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Problem:

What is the algorithm for computing cycle time in the BPMN simulation?


Solution:

Cycle time of a simulation corresponds to a complete time needed to run from the first to the last task for all those tokens, which completed the process.

Consider the following example:

  • three tasks with execution time 1 hour each
  • frequency Mon.-Fr. 20 times
  • 1 employee at 40h/week
  • duration 2 days

Two tokens have run entire process

  • Minimum: 4 hours (first token run time)
  • Maximum: 1d 1h or 25 hours (second token run time)
  • Total: 4 + 25 =  29h or 1d5h
  • Average: 29h / 2 tokens (which completed the process) = 14.5

To understand how the maximum time has been computed you need to know the properties of simulation:

  • Waiting time is the total completion time and not working hours only
  • Incoming tokens (start events) are distributed equally over working hours, e.g. 4 times a day means that the start events take place every 2 hours (8h working day)
  • Working on tasks is prioritized dependent on its place in the process. Tasks closer to start have higher priority: 'Task 1' has higher priority than 'Task 2' and 'Task 2' has higher priority than 'Task 3'
  • If a bottleneck arises - a token is waiting for being worked on in one of the former steps - this action gets a higher priority. If there are more than one bottleneck, the prioritization is analogue to the prioritization of tasks

If you want to see the simulation in slow motion to retrace the complete token movements, just click play button at 'Bottlenecks' sector.