Friday, January 31, 2014

Focus and Leverage Part 300

I got side-tracked from my postings on the TLS series because of Atlanta’s significant winter weather event and how “forecasting” played a role in a rather inadequate response to it by local and state government officials.  So in today’s posting I will now discuss the other two components of TLS, Lean and Six Sigma.


Much has been written about Lean over the past several years, but its basic philosophy is centered on a whole-systems approach that focuses on the existence and removal of non-value-added (NVA) ac­tivities within a process or system. These NVA activities are charac­terized as waste in the Lean vernacular. As an improvement initiative, Lean teaches you to recognize that waste is present within every pro­cess and that we should take extreme actions to either eliminate it or significantly reduce it.

The entire premise for doing this action is to facilitate a flow of value through the entire process. If this is true, then it begs the question—What is value? There have been many attempts to define value, but the best definition is based on the customer value and not the producer value.  In its simplest terms, value, is whatever the customer feels good about paying for. Customers know what they want, when they want it and how much it is reasonable to pay for it—so in the long run, value clarifies itself.

Lean has become recog­nized as one of the most effective business improvement strategies used in the world today, but if this is so, then why are so many Lean implementations failing at such an alarming rate? In this case, failure implies the inability to not only achieve, but also sustain, the needed effort.

Six Sigma

Like Lean, much has been written about Six-Sigma methods and the now infamous acronym DMAIC. Whereas Lean is attempting to remove non-value-added and wasteful activities, Six Sigma is at­tempting to remove unnecessary and unwanted variation. Six Sigma uses the road map Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) to seek out sources of variation, and through various sta­tistically based tools and techniques, attempts to limit (control) vari­ation to the lowest possible level. The professed power of Six Sigma lies in the disciplined structure and use of the tools and techniques.

However, this supposed power sometimes ends up being a detriment to some companies because in many instances they will experience enormous information overload, coupled with a failure to launch the information into viable solutions. In essence, these companies are suffering from analysis paralysis. Like Lean, many Six Sigma ini­tiatives have failed to deliver true quantifiable bottom line improve­ments and, therefore, have been abandoned. Six Sigma can be dif­ficult to employ. It is heavily dependent on mathematics (statistics) and formula derivatives that quite frankly most people do not enjoy or involve themselves with. At times is seems as if you need to call Merlin the magician just to get started.

There is also popular hybrid of Lean and Six Sigma known as Lean-Sigma which, as the name suggests, is a merger of the two ini­tiatives. The primary assumption of Lean-Sigma is that eliminating or reducing waste and variation in the system will lead to major cost re­ductions. It seems to make perfect sense that if each initiative delivers its own separate improvement, then combining output from both of them should optimize the process and result in a double-dip reduc­tion in cost. However, in the final analysis, the primary functions of Lean and Six Sigma are aimed at cost savings. Saving money is indeed a strategy, but it’s just not an effective strategy for making money. The overall issue is not with either one of these methodologies, but rather the belief that the way to increase profitability is through cost reduc­tion. Cost reductions have implied mathematical limits, and once those limits are encountered, the improvement effort stops or slows down significantly. Consider this—have you ever heard of a company that has actually saved themselves into prosperity? If cost reduction is not the answer, then what is the best route to profitability?
In my next posting we'll dive deeper into this integrated methodology and discuss why these three improvement methods work so well together.
Bob Sproull

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Focus and Leverage Part 299

This week in Atlanta and suburban areas we had a winter storm and although we only received 2 or 3 inches of snow, the city has been virtually shut down.  If you’ve been watching the national news, you probably have seen the massive traffic jams and hear stories about how many children had to spend the night in their schools because the roads were impassable with lots of ice.  There was one story about a father who was worried about his 5 year old daughter who actually walked 6 miles to his daughters school to spend the night with her.  There were stories of heroism and people taking in complete strangers because they were stranded.  Everything that you saw and heard about this “snow event” were absolutely true!  All of this over 3 inches of snow!

