is almost too late. This increases capacity by reducing the load on the team in dealing with massive issues too late. Additionally, it improves morale. When the team feels helpless in overcoming or getting ahead of issues, the enjoyment and fulfillment is reduced on the project, which decreases the productivity of the team.

Also, Takt planning and Takt control are easier systems to manage. It takes about one-twelfth of the time to manage a project in Takt as with CPM. You can always tell the difference between a non-Takt project weekly work planning meeting and daily huddle meeting and a Takt-centered meeting system. In the non-Takt system the team will be focused on when things should be happening and coordinating trades together within the week or day, and in a Takt-centered system the team already knows when things should be happening and they focus on making work ready and removing roadblocks. And the more work is made ready, the fewer problems there are to deal with. The truth is when project teams use CPM paired with Last Planner® the team spends most of the time managing the schedule instead of making work ready. And when projects exceed sixty million dollars, the complexity of creating weekly work plans from scratch becomes too burdensome for the entire team and the system breaks down and causes more harm than good. The only real way to create increased capacity for the team with scheduling is to implement Takt planning and Takt control and manage the deviations, not just the schedule.

The bottom line is that project teams must be balanced. They cannot be spending increased amounts of time managing a schedule, and they need to have the capacity to prevent problems that will further reduce their capacity. This is the second major genius of the system. Once understood and created it is easy to use.

Takt planning really only works when we get the rhythm right and when we focus on that rhythm. As we have said before in this book, CPM slams everything to the left towards its early start. As builders, when we build, implement, and manage with Takt, the focus is on the rhythm. The rhythm allows the design to be done just-in-time, material approvals and permits to be leveled, and the load of the team to be even throughout construction. Following a rhythm also reduces the likelihood of overburdening trade partners and crew resources. Flow is king and the right rhythm enables that flow. Imagine freight cars behind an engine crashing into each other or stacked on top of each other. This is not the ideal state. The ideal state is when cars (Takt wagons) are evenly spaced one behind another in a row. If the project team, the project manager, and superintendent are not committed to holding dates and following the rhythm, material inventory levels, worker counts, variation, and costs will increase to the detriment of the project. Takt is not a push system, it is a holding system. We must hold the dates and follow the rhythm of the project to get the full effect of its usefulness. When we overburden resources or work steps, we lose our rhythm and overload the system. That is why we focus on rhythm, and we see that rhythm because…

Takt plans, when printed, are used in a remarkable fashion when they are shown on one page. A member of the management committee at DPR Construction once intimated a plan should be easily seen within five to thirty seconds of walking into the office trailer or coming onto the project site. Try doing that with a CPM schedule or even a graphical schedule based on a CPM schedule. You will have a time of it if you do. If you try to do that with Takt, you will hit the mark most of the time. It is best practice to show the project Takt plan on a single sheet, whether that be 11×17, 18×24, or 36×48 so that the plan can be quickly seen, understood, and acted upon by everyone onsite. The best implementation of Takt planning is when every foreman has a laminated copy with other postings of the plan showing up at the hoist, on floor Lean boards, in the conference room, and in scheduling deliverables. If it can be shown and understood on one page, we can see as a group, know as a group, and act as a group. This ties well to the Jidoka principle, or what we call the See-Stop-Call-Wait principle. As mentioned before this principle relies on six steps: 1. Discover an abnormality, 2. Stop the process, 3. Call for help, 4. Wait for help, 5. Fix the immediate problem, and 6. Investigate and solve the root cause. We create environments where people and teams can see as a group, know as a group, and act as a group to see, stop, fix the problem, and prevent it in the future. We must see what winning looks like as we work and improve as a part of the work. And when we see the plan…

As we introduced earlier, we must be able to see and manage all three types of flow. So what are they?

They are

  • Workflow – the flow of work within a sequence
  • Trade or process flow – the flow of trades in a manner that they flow from one area to another
  • Logistical, design, and procurement flow – The directional flow of trades from one area to another

In other systems like CPM you can really only see workflow within the sequence. It is very difficult to see logistical flow and nearly impossible to see trade flow. Why is this important? In This Is Lean, Niklas Modig describes the need for flow efficiency and resource efficiency. Resource efficiency is focused on optimizing the resource or resources and attaching work to the resource. Flow efficiency is focused on the throughput of flow units (work) through the system and attaches resources to the flow units. In construction this is somewhat backwards because unlike manufacturing, workers flow through stationary work areas. So, the way we get the product to the customer in the shortest amount of time with the highest level of quality is to actually flow the workers through the stationary areas in the best possible flow-so trade flow is flow efficiency in construction.

The concepts of flow efficiency and resource efficiency can be difficult to translate to construction but suffice it to say that we need both. In construction, we need the trades to flow from area to area in an efficient manner and we need work within the areas to flow to the customer in the shortest duration of time with the highest level of quality possible. When we have trades flowing and work flowing, the main object of the project team is to supply the workers the materials. That is why…

With Takt, project teams and especially superintendents need to hold the dates and avoid the temptation to jockey the starting dates of scopes forward and back randomly outside the collaborative plan of the project team with trade partners. Why is this so important? Because variation creates excess material inventory levels and disrupts the flow of all supply chains onsite. When trades know the super will not follow the plan and will likely move up their start dates, by habit the trade supers and foremen begin to increase material inventory levels to anticipate their whims. And every time inventory levels rise, so do worker counts and the costs to manage them. Only when a schedule is predictable can we bring materials just-in-time to supply the crews and support trade flow and workflow. And it only works when…

Just-in-time deliveries really only work with Takt planning and really only work when project teams hold to the rules of Takt by holding the dates. Now, there are some exceptions to this rule. If there is a major shift needed for project success that can be coordinated with all participating contractors onsite and that can be coordinated with procurement, then this type of change may be acceptable. But for the most part, gaining time in Takt planning is done in the plan analysis where we optimize throughput time and gain buffers by running simulations that determine the ideal project duration based on the number of Takt wagons, Takt zones, and the Takt time. When a project is coming out of the ground, expediting, or advancing the schedule is more appropriate because there are fewer contractors. Therefore, it is more acceptable in the early phases, but only under rare circumstances should dates be moved and start dates be adjusted when there are over ten contractors onsite working in rough-in, exteriors, or finishes.

