Apply the lead time analysis improvement technique in food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Achieving Food Manufacturing Excellence
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 31 Dec 2021


This standard is about the skills and knowledge needed to apply lead time analysis as part of your organisation's drive to increase the effectiveness and productivity of food and drink operations. This is important in the achievement of excellence and the success of manufacture, processing and supply across the food and drink supply chain.

You will need to apply and understand the methodology and process essential to lead time analysis and show how this is used to identify potential improvements. You will need to show and know how to present findings of analysis to relevant people within the organisation, including management colleagues. You will need to know how to comply with your company policy for improvement, take responsibility for your actions, and refer any issues outside of the limit of your authority to others.

This standard is for you if you work in food and drink operations including, manufacturing, processing, packing or supply chain activities. You may have responsibilities for aspects of organisational improvement in a team leadership or management role

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Prepare for analysis 

1. confirm and agree the defined scope of analysis with the relevant personnel 
2. check and confirm that lead time analysis is the most appropriate improvement technique to support the analysis required with the relevant personnel 
3. obtain information, documentation and resources necessary to support the technique in accordance with procedures 
4. communicate the purpose of the analysis to the relevant personnel 

Carry out analysis to identity lead time improvement opportunities 

5. use approved methodology to apply the technique and collect performance data on work activities in accordance with the improvement plan 
6. analyse and evaluate lead time performance in accordance with the improvement plan 

Report improvement opportunities 

7. present the findings of the lead time analysis to the relevant personnel 
8. make recommendations about improvement opportunities and targets resulting from the analysis findings to the relevant personnel

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the organisation's improvement vision, strategy, objectives and the reasons for implementation of improvement programmes
  2. how the health, safety and hygiene requirements of a work area can influence the process of analysis
  3. the food and drink operational activity that is being analysed
  4. the information required to create lead time profiles to support the achieving excellence strategy
  5. the information required to construct the lead time profiles, and where this information can be obtained
  6. the co-ordination and creation of lead time profiles
  7. the co-ordination and creation of frequency charts
  8. the techniques used to communicate the information and results obtained by this process
  9. the difference between lead time and cycle time
  10. the use of statistical measurement and meanings, abbreviations and symbols in the collection of performance data
  11. how to use graphical data representation in data analysis
  12. how root cause analysis can support problem solving
  13. levels of authority linked to problem resolution
  14. how to interpret and evaluate data
  15. how to present analysis findings
  16. how to make recommendations about improvement opportunities and targets


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Food Production Operatives, Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Food operations; Manufacturing; Excellence; Improvement; Organisational development; Change; Management; Lead time analysis;