A construction manager for a cable TV company was in charge of a service that delivered networks to customers. He ignored the measures used by each function in the end-to-end work and measured instead the time it took to give customers what they wanted. He found it was stable and varying from 48 to 80 days.

But then as his investigations took him into after-sales service he learned many installations had faults that caused considerable re-work at later stages. The true end-to-end time was even longer.

He decided to take out all of the functional measures and got everybody focused on only one measure – elapsed time to perfect for the customer.

Within two months they reduced the time to a predictable 12 days and had many fewer faults.