Bottleneck analysis

A bottleneck analysis is a process understanding where issues occure in the flow of products or process especially where the work takes longer to complete.

Process bottlenecks are among the reasons why processes slow down, projects get delayed, cost overruns occur, and the whole process becomes unpredictable. Instead of fighting the symptoms, try to understand where the bottleneck occurs by creating a simple bottleneck analysis and then trying to solve for the issues that cause the bottleneck in the first place.

How to spot a bottleneck

Often, a bottleneck is highly visible through daily monitoring. If you do not work with the process, you may be ask those who deal with the process on daily basis. Data often shows where the queue is growing by simply reviewing volumes of unprocessed items.

Once bottleneck is identified, it is often best just to pour immediate resources to help solve it while also working in parallel on a process improvement solution. This can be often done in phases whereby first you just clear the queue with more people, then implement a tactical short term enhancement to the bottleneck, and finally develop an automated strategic solution so the bottleneck never occurs again