Having worked a couple of projects combining Lean, Six Sigma, and Theory of Constraints over the past year or so, I’ve often been asked how these methodologies work together.This is still a point of great debate amongst the hardliners but generally I find most practitioners are open to learning and applying tools that improve business performance, regardless of the packaging.

One of the things I’ve found most useful is to use the systems perspective promoted by TOC experts to evaluate overall performance and identify where to work and then use Lean or Six Sigma tools to improve speed or reduce variation. Though my TOC experience is limited to a few projects over the past year or so, this approach seems to be working well.

My wife, who just completed her MBB certification (congratulations!), stumbled upon a great graphical explanation of the relationship betweenDrum-Buffer-Rope (TOC production scheduling) and variation. Take a look and see what you think.


More on this later, Michael

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