With Takt systems we need to hold the line, keep the rhythm, and be disciplined, otherwise we leave the system and the project descends into chaos. Therefore, Takt planning requires project teams to hold others accountable, control the site, and hold the line. This is very difficult for a team and can be a reason project teams may be hesitant to use the Takt system. It is also why trades may be hesitant to participate with Takt because they will be held accountable. You can be sure that weak leaders and non-accountable trades will not like Takt. Takt keeps the system stable, and then the team can accelerate when…

Consistent and stable scheduling systems need to be supported by prefabrication. When a project is entirely stick built, it will generally experience uncoordinated work issues with slow and unpredictable installation rates, which will not fully enable flow. To be as effective with Takt planning as we can be, we need to prefabricate as much as possible within the project budget. Prime examples of this are overhead MEP, headwalls, corridor racks, exterior wall panels, and standard plumbing racks. It would be ideal to continue with that goal and add in concepts like underground MEP, room kitting (where we precut and kit entire rooms), structural prefabrication, form prefabrication, precut studs, header prefab, exterior cladding prefabrication, and finish assemblies. The vision for this is limitless and the point is to move workers into more stable environments such as a shop where the production of assemblies is safer, more controlled, predictable, and there are better conditions for workers. Basically, following an assembly schedule is easier when you can piece it together like Legos or Ikea furniture. We must prefabricate as much as we can to create consistency and flow. And we prefabricate to the beat or rhythm of a production schedule, namely Takt. Prefabrication also moves up the coordination process in the timeline of a project and assists in the general effort of…

The prefabrication of drafting, detailing, and assembling scopes before they arrive onsite will allow teams to discover issues earlier which reduces waste. This will enable teams the time to focus on the pursuit of identifying and removing roadblocks everywhere in the system. By following traditional CPM, a superintendent’s time is mainly spent managing the schedule and the chaos caused by not hosting remarkable meetings and communicating a stable plan. With Takt, we have remarkable meetings according to the standard meeting schedule and builders who can focus on being builders in the absence of having to manage a complex schedule. Significant time is now spent on preventing interruptions, waste, and variation. Before, the time spent managing the schedule was at 60% of the day, now it is at 5% so the remaining 55% gain is focused on preparing the work, identifying roadblocks, and then removing roadblocks. The system can only be successful if the project team is committed to doing this because there is little point in creating a stable scheduling environment if it is doomed to encounter a chaotic installation process where ignored roadblocks bring the system to a halt. In Takt, with knowledgeable builders, most or all roadblocks will be successfully cleared from the path in time using this system. This happens when…

The control of geographical areas or Takt zones is one of the main benefits of using a Takt system. Since most areas are broken out into standard areas based on standard space units, the standard flow of work through a building—according to the Takt plan—lends itself to a great system of trade partners controlling their assigned areas for safety, cleanliness, organization, ownership of trade damage, roadblock removal, and a host of other things. In scheduling systems like CPM, the lack of consistency moves the responsibility of areas back to the general contractor because there is no clear identification of where and when trade partners will be working. This all changes with Takt. And while it can be an abrupt culture shock for some contractors, it works very well. Where we have geographical or Takt zone control, we have control of the project because supply lines, organization, and the safety of workers help productivity as much as quick hands at work. As trades help control areas, then…

The throughput through the entire system is our focus, not individual efficiencies for trades. We want collective efficiency for trades. We want trades going at relatively the same rate of production. Stated differently, we want everyone to succeed together as a group and to optimize the whole of the project, not just their individual companies. As listed in the definitions section, the throughput is defined as the rate at which a certain amount of material or items pass through a system or process. The more efficient that this process is as it passes through the system or in this situation, the building, the better our throughput. Individual efficiency is concerned with the production or utilization of individual resources or contractors which does not always help the overall throughput—in fact, it interrupts it. We need all contractors working at relatively the same throughput according to the Takt time in order for there to be flow. If contractors are working faster or slower than average it might seem helpful to that individual trade partner’s productivity, but it interrupts the overall throughput, creates variation, and increases inventory levels which increases defects which…. well, by now, you get the idea.

Little’s Law: According to Modig, Little’s Law states that the throughput time is equal to the number of flow units in the process multiplied by the cycle time. In translating this to construction we can say that throughput time equals the number of areas needing a process multiplied by the process duration. Throughput time = number of areas needing a process completed in a phase multiplied by the process duration.

For example, if the throughput time for the framer equals 10 areas x 5 days, it would result in 50 days.

If the in wall electrical rough-in contractor has a throughput time that equals 10 areas x 10 days, it would result in 100 days.

Let’s now say that the remaining contractors all have throughput times of 50 like the framer:

  • Plumbing in wall rough in = 10 areas x 5 days = 50 days
  • Insulation in wall rough in = 10 areas x 5 days = 50 days

That would mean we need to speed up the electrician. How do we do that? By adjusting resources to match the throughput times of the other trades. We would get two crews and the formula would be as follows:

Throughput time = 10 area x 5 days (with 2 crews) = 50 days

We now have a balanced system and are all going at the same rate together. But what if the inspections at the end were added to this?

Final Wall Inspection = 10 areas x 2 days = 20 days

The throughput time does not match. What do we do? We can either slow down the inspection process with a smaller crew-which is not possible in this example because there is one inspector-or add three days of buffer to the duration to even it out.

Final wall inspection = 10 areas x 3 buffer days and 2 working days (5 days) = 50 days. The wall inspection will have starts and stops, but the entire system is moving together in one synchronous rhythm. These are the types of decisions we have to make to optimize the whole of the project sometimes at the expense of individual contractor efficiencies. In some instances we have to speed up certain resources and slow down others. This is called…

Some may be very concerned about our comment to slow down certain resources but consider what happens when, after we have optimized and sped up all bottlenecks, we continue to let the faster trades continue to go fast. What happens? People are stacked in certain areas without flow, without geographical control, burying certain scopes, and/or installing too early which increases the amount of defects and use of resources such as the project management team’s time. This affects the trades that really need the help. There is little merit to going faster than the general throughput.