In the aftermath of this winter storm, the finger pointing and blame game erupted over the forecast being wrong.  On Monday the National Weather Service had issued a winter weather advisory for areas mostly south of Atlanta.  On Tuesday the forecast had changed to a winter weather warning, but still mostly South of Atlanta.  But when this snow event actually hit Atlanta, the location of the snow and ice suddenly changed as both North and South Atlanta we hit with an accumulation of up to 3 inches. 

Yesterday the Mayor of Atlanta and the Governor of Georgia both held separate news conferences to explain the obvious lack of preparation for this winter storm, trying to explain their way out of criticism.  When asked why they hadn’t “pre-treated” the roads with salt to make sure the roads around Atlanta were passable, both the Mayor and the Governor pointed the finger at the weather forecasters!  I laughed to myself and continued listening as one-by-one both fielded questions about the lack of preparation.  Excuse after excuse came from both the Mayor and Governor, but the central theme of their rebuttals was that the forecast was wrong.

One of the things that I have written about on this blog is how, if you rely on forecasts to plan what happens in your company, there is a high probability that you will be wrong. Yet companies continue to use software with sophisticated algorithms to plan their production and order their raw materials.  According to Hop and Spearman in their breakthrough book, Factory Physics, the first of forecasting, for those of you who don’t know, is that forecasts are always wrong!  The second law of forecasting tells us that, detailed forecasts are worse than aggregate forecasts.  The third law of forecasts is, the further into the future, the less reliable the forecast.   They also tell us that, “no matter how qualified the expert or how sophisticated the model, perfect prediction of the future is simply not possible; hence the first law.”  And finally, Hopp and Spearman tell us that, “Since our estimate is likely to be approximate at best, we should strive to make decisions as robust as possible with respect to errors in the forecast.”  So with all this in mind, is it any wonder that, if the Mayor and Governor both followed a forecast to plan and execute their respective actions, then it should come as no surprise that huge mistakes were made in preparing for this winter event.

My belief is that we should always plan for the worst, but hope for the best.  If both the Mayor and Governor had followed this simple plan, then the state and local roads would have been pre-treated and much of the chaos would not have occurred.  Both the Mayor and Governor found themselves in a reactive mode instead of being proactive.  There’s lessons for all of us to learn from this “amazing” snow event!

Bob Sproull

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Focus and Leverage Part 298

I have had several requests to write a blog on the integration of the Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma.  In our book, Epiphanized, Bruce Nelson prepared an excellent piece of writing in Appendix 1, so I thought what better than to post much of what Bruce wrote in our book.  The next several postings then will be excerpts from Appendix 1 of Epiphanized.

Appendix 1:  Theory of Constraints (TOC), Lean and Six Sigma (TLS)

Over the past century there have been abundant attempts to improve the quality of both products and services throughout the world and many different people have contributed to this improvement move­ment and the body of knowledge associated with it. If you take a mo­ment and look back through the years, the list of improvement ideas and acronyms would fill several pages. If it is true that the past helps predict the future, then there will be many more new ideas come into existence.

Currently, three principal improvement methodologies—the The­ory of Constraints (TOC), Lean, and Six Sigma—appear to dominate the subject matter of the improvement world, and each brings its own unique perspective to the improvement playing field. Each also has its own following of zealots and believers. And each proclaims that their single method is the way forward, providing the light and the truth, so to speak. It’s almost as if each methodology is a religious experience of sorts. But does it really have to be this way? Is there a benefit in keeping these methods separate and apart from each other? Does each methodology have to exist in isolation from the others? Let’s look at each methodology in a bit more detail to see if we can answer this question.

Theory of Constraints (TOC)

In the early 1980’s Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt introduced the world to a new way of looking at profitability through his now famous Theory of Constraints (TOC), which was presented in his book The Goal. In principle, Goldratt’s argued that instead of trying to save money through cost reductions, companies would be much more profitable if they focused instead on making money. But aren’t the two ideas synonymous? The answer is—absolutely not! These two ideas repre­sent very different and divergent approaches. Saving money is not the same as making money. And the management strategy you choose to employ to make money is very different than the one you employ to save money.

