Return on Time Invested - ROTI

In his book Procrastinate on Purpose, author Rory Vaden describes what he calls ROTI - Return on Time Invested. This is an often overlooked benefit of Lean Six Sigma.

Multiply Your Time  

Rory says: "You multiply your time by spending time on things today that will give you more time tomorrow."

While most Lean Six Sigma trainers suggest you need a five-day Kaizen event or a fourteen-week improvement team, I have found that with proper focus, teams can figure out how to eliminate delays, defects and deviation in a matter of hours, not weeks.

If you invest a few hours using Lean to eliminate unnecessary delays or movement today, you can save hundreds if not thousands of hours over the next year. If you invest a few hours using Six Sigma to eliminate defects and deviation today, you can save thousands of hours and perhaps millions of dollars over the next year.

You save not only your time, but your customer's time as well. In healthcare, a few hours here and there can save hundreds if not thousands of hours and lives. What's that worth?


Calculating ROTI is pretty simple:

             Time Saved
ROTI = ---------------------
             Time Invested

So if an improvement team invested 10 hours to save 50 hours, that would be 50/10 = 500% ROTI. What if 10 hours invested in reducing repair calls saved a company and its customers 50 hours each? The return on time invested would be 1000% !

Unfortunately, some teams are afraid to chase the big improvement. They major in minor things. But even if you invest two hours and save two hours, it's still 100% ROTI. If those two hours save you two hours a week forever, that's massive ROTI.

CONI—Cost of No Improvement

The flip side of ROTI is CONI—Cost of No Improvement. What does it cost to not invest in simplifying, streamlining and optimizing your business? Here are a few costs to consider:

  • Wasted time has an hourly cost for you and your customer.
  • Rework has an hourly cost for you and your customer.
  • Preventable delays, defects and deviation cause customers to seek other products and providers. Unhappy customers tell everyone; satisfied customers tell few.

Here's My Point: You can't really afford to maintain the status quo, can you? The cost of not improving will devour profits and sour customers on your product or service. When you make improvements, are you going to major in minor things or seek breakthrough improvements? Do you want to minimize or maximize your return on time invested?

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2015 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, (888) 468-1537,"

Free Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt TrainingTake our FREE Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training online.