The Law of Bottlenecks: According to Modig, the Law of Bottlenecks states that throughput time is primarily affected by the process that has the longest cycle time. In construction, the overall throughput of the phase is mostly affected by the process with the longest duration within the system. In our last example, the electrician was the bottleneck:

  • Framer throughput time = 10 areas x 5 days = 50 days
  • Electrical throughput time = 10 areas x 5 days (with 2 crews) = 50 days
  • Plumbing throughput time = 10 areas x 5 days = 50 days
  • Insulation throughput time = 10 areas x 5 days = 50 days
  • Final wall inspection throughput time = 10 areas x 5 days (3 buffer days and 2 working days) = 50 days

Best practice is to first optimize the bottlenecks for the slower installations and then to even out the throughput of the remaining work; therefore, the entire system. Because CPM does not allow us to see our bottlenecks, we cannot optimize them so the system ends up with a longer overall project duration, overproduced areas, fluctuating worker and material inventory levels, and a number of detrimental starts and stops. The tricky thing with bottlenecks is that new ones will show up when you optimize the first ones or the largest ones so it is a continual game of increasing flow by adjusting the throughput of the system. This is the key to achieving the shortest overall duration, with the smallest crew sizes, with the most minimal material inventory, in a visual system that identifies problems when they happen, in a continuous flow that allows an evenness the team can use to focus their attention on the removal of roadblocks. Then…

For Takt to work well, we have to finish as we go! Historically, superintendents have attempted to accelerate the project to gain time at the end to fix all the mistakes from going too fast and not installing it right the first time. With Takt, we cannot have—and should not need to have—that excessive buffer time for an excessive punch list. With Takt, and while working to prevent roadblocks, the team, and especially the engineers, will be inspecting work, identifying punch list items, and working with trades to correct as they go—meaning, finish as they go. Before a trade leaves the area or the project, they should not only install the production work, but they should finish the scope in its entirety. This will take a mindset shift for most of our leaders in construction, but when this path is taken, we will see a better quality product delivered to the customer sooner. This inherently ensures…

CPM pushes as much work to start as early as possible. That is a normal thought in concept, but it does something that is detrimental to our construction operations. It puts too much work in process. Work in process that must be managed, maintained, checked, monitored, supported, and which utilizes precious resources. When work in process increases needlessly the capacity of the team and the project resources are reduced which causes rework and a number of the recognized 8 wastes. It also causes unevenness and overburden. The goal is to keep the project management team balanced, healthy, with workers going at a reasonable speed, and trade resources working in a flow and not over capacity so the team can continue preparing and executing work with quality at the source. When we increase work in process the team is so focused on handling the overburden on the project and the project resources, they do not see roadblocks and remove them ahead of the work, their ability to prepare work diminishes, and more defective work is passed through the system. But if we finish as we go, we will have the capacity to focus on the work that is in process and complete it right the first time. Then…

Quality at the source is a concept that states a culture and condition in which each employee and worker is held responsible for ensuring the quality or products at the place of work or when the work is produced. To do this the culture and project systems must include standardized work, self-checks, peer checks, visual management, mistake-proofing, and continuous improvement of the system. In construction this done by:

  • Managing a quality process that enables the foremen and workers to know what is expected by the plans and specs and the owners and end-users.
  • Ensuring assemblies, materials, and substrates are ready for the work to be installed properly.
  • Creating standard work at the end of the quality process in the form of a checklist or feature of work visual.
  • Enabling and empowering all employees to stop defective work when it happens at the source.
  • Proper quality control work with inspections and reviews throughout construction.
  • Using visual management systems to move processes through a point-of-release chart to know the status of each process within the quality steps.
  • Continuously improving the system.

Does all that sound easy? Not really, right? But it is possible, if you have the capacity as a team, to focus on the work you should be doing when you should be doing it and you level out the work so you can implement a quality process as you go. This remains stable if…

The law of the effect of variation is that throughput time and in effect, the overall project duration is affected as variation increases. This, again, is from Modig’s book where he also states that variation has a higher effect on throughput time as the process gets closer to 100% utilization. For construction, this means that variation is detrimental to flow. Variation comes in two forms: inevitable and non-inevitable variation:

Inevitable Variation – this type of variation comes from sources that are not under the control of the project team or the contractor. Examples of this would be weather, acts of God, or customer change requests.

Non-inevitable Variation – this type of variation comes from sources that are under the control of the project team or the contractor. Examples of these would be defects that cause delays, RFIs that slow the work, and interruptions in trade flow.

When we assert that Takt planning creates stability and reduces variation, the frequent response is “things change on a construction site. How can you reduce variation?” The answer is we reduce non-inevitable variation. We don’t want everything changing especially if we are unable to respond. What do we do? We stabilize what we can so we can focus where we need to.

Within the category of non-inevitable variation are the three categories mentioned by Modig in This Is Lean. They are as follows:

  • Long throughput times – the longer the throughput time, the more opportunity there is for variation to affect the system.
  • Too many flow units – The more flow units or processes active on the project site, the more susceptible the system is to variation. Additionally overburden creates the other 7 wastes.
  • Restarts – Restarts come from roadblocks, wastes, unevenness, and overburden. This comes from not seeing, elevating, and removing the issues ahead of the work.

The project team’s main responsibility is to reduce non-inevitable variation so work can proceed forward in an uninterrupted flow.

In conclusion, these are the main concepts a team must be committed to if they are to be successful with Takt planning and Takt control. If not, it may be better to continue with your current scheduling system, because Takt planning and Takt control is not only a mindset and approach, it is also a science with production laws that cannot be violated without consequences. That is why it is so important to follow…

If Takt planning is a part of your project, you will be wildly successful if you also have Takt control. In order to control, the superintendent must follow these principles:

Planning and Scheduling:

  • Use the Takt plan to plan, execute, and adjust work.
  • Hold schedule start and end dates to reduce variation in materials, manpower, equipment, and general variation. Do not move trades sooner randomly.
  • Use the Takt schedule for the 6-week, 3-week, and weekly work planning schedules.
  • Be proficient in the understanding of and the reduction of the 8 Wastes, unevenness, and overburden.
  • Run a clean site.
  • Run an organized site.
  • Manage effective foreman huddles.
  • Manage effective morning worker huddles.
  • Openly share problems he or she faces with the company.
  • For the team to leverage the system and make money, the superintendent must follow the production laws:
  • Must plan with small batch sizes.
  • Must limit work in process.
  • Must finish as he or she goes.
  • Must reduce variation by holding dates and keeping work consistent.
  • Must see and prevent roadblocks.
  • Must always attempt to optimize bottlenecks.