Goldratt’s emphasis is that the goal of for-profit companies is to make money now and in the future. Goldratt analogized this concept using a chain. He stated that the weakest link in a chain controls the overall strength of the chain, and that any attempt to strengthen any link other than the weakest one will do nothing to improve the total strength of the chain. Organizationally this means that every action or decision taken by the organization must be judged by its impact on the organization’s overall goal of making money. If the decision does not get you closer to that goal, then the decision is probably ineffec­tive.

Goldratt defined a system constraint as anything that limits the system from achieving higher performance relative to its goal. So if the goal of the organization is to make money, then the systems con­straint must be identified first. Goldratt explained that in order to determine whether an organization is moving toward its goal and not away from it, three simple questions must be asked and answered.

1. How much money does your organization generate?

2. How much money does your organization invest?

3. How much money does your organization spend to make it operate?

From his research Goldratt developed his own simplified system of accounting that he referred to as Throughput Accounting (TA). The basis for Goldratt’s accounting system were three financially based, performance metrics:

Throughput (T): This is the rate that the organization generates “new” money primarily through sales. Goldratt further defined T as the money collected through the sale of a unit of product minus what it pays to its suppliers and others—or Totally Vari­able Costs (TVC). Therefore, T = Selling price minus Totally Variable Costs, or T = SP – TVC. The bulk of the TVC would be raw materials, but could include any sales commissions and shipping costs associated with products.

Investment (I): The money an organization invests in items that it intends to sell. This category would include inventory, both raw materials and finished goods.

Operating Expense (OE): All the money an organization spends to operate, including labor costs, office supplies, employee benefits, phone bill, and electric bill and so on. All the money spent to support the organization. What distinguishes Goldratt’s definition of throughput from the traditional definition is that throughput is not considered to be valuable until money exchanges hands between the organization and its customers. At any point in time before the sale the product is still considered Inventory, even in a finished goods status. Basically, any product that is produced and not sold to a customer is simply termed Inventory or Investment and it has a cost associated with it. This is a major departure from the traditional definition of throughput, and its overall implications are far reaching.

Goldratt expanded his TA definitions still further by defining net profit and return on investment as follows:

• Net Profit (NP) = Throughput minus Operating Expense or NP = T – OE

• Return on Investment (ROI) = (Throughput minus Operating Expense divided by Investment or ROI = (T – OE)/I.  With these three simple measurements (T, I and OE), organizations are able to determine the immediate impact of their actions and decisions on the financial performance of their organization. Does it make sense that the superlative actions upon the system are those that increase T, while simultaneously reducing I and OE? You might wonder why a discussion of TOC started first with a financial definition. The relevance should become obvious shortly.

The Theory of Constraints operates under what Goldratt refers to as his Five Focusing Steps:

Step 1: Identify the system constraint. The constraint is commonly considered anything within a system that limits the system from achieving higher performance relative to its goal.

Step 2: Decide how to exploit the System Constraint. Exploitation implies getting more from what you already have. It requires that you understand why you are currently getting what you are get­ting, and what steps are necessary to maximize the throughput of the constraint. How do you get more from this constraining operation?

Step 3: Subordinate everything else to the System Constraint. The subordination implies that all other non-constraint processes ac­tivate to the same level as the constraint. It seems contrary to popular belief, but sometimes in order to go faster, you have to go slower.

Step 4: If necessary, elevate the system constraint. Elevation implies more constraint capacity or resources, if the market demand on the system still exceeds current capacity. At this point, it may be required to spend some money to increase throughput—but only during Step 4 and not during Step 2.

Step 5: Return to step 1. When the constraint has rolled (moved) to a new location in the system, then go back to Step 1 and follow the sequence again.

So, you may be wondering why these Five Focusing Steps are im­portant to someone who uses Lean, Six Sigma or the hybrid, Lean-Sigma. The facts are simple— without the understanding of the glob­al system focus provided by TOC, many of the Lean and Six Sigma initiatives will fail to deliver significant bottom line improvement. The fundamental key to impacting the bottom line is directly propor­tional to the company’s ability to drive throughput to higher levels while at the same time reducing Inventory and Operating Expense. The concept here is driving the system to make money, rather than saving money. Think about it, if your financial model is based upon how much cost you can remove from a process (reducing OE) then, your ROI has a mathematical limit. Likewise, if your focus is only on reducing Inventory, it too has a functional and mathematical lower limit. Throughput, on the other hand, is devoid of a theoretical upper limit. Ponder, just for a moment, the overall impact of simultaneously increasing T while reducing OE and I. The crucial focus of increasing T is what drives NP and ROI!

