How to Calculate Process Cycle Efficiency

By Ron Pereira Updated on January 5th, 2018

We’ve received several questions related to how to calculate Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE) over on our most popular blog article of all time: How to Create a Current State Value Stream Map.

And while I have written on this PCE topic before… I decided to make a quick tutorial on how I came up with the PCE of 0.15% in the example VSM used as the case study in the aforementioned blog article.

Here is the spreadsheet used in the tutorial.  As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.

If you’re reading this article via email or your RSS reader you may need to click over to the website to see the video.

  1. Erin Martinez

    April 16, 2010 - 8:15 am

    Thanks for explaining this so well. I also use IGrafx to make value stream maps but will admit I really never knew how they got their PCE values.

  2. sharmila

    December 15, 2010 - 1:47 am

    Hi there,
    What is the rating that determines PCE? good ,bad,etc? What does PCE 0.15% mean?

  3. Yasir

    September 14, 2015 - 12:08 pm


    Thanks for all the tutorials. They certainly are of great help.

    My Process cycle efficiency (PCE) for our emergency department project after calculation isbe 47.54%. As you have written between 10% to 20% is termed “Good”. So is my PCE wrong? My VA is 57.05 mins and NVA is 120 mins after calculation.

  4. Mohammed Shamee

    February 18, 2014 - 7:57 am

    Available time
    if at work for 10.5 hrs:

    Time is deducted for;
    Smoko breaks: 3 x 10 minutes
    Lunch: x 30 minutes
    Wash – up: x 5 minutes
    e.g. 10.5hrs x 60minutes = 630 minutes

    = 630 min – 30min – 30min – 5 min
    Available time = 565 Minutes
    Available time = 565 x 60 = 33,900 seconds
    = 33900/3600 (60 mins x 60 secs)
    = 9.4 hours available

    Takt Time
    The pace at which the customer requires products if available time is 9.4 hrs.

    Calculating Takt time
    Our total time available = 9.4 hours (converting to seconds)
    And customer demand = 777 products

    How we calculate Takt Time:
    Takt Time = Available time/Customer Demand
    Takt Time = 9.4 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds/777 products
    = 33,840/777
    Takt Time = 43.5 secs

    Uptime if 93% – determined through OEE
    This is the amount of available time we can realistically expect to utilize e.g. uptime is 93 %, we set a target to achieve 93% or better for every process, assembly, machine and piece of equipment in the factory.

    Therefore, 93 % x 43.5 = 40 seconds

    Number of Staff Required

    Takt time per workload at each workstation will be at the rate of 40 seconds.
    After calculating Takt Time and uptime, work content time needs to be established from point A to point B.

    Total work content time divided by Takt Time will give you the number of staff required to produce the number of products by customer demand.

    Number of staff = Total work content time/Takt Time

    = 460 seconds/40 seconds

    Number of staff = 12 staff required

    Cycle Time
    The pace at which we produce products to ensure we meet the customer demand. The total time taken for the whole process from start to finish and then start again.

    Once staff requirements are finalised, all workstations must be cycled timed and a Yamazumi board needs to be set up to balance all workstations to Takt Time using a stopwatch.
    For example: Point A starts from station 1 to Point B at station12.

    12 staff required to meet customer demand

    It is a stack up bar chart that shows the balance of cycle time workload between numbers of operators typically in an assembly line.
    It also is a load chart that breaks down the individual work tasks, representing the time taken. If it is kept up, as Kaizen; Continuous Improvement is applied. The strips representing the tasks are updated (trimmed) so the timing is more or less accurate. Best represents a combination with a cross training chart that shows who can perform which tasks, as they are specified, in the time that is specified.
    It allows easy balancing on an assembly line to get every operator doing the same amount of work. It also allows easy “re-balancing” when the Production rates change up or down.


    June 18, 2021 - 2:07 am

    Number of staff = Total work content time/Takt Time

    = 460 seconds/40 seconds

    From where are we able to pick 460 seconds? Am I missing something?

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