If someone asked us to write the antithesis of industry norm superintendent behavior, we would have come up with something similar to the standard work above. Literally no one develops as a superintendent believing those principles, but they are true, nonetheless. That is why we, at Elevate Construction IST LLC and leanTakt LLC, provide Builder and Superintendent Boot Camps to elevate the capability of superintendents throughout the world. To be successful, the superintendent must comply with science, mathematics, and the wisdom of history by obeying the production laws and implementing the standard work listed above.

The following is an excerpt from the book Elevating Construction superintendents. We reference it here because it communicates nicely how a superintendent should interact with Takt planning and how to actually apply the principles from the simulation called the Parade of Trades.

There is a popular game used to teach Lean Construction Management called Parade of Trades. Seven participants sit together around a table. Each one represents a contractor for a different scope—concrete, steel, façade, and so on. There are 35 chips on the table that represent 35 pieces of work that must be completed to finish the project. The goal is to pass all these chips through to the last contractor as quickly as possible to simulate the completion of the work on the project. To complete their work, players roll a die and pass that number of chips to the person next to them. If someone rolls a six but only has one chip at their station, they can only send one chip forward. If they have six chips and roll a one, they can only move one chip. When everybody has rolled, that represents one week of work, and the process is repeated for as many weeks necessary to move all the chips to the end. Often, this game is played with different teams competing with each other to be the team to finish their work in the fewest number of weeks.

Let’s say that at one event, the red team got all 35 chips to the end in 26 turns. When you tally the number of workers onsite, you get 380. The maximum material inventory at any one location was 10. In 26 weeks, the red team moved 35 units of work down the line with 380 people and a material inventory level of 10 units per week. Pretty good.

How did the blue team do? They completed the work in 21 weeks with 280 people and a maximum material inventory buildup of just five in a given week. That means the blue team was five weeks ahead of schedule with 100 fewer people onsite and half the material onsite. How did they manage that?

The tricky secret is that the red team had a regular six-sided die with numbers ranging from one to six. The blue team had a die that could only roll fours, threes, and twos. A week with the normal die would be something like 6-5-5-2-2-1-1 and would represent an attempt to move quickly at first followed by a slow down because of an interruption and eventually ending up stuck.

A week with the blue team’s die might look like 4-4-3-4-3-2-2. This is synonymous with the concept of maintaining the flow of work. A flow has very little variation. When that variation is eliminated, the chips (or the work) could flow from one end to another without getting held up by the overwhelming rush from rolling a six or the painful crawl of a one.

What is the lesson here? Before making that explicit, let’s reflect on the current state of our industry.

We often hear people say “We need to get out of the ground fast” when we can influence a fewer number of contractors. This is correct. We also hear that we need to be aggressive with complex and unknown areas and scopes on our projects. This is also correct. Sometimes though, well-meaning folks will apply both of those concepts to the entire project and say things like “Advance the schedule whenever possible,” or “I want all my materials here now,” or “Just bring it,” or “I am a pusher,” or “Keep pushing everything you can for the schedule.” These people are trying to roll sixes in the Parade of Trades which will later cause a mess of ones.

Consider this: What if we told a superintendent to slow down a little and keep a steady flow and an even pace? What would he say? He might say we know absolutely nothing about construction and should go get another job. And yet, the data shows he will finish in 26 weeks with 380 people onsite with a material inventory of 10, like the red team in Parade of Trades. This happens because people think movement equals production, which is not the case. All this movement is actually a waste. People start pushing and creating variation because it makes them feel good. It gives an impression of progress. But it requires twice as much material, a hundred more people, and five more units of material inventory in a week.

What happens when a superintendent won’t keep a flow in the schedule and hold dates? If you are a trade partner, how would you react? You would possibly keep more people onsite and most definitely keep more materials onsite.

What happens when materials pile up onsite? You guessed it–production slows down. Everything slows down because part of our workforce is dedicated to managing, moving, material inventorying, fixing, replacing, re-ordering, and organizing materials.

Here is an example: Imagine a factory with an assembly line that produces a certain number of finished items every hour. The throughput is the rate at which the factory can process the raw materials into finished items. Say you have four machines in the factory that work together to produce the final finished project. Items need to be moved from one machine to the next for that machine to do its part in the process. The first machine can work on four items per hour, the second at two items per hour, and both the third and fourth machines produce four items per hour. What is the throughput of the system per hour?

Did you say two? Okay, let’s go with that…

Now, what could we do to get all machines working at the same rate?

Speed up the two-part per hour machine? That is correct. We can either add another machine or replace it with a faster one. What would the throughput of the system be then? Did you say four? That is correct!

But what if we could not speed up the two-part per hour machine? What else could we do to get everyone working at the same rate? Yes, that is correct. We could slow down the four-part per hour machines and get everyone working at a throughput of two-parts per hour.

Now, here is the moment… You said the throughput in the first example where we had all machines working at full efficiency, even though they were going different speeds was two.

This may surprise you, but it is likely going to be 1.25 or 1.5 finished items per hour. Consider what happens between the first and second machines: an inventory of materials begins to pile up. Manpower is then allocated to manage the material inventory. Space in the factory diminishes. People who would otherwise be running machines are now managing the machines and the material inventory. Workers down the line are waiting, and more resources are needed to manage materials on the third and fourth machines. Waste increases and the speed of the system decreases. Therefore, the throughput is 1.5 or fewer finished items per hour instead of two. They would have been better off to increase the two-part per hour machine to a four-part per hour machine or slow everything down to two—that would at least have a throughput of two-parts per hour.

When anyone onsite says, “Work everywhere at full efficiency,” or “Keep pushing,” or “Bring all the materials here now,” or “Don’t slow down anything,” or “I want workers working everywhere onsite with no empty areas,” all they are doing is slowing down the speed of production by increasing material inventory and creating a lot of wasted jobs for people who would otherwise not be needed onsite. Why? Because we needed flow, and what we got was variation. If this was the Parade of Trades, we needed to roll consistent threes and fours instead of sixes and ones.