In my nest posting we’ll discuss the other two components of this trilogy…Lean and Six Sigma and then talk about why they work so well together.

Bob Sproull

Monday, January 27, 2014

Focus and Leverage Part 297

In his book The Goal, Eliyahu Goldratt effectively used a story written in a novel format to walk the reader through the steps necessary to move a manufacturing organization from the traditional manufacturing concepts to a facility managed using the concepts of Drum Buffer-Rope (DBR). This nontraditional approach through logical thinking is masterminded by a character named Jonah. Jonah is able to help Alex Rogo understand the invalid thinking and assumptions being used to manage his plant and the negative consequences associated with that type of thinking. By helping Alex focus his thinking on how the plant is being managed, Jonah helps Alex logically discover a new and better way. And Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR) is the centerpiece of this process.  In this posting I will “borrow” heavily from Appendix 6 from Epiphanized as written by Bruce Nelson.
The intent of this posting is not how to implement DBR, but more the understanding of why system’s thinking is so important in any improvement effort and why it is so important to view your organization as a system rather than isolated parts when selecting the focus of your improvement efforts.
The thinking behind DBR is really quite simple, but mostly just logical. Thinking logically is nothing new, but it is not the way most people think. The fundamental view of DBR is to focus on the system as a whole rather than only a single segment of the system—at least until you have clearly identified the constraint. This idea of looking at the global system is a major shift in the way systems have previously been viewed and managed. Prior to global-systems thinking, the pervasive point of view was (and still is) that any systems improvement, at any location, would improve the overall system. The idea being that the sum total of several isolated improvements would somehow equal an improvement to the overall system. But such is not the case. The effects of employing the “shotgun” approach to systems management can cause a series of devastating systemic effects.
A system can be defined as a sequence of steps or processes that are linked together to produce something as an end result. With that definition in mind, it’s easy to understand how virtually everything can be linked to some kind of a system. Engineering organizations have systems, banks have systems and grocery stores have systems. Almost anything you can think of is the product of a system. By design, a system can be as small and unique as two processes linked together, where the output of one process be­comes the input for the next process. Or systems can be very com­plex, with many processes linked together, maybe even hundreds or more. Just because a system is complex does not mean it can’t be im­proved—it just means it’s complex, and that’s OK. Even in a system as simple as two linked processes, one of those two processes will con­strain the other. It’s just the nature of how things work. If a systems constraint did not exist, then the system should, at least theoretically, be able to produce at infinite capacity. But infinite capacity is not a level that is ever achieved from a system. All systems are restricted, at some point in time, by some type of output limitation. This limita­tion is usually determined by the presence of some kind of system-capacity limit. No matter how good the system is, there is still only so much it can do. Sooner or later whatever kind of system is being analyzed, it is will reach its maximum system capacity and be unable to produce more. If higher system outputs are required beyond the current capacity, then the system must be changed.
For years, if not decades, people and organizations have dedicat­ed considerable time and effort to remove variation from systems. The utopian goal is to remove as much variation as possible from the system. No matter how much planning is employed, no matter how much effort is extended, variation will still exist! If you were asked how long it takes you to get to work every day, your response might be something like, “about thirty minutes.” The instant you answer with the word about, you have introduced variation into the system. You know that historically speaking, some days you get to work in twenty-five minutes and yet others days it can take thirty-five or forty minutes. In your “get to work” system, things can happen that will either speed up the process or slow it down.
