In order to increase throughput, operations managers must focus on identifying and improving process bottlenecks. The theory of constraints can help.
The theory of constraints is based on the idea that to improve a system or process one must find and address the one most limiting aspect of the system. While that may be understandable, getting from theory to application is not intuitively obvious.
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.
This article offers examples of how TOC and its focus on throughput can lead to faster process improvements.
Two tools within the theory of constraints method -- bottleneck analysis and current reality tree -- can help identify the real pain ailing an organization and lead to the selection of relevant LSS improvement projects.
It may help to integrate Lean Six Sigma with the Theory of Constraints to help focus project efforts on the areas that are hampering business.
Many Six Sigma companies experience challenges in their effort to calculate and allocate benefits from throughput projects, where bottlenecks shift from one process to another. Employing the theory of constraints provides an effective solution.