theory+of+constraints category archives
Believing in the inherent value and quality of people comes out in how you challenge them and what you expect of them. It has much less to do with your direct personal style.
Ihab Sarieddine has a nice overview of CCPM in his blog on project management, "Improving Scheduling Using Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)."
I read Bob Sproull's _Epiphanized_ in just a few days and found it told a gripping story of TOC transformation, even if the writing style was sometimes off-putting.
Working with clients on project management, as I do, I see a familiar theme come up over and over again. People have a difficult time separating the creation of an idea from starting to work on that idea.
Creativity and productivity are both enhanced by acknowledging and working with full understanding of the operating constraints. An HBR article from Matthew E May reminds me of the idea once again, "How Intelligent Constraints Drive Creativity."
Project management and knowledge management are about getting things done. I attended and spoke at the Center for Business Information (CBI) 6th Annual Forum on Knowledge Management this week in Philadelphia. Rather than talk about knowledge management directly, I opted to speak about managing projects - whether they are KM or other types.
Thanks to Mark Graban's recent Leanblog podcast with Steve Bell, I found a long list of "information wastes" that serve as an appendix to Bell and Orzen's _Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation_ (2010).
Thomas Corbett's _Throughput Accounting_ is a quick read and very familiar for someone who has been in the Theory of Constraints world. I wonder if anyone comes to TOC via this route, rather than through The Goal and some of the other business novels.
I came across a pair of articles that compare Lean, Theory of Constraints and several other process improvement approaches. Both decide that Lean is the best, but the authors appear to emphasize Lean in their work as well. TOC doesn't get a very good hearing.
Some interesting quotes today: Metadata is the stuff you know. Data is the stuff you are looking for. -Weinberger Information is the answer to the question asked. -Goldratt
"The High-Velocity Edge" was given to the attendees at the Lean Software & Systems Conference this year, as Steven J. Spear was one of the keynote speakers. I enjoyed the book and have dog-eared pages and underlined throughout.
I've written about the common focus on efficiency several times here. This time it's inspired by an HBR blogs article by Casey Haksins and Peter Sims, "The Most Efficient Die Early.'
John Hagel has a great piece on "The Paradox of Preparing for Change" that talks about the importance of planning for what DOESN'T change, along with the stuff that does.
Strategy+Business has an interview with Jeffrey Liker, one of the academics who have studied the Toyota Production System in great detail. "Jeffrey Liker: The Thought Leader Interview."
Philip Marris, who I met at this year's TOC ICO conference in Chicago has published a nice case study of Critical Chain, focused on problems common to the pharmaceutical industry.
Portia Tung has a choose-your-own adventure version of a business novel, this time about going into a client as an Agile Coach (consultant) with five days to turn things around.
The latest read from my backlog is David Anderson's 2004 look at "Agile Management for Software Engineering: Applying the Theory of Constraints for Business Results." It's a great combination of two of my interest areas today.
The idea of standard work applies to the management of knowledge work, rather than to the specifics of the work.
Throughput Accounting is an important decision-making topic in the Theory of Constraints community, but it doesn't get much play beyond TOC. One of the key aspects revolves around the idea of cost allocations. Here is my attempt to explain it.
I attended an interesting talk by Dan Vacanti last week at the monthly Agile New England meeting. I enjoyed the talk overall, and I particularly enjoyed his emphasis on the Cumulative Flow Diagram as a key diagnostic tool - it's predictive.
As with Tuesday, this day of the conference was packed with a variety of talks from descriptions of project implementations to thinking about how to use TOC in different contexts to combining TOC with other thinking to create even better solutions.
Day 3 of the TOCICO conference. Lots of great ideas. Maybe too much at once.
The nature of this day of the conference was around hearing new applications and new thinking behind Theory of Constraints. There were presentations from Boaz Ronen, Eli Schragenheim, Kelvyn Youngman, Shimeon Pass and several others (plus collaborators).
Rami Goldratt gave this morning's keynote talk on the topic of Management Attention. This is part of an ongoing discussion on the topic that has been percolating through the Theory of Constraints community: the real constraint for ongoing success is limited management attention.
The second half of the day today was devoted to breakout sessions on each of the TOC application areas. The stated goal was on having people familiar with these applications discuss opportunities for improvement. I decided to sit in on the projects (CCPM) discussion.
The morning at TOCICO was an overview of what is coming and a interesting introduction by Alan Barnard and Lisa Scheinkopf, discussing where TOCICO wants to take the TOC body of knowledge.
I'll be at the TOCICO conference this week. Look for lots of tweets on the topic (#TOCICO) and several blog posts - I hope.
I just listened to Joe Dager's Business 901 podcast with Dan Markovitz of TimeBack Management on Individual Lean, the Root Cause of Success? and found myself nodding my head and smiling at many of the familiar themes I have taken with my interest in the topic of personal effectiveness.
Joe Ely has a nice, brief meditation on continuous improvement. Circles upon circles upon circles of improvement
There is a new research survey out there on Critical Chain Project Management implementations. If you have ever participated in or run a CCPM implementation, please go take the survey.
Dilbert cannot possibly focus on 25 things. Neither can you!
Are you starting your change effort with a focus on evolution or on revolution? How does this impact your way of thinking about the change you need to create? How does it impact your thinking about other change efforts?
Bill Dettmer has a new article on how management tools fit into the Cynefin framework. This builds on ideas I've heard directly from Dave Snowden as well as those discussed elsewhere by people interested in Cynefin as applied to various approaches.
Trying to make a decision and feel stuck between two options? Or is your organization struggling with the classic don't spend money but then overspend to "hit the numbers." Evaporating clouds to the rescue.
Follow the cash. Other accounting practices don't help with decision-making.
Pay attention to what you are doing. Think beforehand, and then take action. And of course, check that your actions are taking you in the right direction and correct course as needed.
I attended Kanban training last week and very much enjoyed it. I've used the concept in some consulting engagements, and this training is helping me solidify my understanding and see areas for improvement.
I read Tom DeMarco's _Slack_. Short review: read the book, even if it is ten years old. Long review: read this entry.
Recent research suggests that (IT) projects are ticking time bombs, but does it have to be this way? CCPM can help.
The Power of the 2x2 Matrix by Alex Lowy and Phil Hood gives some excellent material around problem solving and analytical thinking that goes into 2x2 matrices. Read the first two sections in detail and save the examples in Part 3 for reference material.
To get your collaborative culture, focus on the behaviors you want to see, not on the culture.
Rob Newbold's "The Billion Dollar Solution" is a good buy for anyone who is interested in doing CCPM - either as an implementer / consultant or as the company for which CCPM is the way to run projects.
Classic problem of builders and buyers. People don't automatically know how to use the new widget or work in a new environment. Change leaders have to help people see and create the answers.
Overview of Larry Leach's "Lead Project Leadership" in which he blends CCPM with other improvement perspectives and straight up Project Management skills.
Just because you think it won't work here doesn't mean that is true. What do you see instead?
Andreas Scherer's business novel, Be Fast or Be Gone, was a very fast read for me. I thought it did a great job of describing how Critical Chain Project Management might be introduced to an organization without going into the gory detail of what-is-CCPM.
Eli Goldratt has died. He was the father of Theory of Constraints.
If you or your business are trying to get more done, focus on the mechanisms for getting things done and getting them done quickly. Don't simply push more into the system.
Geoffrey Moore talks about reaching your escape velocity in a Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast. I took away another version of the dangers of multitasking - at the team level.
In your efforts to improve processes and make your organization more like a well-oiled machine, don't forget the people who run the machine. Given the opportunity, it is the people who will be continually making things better.
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