Variation exists in everything, especially within a system. You understand that some processes will produce at a faster or slower rate than others, and this is the premise behind variation. Because of variation, the output from a system will not be linear, but rather it will operate within a range that changes. This variable range is known as statistical fluctuation and it exists in every system. It’s important to understand that you cannot make variation go away. The theory and practice of Six Sigma has pioneered the race to variation reduc­tion. But even with the most valiant efforts of time and money, not all variation can be removed. You can reduce the amount and severity of variation, but it will still exist. Once you understand that variation is a constant variable in any system, it’s easier to understand that at some point you will reach the minimum variation that is controllable in the system and any efforts to reduce variation beyond that point are fruitless. Perhaps, instead of spending so much time and effort on techniques to remove variation, the focus should really be on tech­niques to manage variation.
When viewing a system through the eyes of DBR, it becomes quickly apparent that improving every step in the process is not re­quired, nor will the sum total of all of those discrete system improve­ments equal an improved overall system. When conducting a full systems analysis, with the intent of implementing DBR, an important consideration to know and understand is the location of the system constraint, or slowest operation. In Goldratt’s Five Focusing Steps, this is Step 1—Find the constraint. Once you know where the slowest operation resides, you now have the information necessary to know where to focus your attention within the system. Why is it important to understand where the slowest operation is? Because this is the lo­cation that controls and determines the output for your entire system. In essence, the entire system will produce no faster than the slowest operation can produce. (The system can produce less, but it won’t produce more.).
With the constraining operation identified, you have collectively quarantined the “drum” beat for your system. Knowing the drum­beat is of strategic importance to implement and gain any system im­provements. The drum provides you with the necessary information of knowing where to focus your improvement efforts.
Historically, many organizations can and do conduct many improvement projects on a yearly basis. The mantra seems to be that every organization and every process should strive for improvement. The thought is that each organization is improving at some level of frequency to make the whole system better. However, the sum of many efforts does not always equal what is good for the whole. The problem with this type of thinking is it is a totally unfocused shotgun approach to solve the problem. In effect, it presents an improvement policy that states: if I select a wide enough range, then I should hit the target, or at least come close to the target. When you take the shotgun approach you might hit everything a little bit, but miss the full impact required to make real change and improvements. If your shotgun approach in­cludes trying to improve non-constraints, and most do, then the sys­tem as a whole gains nothing! The improvement of non-constraints in isolation of the entire system, without a comprehensive analysis, is just a way of dealing with symptoms and not the real issue (con­straint).
Without the ability and the accurate information necessary to focus on the real issues, the disease goes merrily on. Improvement of non-constraints is a noble gesture, but one that yields little, if any, real improvements. Every process within a system does not need to be improved at the same time! Some system processes are more im­portant than others. Without knowing where your constraint resides, your efforts to improve will be unfocused and consequently worth­less, serving only to consume large amounts of money, resources, and time.
So there you have it…..the concept of system’s improvement versus uncontrolled localized improvement.  We can’t emphasize enough just how important it is to view the entire system when trying to decide where improvements should be focused.  I want to thank Bruce for his valuable insights.
Bob Sproull

