TOC - The Theory of Constraints.
The foundation of the Theory of Constraints is that, at any point in time, the performance of a system or organisation is limited by one, or very few things called “constraints”. In order to get the best performance from the system or organisation we need to understanding what the constraint(s) are and ensure that we maximise their performance whilst also ensuring everything else supports that maximisation. Then if we want to increase the performance of the system or organisation we need to increase the performance of the constraint(s) and so on ... Doing this well will optimise the performance of the system or organisation and will enable the implementation of a systematic and focused process of on-going improvement.
The Theory of Constraints (TOC) consists of three main parts:
1. A set of problem-solving tools - called the TOC Thinking Processes (TP) - to logically and systematically answer the three questions essential to any process of on-going improvement:
"What to change?"
"To what to change to?"
"How to cause the change?"
2. Innovative, proven solutions or applications created by applying the TOC Thinking Processes to specific areas, such as Production (as introduced in The Goal), Project Management (as introduced in Critical Chain), Distribution (as discussed in Its Not Luck), Marketing and Sales (as discussed in Its Not Luck) and Setting The Direction of The Company, etc, etc.
3. A set of daily management tools - taken from the TOC Thinking Processes - that can be used to significantly improve vital management skills, such as communication, effecting change, team building and empowerment.
The following provide overviews of two TOC applications. We specialise in Critical Chain. Production has also been included as there is has a lot of useful background knowledge embodied in it about understanding constraint management: