Fast Cycle Time: How to Align Purpose, Strategy, and Structure for Speed. Christopher Meyer. Free Press.

Fast Cycle Time: How to Align Purpose, Strategy, and Structure for Speed Book Cover Fast Cycle Time: How to Align Purpose, Strategy, and Structure for Speed
Christopher Meyer
Free Press
June 1, 1993

Today, tens of thousands of companies are struggling to become “time-based” competitors, inspired by such corporations as Motorola, General Electric, Citicorp, and a myriad of others who have cut production time in half – or more. But until now, the literature has focused on the theory and philosophy of fast cycle time, rather than the tools and techniques for implementing it. Here, for the first time, Christopher Meyer, an internationally recognized expert in cycle time reduction, presents a step-by-step blueprint for transforming traditional companies into fast cycle competitors.

Meyer argues that fast cycle time is achieved not by working faster, but by aligning the organization’s purpose, strategy, and structure. He demonstrates how the product development cycle must become a learning laboratory in which the four continuous elements “Design, Fabricate, Assemble, and Test” are analyzed with the intent to improve strategy in the next business cycle. Analyzing strategy and core processes enables management to detect and correct problems earlier, and leverage knowledge for improved innovation and increased value for customers.

Employing an ongoing case study, Core Products, Inc., throughout the text, Meyer shows how to redesign the organization for manufacturability and assembly, how to implement multifunctional teams that work, how to analyze and map critical cycle time interdependencies such as “co-location,” and how to measure the impact of cycle time on business performance. Meyer’s practical approach provides a simple methodology for organizations to deliver products to customers rapidly, accurately, and reliably.

Christopher Meyer is the founder and Managing Director of the Strategic Alignment Group in Portola Valley, California, a rapidly growing management consulting firm with clients such as Ford Motor Company, Quantum Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and Glaxo Inc. He is also the creator of the California Institute of Technology seminar on time-based competition, the most widely attended public seminar of its kind.