The answer is not to push. Anything onsite that can be made to flow, should. If we are coming out of the ground or have a complex area onsite with high-risk unknowns, those may be good reasons to accelerate. Pushing comes at a risk, and flow will always reduce materials, manpower, mistakes, and the time it takes to do something. Therefore, if you can create flow, do it. If you must pull an area, know the consequences and do it only if you must put work in place early to vet mistakes early. But for no reason should you push onsite and create variation. Don’t roll sixes and ones when you can roll threes. The art of attack means artfully taking advantage of opportunities to plan, prepare, and move strategically.

If you hear someone ask to create variation in schedules and flow, be skeptical. If you hear folks ask for an increase in material inventory, give it a second look. We want to create stable environments, keep workers installing the work they planned for the day or week, and have a plan for everything.

The important reflection for this is the costs associated with it. If you compare just in this little example the cost difference between the red team and blue team, you get the following:

26 weeks with 380 workers: 380 people x 55 dollars per hour x 40 x 26 = $21,736,000.00

21 weeks with 280 workers: 280 people x 55 dollars per hour x 40 x 21 = $12,936,000.00

That is an $8.8 million dollar difference! This ratio can be scaled for whatever size project we are talking about. The difference is in the man hours spent in waste because of a lack of flow. Pushing literally destroys projects, and our industry supers must protect us from this. One last point. Many supers will say, “I’ve been doing this for over 30 years and have always finished on time.” This is correct, but at what expense to the project, the owner, and the trades? It deserves a deeper look and further consideration.

The process of tying the procurement dates in our project management software to a CPM schedule has been famed across the industry as a best practice. The problem with this, again, is that the dates move, interrupting the supply chain and bringing too much excess material inventory to the project too soon. It is not recommended to do this even if CPM is held accountable to Takt. Instead, a weekly procurement meeting with the superintendent in attendance can do what is needed. Required on job dates can be manually (yes, we said manually) entered into your procurement system. The target dates can be identified originally from the Takt plan and the agenda for every procurement meeting can ask, “Are we aligned with the overall Takt plan?” and “Are materials arriving according to the Takt plan especially within the next six-week interval?” This may come as a surprise, but it is better to not automate procurement to a CPM schedule. It must be checked against the active memory of everyone in the procurement meeting. Taking time to review this every week will pay off. Procurement items are typically late because of variation in the supply chain or the schedule changes too much or procurement is managed in an automated system where errors are not identified. It is best practice to double-check everything in the field, so why would we not regularly double-check the most critical part of the project, the procurement efforts? Entering this information into an automated system just once will NOT do the trick. Additionally, having procurement automated to the point of little human interference presumes to take it from the artform that it is and turn it into a science. Procurement is not a science but rather an artform. Project teams do best when they value-stream map, make phone calls, flip the drawings, discuss procurement together, review the model, review the look-aheads, and take field walks that give context and correction to the procurement tracking system. You can’t only count on…

One of the reasons CPM has lasted so long is that you can accumulate many metrics that give managers a false sense of security. Float trends, logic density, and statistical probabilities all provide data that the project may be in trouble. The problem is that these metrics do not simultaneously help recover the project like they do with Takt metrics. Only the production laws that Takt aligns with will recover a project when a problem occurs. And even if a software like Acumen 360 is used to analyze the network in CPM, it relies solely on a network of logic that cannot be easily verified. We can help you with this! The way to recover a project is to bring back flow with Takt. The flow is the only thing you need to measure. Is it flowing or is it not? If it is not, the team needs to go to work to remove the variation, embrace the production laws, and turn the dials to recover it. Additionally, if you focus on flow and can easily see it in Takt, you do not have to spend countless hours and money fixing your…

When a push or CPM system is used, one of the main things to remember is the health and quality of the schedule. These systems inherently have built-in defects and waste. These defects are part of the system itself and require a considerable amount of time to monitor and correct. This causes a problem because the value of a schedule is not reworking the issues within the software, but rather creating flow by planning the work, communicating the plan, and tracking progress to make continuous improvements. Takt does this best, and you do not have to focus on labor-intensive schedule health reviews because Takt is visual and does not have inherent defects. There are three key schedule health (or better called Takt health) considerations in Takt planning:

  • The Value Parametric – The value parametric divides the Takts that are used in a Takt plan by the empty Takts. This parametric tracks the value being provided in the flow of the work which should range between .5 and 2.5 when calculated as an ideal. This ensures the Takt plan is structured in a way to provide maximum value.
  • The Efficiency Parametric – The efficiency parametric compares the number of Takt wagons and Takt sequences and ensures the phase does not have over a 1:3 ratio in the number of each in comparison to each other. The ideal metric should be .3 to 3.0 when calculating the metric. This ensures the Takt sequences are structured ideally for optimum efficiency.
  • The Stability Parametric – The stability parametric divides the train buffers by the end buffers. The ideal metric for this is .5 to 2.0 ideally and this metric ensures you have a Takt plan that is stable with the appropriate ratio of buffers.

The descriptions and explanations have been postponed for this section because Marco Binniger and Janosch Douhly are submitting their research papers on this topic this year, and their publication will be the original reference for this. Suffice it to say now that we must stay within these parameters to have a healthy Takt schedule that is easy to track. Additionally, we would add the following requirements from a schedule health standpoint. You must do the following:

