Flow Time

The Flow Time indicates how much TIME it takes a UNIT to go from the beginning to the end of the process.

It is measured in Seconds or Minutes with the letter “T“.

It can be also calledPROCESS TIME or TIME IN PROCESS, it is used to compute throughput in terms of units of productivity. We use Flow Time to compute production or operational throughput and to exploit Little’s Law.

Using Little’s Law to calculate FLOW TIME  with the equation:


Where “I” is the number of units contained within the system, Inventory; “T” is the time it takes for all the inventory to go through the process, Flow Time; and R is the rate at which the process is delivering throughput, Flow Rate or Throughput.

Note that in the KANBAN Community, flow time is often referred to as LEAD TIME.