Category Archives: Theory of Constraints

Critical Chain, TOC Email List

Email lists have been going out of style, but they can be a useful way to interact with a shared community (when moderated properly). The Theory of Constraints (TOC) email list (Yahoo group) CriticalChain, is useful for those interested in TOC concepts.

This list is for those who are interested in project management via Critical Chain Scheduling and Buffer Management, as well as the application of other aspects of the Theory of Constraints to project management.

The target audience for this discussion list is broad, consisting of:

Those who are experienced with Critical Chain (either by living with it or by helping others implement it),

Those who are attempting to implement Critical Chain in their project(s),

Those who are curious about Critical Chain and the implications it could have for their project environment

and . . .

Those who have heard about Critical Chain and think that it is either misguided or that there is nothing really new about it, but are willing to discuss it with an open mind. It’s this last target group that can add real spice to the discussion. (After all, as Eli Goldratt has said, “The strongest force FOR improvement is resistance to change.”)

Another good email list is the Deming Electronic Network list.

Measures of Success

Measures of Success interview of Alex Knight by Michaela Rebbeck. The interview discusses a model of measurement based on Theory of Constraints ideas.

The fundamental difference with my proposition is the shift in the mental model we have about measures. I believe in replacing the ‘stick and carrot’ mentality with commitment to a culture where measures are used to help identify key opportunities for improvement and contribute to a ‘no-blame’ measurement mindset.
In a nutshell, I am suggesting that the purpose of any operational measurement is to measure the execution of our strategy by helping us answer the question ‘How well are we doing compared to what we were expecting to happen?’

This implies you must know what was expected, a great reminder of Deming’s statement that Management is Prediction.