  • Have a Takt plan that complies with Takt-ing’s health parametrics.
  • Have a Takt plan that has trade buy-in.
  • Include buffers throughout the system according to your risk analysis and have at least 3-5% of time at the end as the overall project risk buffer.
  • Have over 80% trade flow within the Takt plan. You can calculate this by counting the number of good hand-offs from Takt wagon to Takt wagon compared to the number of instances where the Takt wagons have to overlap or are separated by an efficiency gap. When dividing the number of good handoffs to the number of bad ones, you must have over 80%.
  • Have over 60% workflow in your sequences. You can calculate this by counting the number of time in a Takt sequence that a Takt wagon is succeeded by another Takt wagon with continuity versus the number of wagons that have an empty Takt behind it. When dividing the good connections versus bad ones, you must have over 60% as an average for the Takt plan.
  • You must show the following in your schedule in the proper sequence:
  • Show interdependence ties between phases.
  • Show critical milestones and where they land in the schedule.
  • Block out Thanksgiving and Christmas as a buffer week.
  • Plan for and show come-back areas.
  • Plan for and show the impact of weather on the Takt plan.
  • Review the Takt plan in a “fresh eyes” meeting with a group of peers that when combined will make over 100 years of experience in the review of your plan before submitting a GMP.
  • It might also be helpful to mention again the requirements for a Takt plan to be considered a Takt plan:
  • Takt Planning =
  • Visual schedule showing time and space
  • Showing work, trade, and logistical flow (when, what, where)
  • Scheduled on a rhythm
  • With the appropriate buffers
  • That stabilizes the pace of work with one-process flow and limiting work in process
  • With a reasonable overall project duration
  • If it does not have these components, it is not healthy and cannot be considered a complete plan. It might be helpful to note the difference between Takt and CPM at this point. Both systems must be built correctly for them to work, but a Takt plan, when built correctly, will increase the percentage of successful implementation and create flow. A properly built CPM schedule is still statistically likely to fail the project team, and regardless of whether it is built per CPM standards, can still show a failed plan. Takt, when built correctly, will show a complete and implementable plan. CPM, when built correctly, will show a projection that may or may not work because no one can really audit the plan itself aside from the metrics and structure. Once you have your Takt plan built, you need to get ready for…

When updating a Takt plan, it can be made part of the meeting systems already in place and can take moments, thus eliminating the extra processing and waiting with a traditional CPM management system. We have tested the updating process of many systems including the hybrid approach where a level 2 CPM schedule is in place for corporate data analytics with the Takt plan. We have found these updates to be highly streamlined because the process allows for the conversations onsite to be elevated above the simple activity status updates of the past. The team is able to focus more on strategy instead of routine updating. Here are some words of advice for anyone updating your schedules weekly:

  • Status updating should be done prior to the team collaborative strategic planning and procurement meeting.
  • When we are looking ahead, consider it to be part of planning and making the work ready rather than a scheduling function.
  • The plan should be a whole team decision. When a plan is in place, it is not healthy for an individual to dictate a course change without the team weigh in and buy-in.

A great visual tool that can be used is to black out the wagons and/or work packages to indicate status. In Excel this could be turning the cell black or using semi-transparent shapes to show the progress of the Takt train or work area. If an owner wants a monthly CPM update, so be it, but we have found that an updated Takt plan is not only easier to understand, it is quicker to make and more useful. The simple fact that a scheduler has to take a day and a half to status and summarize a CPM schedule for the owner proves that it cannot be well understood. Just switch to Takt plans where it is real time, visual, and comprehended by everyone. Another thing that a customer or company leader might want is…

Culture is the common beliefs and behaviors of a group. These micro actions and beliefs drive the outcomes that determine the success of the team. There is a best-in-class culture that will support Takt. What culture thrives with Takt?

People thrive in a Takt system when they believe:

  • Design is difficult and the team should make provisions to work past it.
  • The team should schedule together and attempt to understand the whole plan.
  • The team should take ownership in the whole schedule.
  • Bringing up concerns and solutions is crucial.
  • Trades should go to other trade partners to coordinate and solve problems and only bring up problems to the GC when necessary.
  • The team should help keep other companies accountable.
  • Trades will solve their own problems when possible.
  • Learning Lean practices is valuable.
  • Keeping the project 100% clean all the time for crews and areas is the foundation for all success.
  • Treating other team members like customers and appreciating them is the only way to interact as partners in following the project rules and requirements.

People do not thrive in a Takt system when they bring their old, guarded, and siloed behaviors with them. A person in a Takt system needs to stop thinking the following:

  • Blaming everything on design and never learning from job-to-job is normal.
  • They should schedule only their work and think nothing of what benefits the project.
  • They don’t need to understand the schedule, buy-in, or use it.
  • Complaining about everything is acceptable.
  • Always going to the GC to coordinate work and expecting them to solve their problems is acceptable.
  • It is only the GC’s job to hold everyone accountable.
  • Lean is a fad, and they only need to learn Lean out of necessity.
  • Cleanliness is not a priority.
  • They can work like they are an independent company without respect for customer service.
  • Rules can be broken and loopholes will be tolerated.

Ultimately, systems implemented onsite must come with a culture, and no system will succeed unless it is accepted by the culture. That is why cultural creation is such an important consideration when implementing Takt or any other system. This shows why CPM is so hard to put in its place. The siloed, fearful, non-collaborative culture that we have been taught in schools and society strongly supports CPM because CPM is secretive, non-collaborative, and deceptive. It is the dark environment in which a bad culture can thrive. Takt only thrives in the light, in good cultures, where transparency and teamwork are important to the collective group. Cultural creation is our first priority. Keep in mind that…

It is certain that some trades will fight against Takt if it is the first time they have experienced it for three main reasons: First, no one likes change. People who are used to a system do not easily give it up. People like and crave certainty, stability, and the significance of knowing the “norm.” Second, unaccountable people do not like the sunlight that shines in an accountable system. They prefer the hidden, dark, secrets of CPM that keep them safe from being accountable to anyone else. And third, some want the system to fail because they need that as a reason to back-charge, deliver late, or cover their own mistakes. Takt does not allow them that because the system works. You must be strong through this pushback, and if you are, the decent trade partners—and that is the majority—will applaud the use of the system. And although Takt does not cost more, learning trade partners…

Another reflection on the use of Takt is that trades will try to charge extra for it simply because it is new and because it shows reality. Again, in CPM, these details are hidden in the 50+ page schedule and therefore, costs are hidden in the chaos of trade financial tracking. Things like a non-continuous stagger for work packages, being in multiple Takt zones, and the rules of Takt are things for which trades will attempt to charge you. The trick here is to help them understand the system and to support it in a way that makes the system work—and also work for them. For this to work you have to bring other problems to the surface like…

Rarely is the exterior framing, waterproofing, and dry-in complete in enough time to complete perimeter rooms as you go through the building at the same time other interior work is taking place. If you cannot avoid this situation, you must show it. Trades need to know about all come-back rooms or areas whether they are caused by exterior staging or completion, hoists, loading zones, or accessways. It is not fair and it is not right to sign up a trade to a plan that does not clearly indicate come-back rooms when we know they are likely. These should be shown on the Takt zone maps and be included in the basis of schedule. Remember, we want to…

