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Herbie Is Alive and Well

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,…

Applying Theory of Constraints to Manage Bottlenecks

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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TOC Tools Help Find the Right Lean Six Sigma Projects

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

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…