Enhanced execution of theory of constraints principles is provided through the Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) business management system. Theory of Constraint (TOC) concepts are powerful; however TOC is not a business management system. IEE is a business management system where TOC assessments are made and addressed, when needed, so that the enterprise as a whole benefits.
Enhanced Execution of Theory of Constraints Principles in a Business Management System
The IEE system consists of nine steps:
Theory of constraints (TOC) is in step 4. In this step, the enterprise as a whole is analyzed to determine where improvement efforts should focus so the enterprise as a whole benefits. This analysis would look for TOC bottlenecks among other things. If organizational bottlenecks exists and the organization as a whole would benefit from increasing capacity at a bottleneck, this would result in the identification of an improvement project (step 7).
In lean Six Sigma and lean kaizen event programs, improvement projects are often selected from a list of potential opportunities that were determined from a brainstorming session. This effort might provide some initial gains when starting a deployment; however, it typically stalls out and the process improvement teams are laid off when times get tough.
The reason for this downsizing is that often process improvement efforts are not expended in areas where the overall enterprise benefits the most; e.g., focusing on sales and marketing when excess production capacity is available. The published article PDF below walks through some of the frequent short-comings of Theory of Constraints and how it can best be applied to the enterprise.