Problems are not a problem. Thinking that there are no problems is a problem. We all know that every project has problems. Teams who identify them and remove them are the most successful, and we have to create and reinforce this culture. Takt does a good job of bringing problems to the surface because it visually compels stability. Problems cause enduring roadblocks or delays, work does not progress as planned, and the entire system is immediately disrupted. In a Takt system, problems rise to the surface easily because people, crews, trades, and companies must meet commitments, and when people are asked to hold commitments, they find the problems for you. Once people feel obligated to follow a flow, they will begin to find reasons why they can’t. They help you identify roadblocks. This is good as long as the contractor can then meet the commitment when the project team removes the roadblock. This action is similar to the old Nintendo game, Duck Hunt. As the ducks—or roadblocks—rise up, we shoot them and remove them. This is the game we play. Many new practitioners in a Takt system will declare that the system does not work because it is riddled with problems. It is only riddled with problems because it shows the problems that were always there. The only difference is now we can do something about them. Additionally, there is an approach that brings problems to the surface in our environments. We call it…

Clean and steady is the call to action for the entire project site, especially when using Takt. If workers and crews can work in a clean and steady environment, they can work in a flow. For project teams to realize the full potential of a system, there needs to be a common vocabulary, a common vision, well communicated goals, and a rally cry to galvanize the actions of the team. Clean and steady or lympio y constante! Why is this important? We’re glad you asked! The goal of a Takt system is not efficiency or production in siloes. The goal is the throughput of the system, the efficiency of the entire system, and the success of the entire project site. We are not clean to just to be clean. We clean to find problems and see what we need to see. It brings problems to the surface. To accomplish this goal and focus, we need to…

Instead of working in a mad rush in a CPM world that drives us as early as possible so we can fix everything we didn’t have time to build right the first time, the better solution is to plan the work first, build it right within our durations, and finish the work as we go, and not waiting until later. Takt enables this because it creates a predictable rhythm that stimulates the planning, building, and finishing. When a schedule is chaotic, no one knows when to plan it or has time to build it much less build it right. Conversely, Takt enables the team to make a plan and stick to the plan—it allows you to find and see roadblocks as the first priority, and to finish as you go as the second. All planning and design is predictable and in a flow. If we are able to plan properly, then we can build the project correctly with the right quality expectations. If people are able to work in a flow, they know when the next activity will begin and will have assurance they have time to finish their work. Chaos puts people into a continual cycle of feeling they are behind and forces quick and shoddy work. Takt is the ultimate finishing tool because all supportive elements are in place to enable success, even…

There is nothing that will delight our professional design partners more than allowing the iterations of creative design and refinement of the design to get to an end product for the owner that is functional, beautiful, and creative. Creative processes need time and pushing all activities to their early start hinders this process. Takt, with its consistency and leveling, enables as much time for design as needed to delight owners and designers and support the…

The main reason Takt is a necessary precursor to Last Planner® and Scrum is that there must be stability and consistency ahead of the systems that manage the preparation within the supply chains. The Takt plan is created and shows the optimal flow and Takt time within the project duration. Supply chains are planned with appropriate buffers ahead of the Takt wagons. They provide deliverable dates for design, permitting, coordination, and buyout. Takt puts those efforts in rhythm. Some will respond that CPM is designed for that, but the reality is that while CPM tries, Takt gets it done. CPM would do it well, and maybe even more easily than Takt, if CPM could produce an accurate and predictable plan in the first place, but it can’t. Even if it could, it would move with so much variation that supply chains could not be effectively managed. We all know that an increase of variation means a longer duration. Anyone who consistently deals with procurement in the current system habitually asks, “Why does the schedule always change?” and spends more time managing changes than helping trades meet the date. Remember, CPM is created in a vacuum by one person and put into a format where it cannot be understood. Takt is designed and managed by…

Takt not only puts the planning back into the hands of the last planners or the professionals who are last in line in the planning cycle, it also returns control of the planning and input to the first planners—the project leaders and superintendent. The project leaders and superintendent own, lead, and are responsible for the project therefore, they need to plan the project in the first phases. And now to the most important point as we conclude this section: Builders are builders when they study the drawings, interact effectively in the schedule, and take reflection walks daily. To this, we would add being with people, mentoring, and making improvements. Without Takt, how would anyone have time for this? The answer is, they wouldn’t. Instead, they are mired in the drudgery of managing a chaotic schedule, reacting, adapting, and playing savior with people onsite. When in a Takt system, the builders can be builders and focus on the product, not the chaos. This is because it is…

A notable project, eighty million in total contract value, had been fighting CPM for over a year and was paying a CPM expert over $180 an hour as a consultant to come in and track status and help plan the project. He spent an average of twenty hours per week and could never get the project on track before we took it over. But once a Takt plan and our systems were in place, they became self-sufficient and able to manage the plan onsite with the foreman. The only outside help they required is a two to four-hour assessment once a month from a corporate scheduling professional as a project controls check. This is only 4% of the original effort of just one resource, not to mention the hours spent in the old subcontractor meetings to convey the plan each week and time wasted in OAC meetings trying to figure out what and why things were not working. The real effect is almost too great to calculate but the point is that the Takt system is simpler and more manageable. If CPM must be used, it needs to have an…

Rules, routines, and disciplines support any system we implement. Rules give us boundaries in which to work. Routines are the habit loops we have formed that are a part of our culture—the beliefs and micro-actions of the group. Disciplines or tactics are the ways in which we work within our boundaries according to our culture. The tactics that follow improve the efficiency of the system and will support Takt in a remarkable way. A brief description seems appropriate:

