Model: flow efficiency

August 21st, 2022

What is flow efficiency

it's about maximizing the density of value transfer and eliminating non-value-adding activities

  • throughput time

  • density

increase flow efficiency



throughput time

flow efficiency is value-adding activity in relation to the throughput time


throughput time = value adding / total time


total time: choose start-point and end-point

start: when a need arises

end: when the need is fulfilled


Quote: throughput time in most organisations


example + calculation

need: patient has a sore throat

value adding time: time with doctor and other staff (10 minutes)

time period: time from patient's arrival to patent leaving the health centre (30 minutes)

flow efficiency: 10m / 30m = 33%



density of value

flow efficiency is the density of value transfer

-> not slowing down the delivery to take up more time


Model: value transfer - resource vs flow efficiency



increase flow efficiency

  • reduce units in process by eliminating the causes for the queues

  • reduce cycle time (eg. work faster)

  • add more resources

  • eliminate, reduce and manage variation


(src: Book: This is LEAN - Niklas Modig & Par Ahlstrom)