Recently a reader posed the following value stream mapping lead time related question(s). My experience, after facilitating more value stream mapping activities than I care to remember, is that it's not an uncommon question. In fact, it's a very good question.

I provided a quick answer...supplemented by a very sophisticated graphic (recently enhanced, in red, based on a comment from Sandor).

Σ or Sigma is the Greek upper case capital letter S and is used in mathematics to represent summation or addition of a series of elements or set of data values.
x1, x2, x3, ... xn is a set of numbers. x1 is the first number in the set, xi is the 'i'th number, xn is the last of n numbers.
Elements can be simply adding up a set, or more involved such as summing squares or other algebraic equations.

Every Part Every Interval, also known as EPEI or EPEx, represents the frequency that different parts are produced or services provided within a fixed repeating schedule. This fixed repeating schedule is often graphically portrayed, for training purposes and as a scheduling visual control, as a wheel, with the different products represented by alphas (A, B, C…) and the wheel indexed clockwise to follow the intended sequence.


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