  • Kitting – the process of pre-coordinating, detailing, pre-cutting, and packaging all assemblies in the building such as interior rooms, exterior panel sections, and other installations that need to be optimized to fit into the Takt time. This creates a stable environment where flow can be created.
  • Trade Partner Buy-in – At every step in the process, trade partner buy-in is crucial where possible, especially in the development of the plan.
  • Proficient Layout – Proficient layout seems like common sense, but it needs to be reinforced here because improper layout becomes the root cause for much of the variation we see on project sites. Remarkably, accurate layout and control support Takt because it prevents rework and interruptions.
  • Building Information Modeling – BIM supports Takt because it enables the prefabrication of materials, material spools, and assemblies.
  • Prefabrication – The genius of prefabrication is that it moves workers, materials, material inventory, and waste into more stable environments. Prefabrication also moves coordination and problem resolution early and ahead of work in the field. This is the magic of the system. If we can’t draw it, we can’t build it, and to prefabricate, we must draw it early, and therefore, building it is much like piecing together Legos or Ikea parts onsite. If prefabrication is like preparing Legos, then Takt is the enabling rhythm with which those Legos are pieced together.
  • Buyout and Contracts – In the United States, and many other areas of the world, Takt is new and therefore, it must be clearly outlined in contracts. The Takt plan, the use of the Takt plan, and the Integrated Production Control System should all be included in the contract.
  • Early Orientation Meetings – When workers and foremen arrive onsite, they need an effective orientation to ensure success. Ninety minutes of onboarding will go a long way towards enabling people to interact with the system. This can be done with books, online courses, a PPT, or whatever way that allows the onsite team to interact and successfully anticipate expectations.
  • Zero Tolerance – There is no better phrase than zero tolerance to communicate intolerance for deviations from the system. Zero tolerance, when used inappropriately as a punishment system, has convoluted the meaning. What we mean by zero tolerance is intolerance for behaviors or conditions that deviate from the team’s plan which includes disrespect for people and resources. If the system is to succeed, a project team cannot tolerate bad behaviors and conditions. Stability is contingent on rules, routines, and disciplines. Zero tolerance is simply a discipline wherein leaders tolerate respectful environments only and when they do not, circumstances are changed to ultimately respect the individual. It is not punishment.
  • Clean Environments – Everything thrives in a clean environment, especially Takt. There can be little or no flow when we do not have a clean environment. Just like any other successful environment, cleanliness must come first!
  • Stabilized Delivery Systems – Delivery systems must be stabilized and controlled to ensure material inventory buffers are right-sized and materials are brought out just-in-time.
  • Contractor Grading – When the performance of the general contractor and trade partners are graded in a non-subjective fashion, the system will be self-sustaining and will constantly improve.

We have discussed in previous sections that an increase of workers on a crew will hurt the productivity of the project. We want to take a moment to explain why. Higher worker counts on a crew increases context switching, the complexity of communication, and possibly the need for and implementation of overtime.

Context Switching: Context switching happens when workers are asked to switch tasks and focus. A consistent crew on a project will be familiar with the logistics, the rules, the culture, and work to be installed. They can focus on installing in a quality way. When worker counts increase so does the need for the new workers to learn the system in addition to attempting to install the work properly. Time is lost in switching their mental context from one job to another, and therefore, it reduces productivity and safety on the project.

Complexity of Communication: How many communication channels are there for a team size of three? Well, we can find that out by drawing lines between three dots. We have one, two, three communication channels with three people. How many do we have with four? Let’s draw it out in our minds… one, two, three, four, five, six. There are six. And how many for five? We will save you some time counting. It is 10. So if you stacked those numbers together you would see:




Do you see the pattern? The number of team members increases in a linear way as the team grows, but the complexity that team has to communicate with each other is exponential. This also happens to large crews. It is harder for them to communicate together clearly so communication and production begins to break down.

The Effects of Overtime: The effects of overtime is the last point we will make in this section. As crew sizes become more complex, with more context switching, they lose production. Then overtime becomes a consideration. And studies have shown that overtime can work for a maximum of nine weeks before it dramatically reduces the productivity of the team. Workers become burnt out and stretched too thin. Add that to a team with context switching and complex communication networks and you will have the start of the picture showing why additional manpower may hurt you. If you would like the resource information for these concepts, please email jasons@elevateconstructionist.com or research Brooks’s Law.

As you scale Takt throughout your company we offer the following preliminary advice:

  • Begin with training your people as fast as you can.
  • You cannot go fast enough in the creation of Takt plans with your project teams. Experience will be the greatest asset in learning the system.
  • Your scheduling department must be on board and supportive if you have one. We recommend facilitated department integration for six months to start. They might be your biggest adversaries if not brought along but this is due to them finding their meaning in tools that are subpar. When done right they will be your biggest ally when we bring them along with us.
  • Your supers must be oriented to the system to make an impact. Their behaviors, as listed in previous sections of this book, are crucial to the implementation of Takt. We recommend Super Boot Camp for this.
  • Even if you think your owners will only accept a CPM schedule, implement Takt. It will hold your CPM schedule accountable if done properly and will provide a visual schedule you can use to run the field. When owners see this system they will begin to ask to just see the Takt going forward.
  • Do not be afraid to begin in Excel. Locking yourself into a software too soon can be dangerous. Begin in Excel. If you have to use a software, use Takt.ing or Teamoty.
  • If you keep going with Takt in your company, you will quickly become proficient with it if your culture supports it. If you care about customers at the expense of employees, or you have a habit of stretching trade partners beyond capacity to make money or please a customer, then Takt will fade away in your organization because your culture does not align with the concept of respect for people.
  • If you want help making this transition at your company, this is what we do at leanTakt LLC. Reach out to us if you need help doing this. We will also add more reflections here as we move forward with Takt consulting. Please reach out to jasons@elevateconstructionist.com for additions to this list if needed.

A common question we receive is whether Takt can be used for civil work. The answer is, “Heck yes!” In fact, it may be even more spectacular with civil work. Because Takt is based in production laws and civil work is horizontal production. Whether it is the installation of a linear pipe or large-scale grading and site improvement work, Takt helps reduce batch sizes and decrease the 8 Wastes, unevenness, and the overburden you are experiencing on your projects. We have tried this across the country and found this to be a huge win for this line of work.

We look at Takt zones mostly in horizontal flows, but there are vertical flows as well. Examples of these might be elevators, stairs, exteriors, etc. Additionally, you will find spaces like theaters, gymnasiums, and amphitheaters where you may want to create a vertical flow of Takt zones on a cut section instead of a plan view. Some buildings might lend themselves to have restrooms run production vertically. Just keep in mind that Takt zones follow the trade flow, so if the trades are flowing vertically, then show your Takt zones in a vertical format.

Scroll to Top