Explaining TOC - thanks to YouTube

I've been attempting to clean up the Theory of Constraints entry on Wikipedia.  One element of that has been to hunt down references and clear up the "criticism" section to be readable.  Part of the reference hunt took me to YouTube, and that of course led to more YouTube.  Here are four videos I dove into and my thoughts about them.  Let me know if there are others you enjoy.

The first video was Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (7:00), a discussion by Eli Goldratt, where he provides a clearer description of how the work of Henry Ford and Taiichi Ohno are the basis behind much of his thinking in TOC.  He focuses particularly on the central idea behind Ford and Ohno as being increasing flow through the system.  And TOC stands on these shoulders.  This is based on an article of the same name, which was published in Diamond Weekly, a Japanese-language magazine, in late 2008.  I have not had any luck finding the article itself.

Next, I jumped to Henrik MÃ¥rtensson's video on The Chain Theory (5:32), where he talks about the basic topology of business as a network of interconnected processes / people and the concept of "the chain is only as strong as the weakest link."  In the case of a manufacturing or project network, the key is that the network can only produce at the rate of the slowest node in the network: the constraint.  (I've seen this one before, as well as another MÃ¥rtensson video on the TOC topic.)

Then it was back to another Goldratt video, this time an older one on What is TOC (4:39).  In this one he focuses on the central questions you learn in the TOC training materials: What to Change, What to Change to, and How to Cause the Change.  The is an example of classic Goldratt statements, such as "Ask people what to change, and you will find out to what extent people are real experts at bitching and moaning."  But which one do you pick?  Goldratt provides some general suggestions. 

Then to a very silly video demonstrating The Hike (5:55) from Goldratt's book, The Goal.  This is a classic demo of Herbie and the source of "where is Herbie" questions for people who really like The Goal.  It walks through the Five Focusing Steps, but in a very fun (and silly) way.  Not recommended if high production quality is important to you.

2 Comment(s)

mark woeppel said:

Hey Jack,

I wondered who edited the theory of constraints page on wikipedia. Nice work. I've linked to it myself.

I've also posted a short video on TLS Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma. Check out my blog, too!

theory of constraints
project management consultant

production scheduling

Russell Healy said:

Hi Jack

Nice collection of videos!

I found the article "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants". It is referenced from this page:


as: "Article following Dr. Goldratt's presenting at IoD, London, May 2009"

Direct link to the article PDF: http://goldrattschools.org/pdf/eli-goldratt-manufacturer-june-09.pdf



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