As big and bold as the Theory of Constraints (TOC) is, it’s not sufficient, alone, to deliver on its inherent potential. As trains need track and ships need water, TOC needs a cultural and organisational infrastructure to get you to where you want to go.
On his deathbed, Eli Goldratt was asked if he could advise, in the most general terms, where one should be looking for the constraint. After all, if the constraint governs the rate at which we create value, wouldn’t it help to know where it consistently shows up?
You want to deliver superior project outcomes, on time or early, on budget or below—with all the scope the project called for. You have to rely on outside organisations to provide products and services. What’s your ideal contracting strategy?
‘Avoid inertia. Start again.’ Those were Goldratt’s exact words for the final focusing step. Once you’ve made an investment of money, time and effort, the constraint will move. Ideally, you’ll find it where you intended.