18 minutes from alarm to door. A business process engineering exercise

Someone was showing me how to categorize waste in business process engineering (BPE) and mentioned an example about listing every little thing you do getting ready for work in the morning.  I think the idea is to think about every little step and look for waste.  While I’m a morning person, I don’t like to get up earlier than I need to for work.  And that morning person bit starts about an hour after I wake up.  Here’s a stab at the exercise:

My morning ritual

  1. minute 0 – alarm rings, hit snooze, sit up, shut alarm and stand up (the point of hitting snooze isn’t to go back to sleep, it’s to stop the ringing so I can collect myself.)
  2. minutes 1-2- pee, wash hands
  3. minute 3 – turn on radio to CBS 880, take juice and milk out of fridge, put box of cereal on table
  4. minutes 4-5 – drink juice and make bowl of cereal while listening to “traffic and weather on the 8’s”.  Also listen to news headlines if got up at :25 or :55.
  5. minutes 6-9 – finish breakfast
  6. minute 10 – wash dishes
  7. minutes 11-14 – brush teeth, wash up, brush hair
  8. minutes 15-17 – get dressed
  9. minute 18 – grab watch, BlackBerry, id and keys.  Take out Metrocard.  Put on backpack and go.


  1. I wake up via the alarm.  If I wake up on my own, I am a bit more leisurely about getting ready or check my e-mail on the iPad during my extra minutes.
  2. It’s not my “female time” of month.  It takes another couple of minutes then.
  3. I wake up on the 5 (:05, :15, :25, etc)

Human interaction

I’m only able to be this fast because I don’t have to get ready at the same time as anyone else nor be responsible for another person/pet.  When I lived with my parents, my father and I got ready at the same time.  It took a little longer, but we had a system where neither of us would need to be in the bathroom at the same time.  That bathroom always had someone in there and was definitely the critical resource!


I suppose having breakfast at home is a form of waste.  I value eating breakfast to be alert over saving a few more minutes.  Other than that, I think I’ve tuned this process to get rid of all waste.  See any?