'A powerful management science based on the cause and effect logic of the physical sciences'
The real power of TOC is that it is a totally pragmatic methodology based on 'common sense' that all can understand.
It involves a five step thinking process...
Identify the system constraint: the constraint determines the speed/flow of the entire process, improve the capability of the constraint and the whole plant is more effective
Exploit the constraint: maximize the constraint schedule, make sure that the proper volume/mix calculations have been done based on the contribution of the time on the constraint.
Subordinate all other operations to the constraint: otherwise the whole system will choke with excess inventory, costs will go up, delivery performance will go down, lead-time will increase, bottom-line will go down, etc.
Elevate the constraint: either increase the capability of the constraint or keep the constraint where you want it to be and make sure that no other area will become the constraint, and then elevate.
Prevent inertia: go back to Step 1.
....that employs a powerful and proven methodology to ensure the above steps are accomplished with guaranteed success.
TOC considers that the constraint in a business can stem from a variety of courses. It also views that most of the problems a business faces are symptoms of a fundamental malaise or 'Core Conflict' that is a deep rooted part of an organizations culture; consequently, it usually takes significant change management to eliminate for it is a deeply ingrained process that has existed for as long as anyone can remember.
The TOC process itself ensures 'buy-in', a crucial element of successful change management.
The Assessment and Solution Phase
We commence the process by collecting UDE's from as many people as possible in the organization from all levels. Using cause and effect logic a current reality tree (CRT) is constructed that demonstrates how a fundamental 'core conflict' is underlying the symptoms which is causing the daily 'firefighting' activities.
The 2nd step is to create a list of the opposite side effects of the UDE which are the DE's (Desirable Effects) and build a future reality tree (FRT) based on what will happen if you remove the fundamental core conflict.
The following is a simple CRT and a FRT diagram to demonstrate how erroneous measurements are causing a negative loop in an organization.
The Change Management Phase
Once our clients management team agree fully with the CRT analysis and FRT solution, (not usually difficult since we are using the clients own UDE's) the TOC process then takes the organization through a diligent change management process to ensure the core conflict is removed successfully.
Removal of Flying Pigs
Usually this requires the removal of 'Flying Pigs' to the people in the organization that have built careers on 'firefighting' and being congratulated for solving the daily problems. Even though these same problems are damaging the overall goals of the business the 'Flying Pigs' removals are often bitterly opposed and only the powerful TOC logic diagrams can overcome resistance.
All the obstacles in the way of change are planned to be overcome through defining 'tactical objectives' that are placed into a Prerequisite Tree (PRT) to detail the order of solving the 'tactical objectives'. All the detailed and crucial activities needed to achieve each objective are detailed in a Transition Tree (TT) using the same cause and effect logic as in the previous stages.
Many of the actions needed to achieve the tactical objectives are contained in the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies and process paradigms. We also believe strongly in using stimulation software to convince organizations of the effectiveness of our change recommendations ahead of actually implementing them.
The Guaranteed Success of the TOC Process
With all these powerful tools and methodologies at our disposal, TOC employs a 'Bullet proof' methodology to overcome the obstacles to ensure the change is implemented successfully.