CQI Tools

CQI Tools introduce the user to common Lean tools and techniques, with a number of new tools added in. 

Below lies a description of each tool and examples of use in practice:

  • Takt Time
  • Capacity Calculator
  • Waste Walk
  • Value Stream Map
  • Cost Time
  • Transport
  • Workforce Reconfiguration

Takt Time

Takt Time is the average time between the start of production of one unit and the next, where production starts are set to match the rate of customer demand.

The Takt Time tool is based on a calculation using an adjustable time unit (as used in Lean production) to synchronise the rate of production with the rate of demand. It is computed by dividing available production by the number of items to be produced, Takt Time provides a precise rhythm to run an entire process sequence which maximises efficiency whilst simultaneously minimising waste.

Although popularised by the Japanese, Takt Time is a German term which refers to rhythm or beat of music. (Business dictionary.com)

Capacity Calculator

There are various methods used to determine if a service has the correct levels of capacity, which can range from a simple calculation to an in depth analysis. 

The Capacity Calculator tool considers demand for a service and splits this against available working hours to determine whether the service is adequately staffed.

Waste Walk

A waste walk is simply a planned or timed visit to where work is being performed to help visualise wastage in a process or system. 

Common objectives for waste walks:

  • Validate problems in the current state map
  • Provide a case for redesign
  • Provide initial opportunity to gather staff ideas about current state problems (Lean Enterprise Institute)

Value Stream Map

Special types of flow charts which use symbols known as “the language of lean” to depict and improve the flow of inventory and information.

  • Many organisations pursuing “lean” conversions have realised that improvement events alone are not enough
  • Improvement events create localised improvements, value stream mapping & analysis strengthens the gains by providing vision and plans which connect all improvement activities
  • Value stream mapping & analysis is a tool that allows you to see waste, and plan to eliminate it. (.washington.edu)

Cost Time tool 

The Cost Time tool measures how much staff time and money is used within each project.

Projects may incur additional costs such as resources which will can be added separately.  This tool is the primary resource used to measure the success of a project from a corporate position.


The Transport tool can demonstrate any savings on mileage expenses claims, distance travelled, CO2 admissions and fuel costs. 

This tool can be used in any service improvement projects which aim to reduce excess travel such as mobile or remote working, and can contribute to a business case for remote working.

Workforce Reconfiguration 

A tool used to compare current workforce costs with planned ones. CQI Toolkit offers an in-depth version that considers agenda for change (AFC) pay scales and a simpler version without.