Herbie Is Alive and Well

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A recent visit to the local Starbucks near Penn Station was a wonderful illustration of Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s theory of constraints – and a great example for how important real process management is. What was intended to be a reward (a medium café latte with an extra shot of espresso – or in Starbucks lingo, […]

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Increase Lean Six Sigma’s Power with TOC and Systems Thinking

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In order to achieve maximum and consistent returns with Lean Six Sigma, combine LSS with systems thinking and TOC into a single continuous improvement approach.

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Eli Goldratt, Author of 'The Goal' and Creator of TOC, Dead at Age 64

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Eliyahu M. Goldratt, a best-selling author and consultant who may be best known as the creator of the Theory of Constraints, died on June 11 at his home in Israel after a brief illness. He was 64.

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European Wind Project Embraces Lean

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With assistance from Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer Gamesa, nonprofit foundation Tekniker and several other European technology firms, COSMOS seeks increases in turbine quality, as well as lower costs and faster manufacturing times, according to a release from Ibermática. According to the COSMOS consortium, many European turbine assembly operations involve both manual labor and work done by […]

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Theory of Constraints Helps Set Project Priorities

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In another article published by iSixSigma, I proposed that implementing an integrated approach of Lean Six Sigma and theory of constraints (TOC) can lead to greater success for an organization than the use of an independent Lean Six Sigma approach. Since that article was published, I have received multiple queries about how to apply this […]

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Use Theory of Constraints to Better Focus Lean Six Sigma Efforts

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From time to time, Belts may meet people who strongly oppose the implementation of Lean Six Sigma. These people may have had bad experiences, such as failed projects or losses on investment, which planted seeds of doubt regarding the usability of the Lean Six Sigma framework. But when projects or deployments fail, is it really […]

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Screening Tools Can Speed Up Six Sigma Projects

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Lean Six Sigma has led to improvements for many of the companies that use it; a few companies have even achieved spectacular results. However, not every company is pleased with its progress with Six Sigma. One area that may lead to this disparity of results is the use of screening tools developed by Dorian Shainin. […]

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Applying Theory of Constraints to Manage Bottlenecks

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The theory of constraints is an important tool for improving process flows. The implications of the theory are far reaching in terms of understanding bottlenecks to a process and better managing these bottlenecks to create an efficient process flow. The theory of constraints is an important tool for operations managers to manage bottlenecks and improve […]

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Identify Constraints and Reduce Wait Time in Processes

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Because I live in the suburbs, driving downtown to work can be an unnerving experience on the best of days. Even when there are no accidents or stalls, there is a particular stretch of road where the six-lane highway merges into three lanes, creating long traffic jams. Theory of constraints would suggest that there is […]

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TOC Tools Help Find the Right Lean Six Sigma Projects

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Practitioners sometimes encounter potential sponsors and Champions who seem not to be able to point to the real “pain” in their organization. Inputs are either very general (“boil the ocean”-type projects) or fuzzy, leaving the final project definition to the Black Belt – and risking missing the real issue intended by the Champion. This results […]

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Using the Theory of Constraints to Allocate Benefits

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Many Six Sigma companies experience challenges in their effort to calculate and allocate benefits from throughput projects. This is a complex process, especially when the throughput capacity profile includes several different processes that behave independently, and where bottlenecks shift from one process to another. Employing the theory of constraints provides an effective solution. At BHP […]

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Differences Between Theory of Constraints and Six Sigma

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The theory of constraints (TOC) is relatively easy to understand. It is a philosophy of management based on the idea that to improve a system or process one must find and address the one aspect of the system that most limits the entire process from being optimum. But getting from the theory to application is not […]

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