Understanding the Yamazumi Chart

Understanding the Yamazumi Chart

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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When seeking to understand the Yamazumi chart, we must look at the reason for it existing in the first place. This will allow you to acknowledge ways in which it could potentially be implemented into your life. The Yamazumi Chart can significantly improve your approach to challenges in life; as soon as you begin to learn the process, you can then create your own and start reaping the benefits immediately.

The Basic Idea of the Yamazumi Chart

The chart is representative of a stacked bar chart that is used to effectively break down tasks to an individual level, representing the length of time it takes for the process to occur. If kaizen is applied and the chart is kept up to date, then over time it can be trimmed down to present a more accurate representation of the time taken for each step. Also, it acts as the direct source related to the actual cycle time of a particular process.

It can be used at the point where you are implementing lean and after you have already completed your current state and are actively working towards your future state or goals. Its aim is to provide you with a graph whereby you can then determine which areas need improving.

If you cross-reference a Yamazumi chart with one that refers to the skills of an individual, then you can create a system that suits the individual goals, needs and requirements of each person.

Understanding the Yamazumi Chart

The Yamazumi chart can prove to be a useful tool in a number of situations. However, let’s break it down into individual components to help you to better understand how to use it as well as how to interpret the information.

The first thing to know is that the X and Y axis have specific reasons for existing. The Y axis stands for the cycle time, while the X-axis represents the process. So, as you move along the bar chart, you are looking at the duration of the cycle time for each process and be able to compare which areas are taking longer than others.

You should also know that each process that appears on the X-axis can be broken down into individual parts, with each part being represented by a different color block on that bar. Say, for example, an individual process has five steps.

The bar at the one point would have five different colored sections where you can see the total time taken at the top of the bar, along with the time taken for each point as you move down that one single part of the chart.

Basically, this chart is a useful tool for quickly examining the estimated time taken in a visual format, this can be used to compare various aspects and help you see where improvements can be made.

The Advantages of a Yamazumi Chart

This chart is primarily used by a lean improvement team within a company or organization that is mainly driven by processes. By studying the individual blocks, it allows the improvement team to see where there is waste and what can be done to counteract that problem. Also, it makes it easier to find balance and create a process that is more efficient in terms of performance, productivity, time and money.  

By using this chart, it will allow you to optimize performance and know exactly where work has to be done as well, as those areas that can be left alone.


A Yamazumi chart is an efficient way to view available time and assess your methods, and it can break tasks down into the smallest of steps. It allows the user to view at a glance where problems lie, thanks to the simple approach of having the processes on one axis and the time spent on the other. Thanks to using this bar chart, you will be able to make significant changes that will result in more efficient processes and less waste, which has to be something that any process driven business would appreciate.

The post Understanding the Yamazumi Chart appeared first on Shmula.

Original: https://www.shmula.com/26183-2/26183/
By: Shmula Contributor
Posted: July 19, 2018, 2:30 pm

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