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The Theory of Constraints

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Ely Goldratt, author of the book "The Goal", and originator of the Theory of Constraints training often asks this question of his students, "What are you waiting for?"

You know how to identify waste and substandard performance. You've been trained on how to list the cause of constraints. You also know how to list cures and subordinate others to help.   But, most of all, you know how good it feels to implement improvement and elevate a constraint.   So...why do you wait?

But what if we don't do anything about our constraints. Sure we can rationalize doing nothing.

This type of behavior is called constraint mis-management.

  1. Ignore-Pretend the problem doesn't exist.
  2. Rationalize-Use insulation layers (excuses such as: it's not our fault; Our problems are different; Yes, but bad things will happen; We can't it's against the policy; We won't get the support,etc,etc,etc) to justify inaction.
  3. Dominate-Keep the problem to ourselves, don't include anyone in resolving it.
  4. Stagnate-Nothing changes, constraint continues.
  5. Fail-Unsolved problems breeds failure.

Examples above provided by: Texas Die Casting

Need a 5 Step Form?   Html   or   Excel

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    What are clouds?    Learn more about clouds.(Explanation of Evaporating Cloud and Other Thinking Processes)

    (Note: This cloud diagram includes assumptions, etc)
  • Time cloud How do you focus your time?

    (Note: The clouds below are diagrams only)
  • 5 examples Centralization dilemma; Conflict in conflict; implementation dilemma; Empowerment; Human behavior in organizations
  • 5 examples Kaizen; Leadership; Lieutenant; Performance management; Improvement
  • 5 examples Production management; Production; Pyramid organizations; R&D; Roadrunner
  • 5 examples Sales/Marketing; Systems; Teamwork; TOC implementation; TQM paradigm

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PPT-TOC in Medicine - This link opens into a web slide show.  Covers TOC A-Z (a lot anyway), conflict clouds and the thinking process.

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See the table below for great links to various topics on TOC.

TOC TOPICS REFERENCE Comments\Description
Why TOC Works TOCFORME Why TOC works for Business
Introduction to TOC
(web slide show)
CIRAS Web slide show - by Tim Sullivan, CIRAS, Iowa State Univ. (newest revision)
Introduction to TOC
(powerpoint presentation)
TOCFORME Powerpoint file - by Tim Sullivan, Iowa State Univ. (195k-right click to download)
Introduction to TOC
(in Spanish)
(powerpoint presentation)
TOCFORME Powerpoint file above - translated into Spanish(195k-right click to download)
Don't have powerpoint? Microsoft Download a free viewer from this site
Implementing TOC
(adobe reader file)
MFGEXCELLENCE Info on how to implement and sustain
Basic TOC Training TOCFORME Training at TDC based on the book\film "The Goal"
TOC and change FOCUSEDPERF. What to change, what to change to and how to cause the change
(see the links on the right)
Thinking Processes TOCFORME. Evaporating cloud and other thinking processes
Introduction to the
Thinking Processes
(Powerpoint Presentation)
TOCFORME Powerpoint intro on the Thinking Processes - by Dr. John DeVogt, Washington & Lee Univ. (91k-right click to download)
Thinking processes FOCUSEDPERF. A lot of information on the thinking processes
Thinking Processes
(simple example)
TOCFORME Using the TP to solve the problem of a slow internet connection at home
Articles PDINSTITUTE Project mgt, Prod development, etc, etc
Articles ROGO Various articles
Working Offline TOCFORME How to work offline with Internet Explorer

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