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Focus and Leverage Part 296

In the past week I have received several emails from readers of this blog asking me why it is so difficult to make lasting changes, so I thought in this posting I would address this concern.  It’s pretty clear that improvement requires that something change, but that not every change results in an improvement.  One thing is for certain though, if we don’t change, then our competition will surpass us.  Most companies have concluded then that change is absolutely necessary in today’s competitive world.  As I’ve written about in several other postings, there are three basic questions that must be answered:

1.  What should I change?

2.  What should I change to?

3.  How do I cause the change to happen?

For those who are regular readers of this blog, I have written about the Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes (TP’s).  And although this will not be the subject of this posting, they are worth mentioning.  The TP’s are used to first, identify all of the negative symptoms or undesirable effects (UDE’s) that exist within any organization and then link them through cause and effect logic until the one or two core problems are identified and surfaced.   In doing so, we can then devise solutions to these one or two problems and in so doing, most, if not all, of the negative symptoms we see will disappear.  That’s how it’s supposed to work in theory.  And while I’ve been quite successful in using the TP’s over the years, overcoming resistance to change is where many improvement initiatives fail.

In the Theory of Constraints body of knowledge, there are a series of questions that must be answered that are based upon the psychology of change.  These questions, or variations of them, are what people intuitively ask when a change is proposed to them.  Being able to overcome the natural resistance to change is paramount to a successful improvement initiative.  Those questions, or variations of them, are as follows:
1.  Have we really identified the right problem to be addressed?  How do we know we have identified the right problem?
2.  Ok, we have identified the right problem, but what about the solution?
3.  Do I think that the basic direction of the proposed solution is correct?
4.  Do I believe that this solution will work and, by the way, what’s in it for me?
5.  What if something goes wrong with the solution and creates new problems for me?  Have we thought through the potential impact of this solution and possible negative side-effects?
6.  Can our organization really implement this solution effectively and will it truly deliver something we view as being positive for us?
7.  Will leadership support and commit to this change?  Without the support and commitment of our leaders, it simply will not work!

Unless we address and answer these questions effectively and consider input from both the people being asked to implement the change and the people who will be impacted by the change, we won’t have the necessary buy-in and the change will probably fail.  I’m not talking about leadership buy-in here, but rather the subject matter experts….the people who produce the products or deliver the service for our company.  In other words, the entire work force must be committed to its success and support the impending change.

One thing that has been successful for me is something I have written about before referred to as active listening.  Active listening is a simple concept whereby we assemble a group of subject matter experts (SME’s), explain the problem to be solved and then solicit improvement ideas from them.  The SME’s, the people doing the work, have a much better understanding of what’s truly happening in their current reality, so by giving them a chance to solve the problem, using their ideas, automatically creates the necessary buy-in to commit to and support the solution to the problem.  Where this sometimes falls short is the reluctance of senior leadership to accept and implement the SME’s improvement ideas.  My belief is that as long as their ideas don’t violate safety rules or company policy, then the improvement ideas should be implemented as stated.

If you’ve never really tried active listening, you might be in for a real surprise as to just how effective it can be.

Bob Sproull

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Focus and Leverage Part 295

I received an email from a reader that told me the link I had originally posted did not take him to the blog as a reader, so I'm re-posting F & L Part 295.  Sorry for the confusion.
I have received several requests to update and post my blog index, so here it is:

Post #                    Subject Discussed

Each of the following postings can be reached by searching for the number designation below.  For example:  1 is Focus and Leverage or 2 is Focus and Leverage Part 2 and so forth.  The link to the first blog posting is:


1 Introduction to TOC – Lean – Six Sigma

2. Why Improvement Initiatives Fail

3. The Basic Concepts of TOC

4. Throughput Accounting

5. The Process of On-Going Improvement (POOGI)

6. The 3 Cycles of Improvement

7. Combining TOC, Lean and Six Sigma Graphically

8. Step 1a Performance Metrics

9. Planning Steps 1b and 1c Reducing Waste and Variation

10. Developing a Constraint’s Improvement Plan

11. This number was skipped

12. Steps 1b and 1c Reducing Waste and Variation plus an intro to DBR

13. Drum-Buffer-Rope

14. The Final Steps of UIC

15. How do I start the UIC?

16. The 10 Prerequisite Beliefs

17. Comparing Lean, Six Sigma and TOC

18. Types of Constraints

19. The Logical Thinking Processes

20. Undesirable Effects (UDE’s)

21. Categories of Legitimate Reservation

22. Current Reality Trees

23. Constructing Current Reality Trees

24. Conflict Diagrams Basic Principles

25. Constructing Conflict Diagrams

26. Intro to Future Reality Trees

27. Constructing Future Reality Trees

28. Prerequisite Trees

29. Constructing Prerequisite Trees

30. Transition Trees

31. Constructing Transition Trees

32. Book Announcement

33. Project Management Failures

34. Project Management Negative Behaviors

35. Critical Path Management (CPM)

36. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)

37. Tracking Projects In CCPM

38. Final Posting on CCPM

39. Intro to the TOC Parts Replenishment Model versus the Min/Max System

40. The TOC Parts Replenishment Model

41. Interview with Joe Dager from Business901

42. Deming, Ohno and Goldratt Commonality

43. Dedication to Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt

44. How processing time, cycle time, throughput and WIP are interrelated

45. Little’s Law

46. Batch and queue production system and the fallacy of a balanced line

47. Why an unbalanced line is better.

48. What prevents me from making more money now and more money in the future?

49. More on the 10 Prerequisite Beliefs

50. Motivating a work force to actively participate in improvement initiatives

51. Re-Introducing the Intermediate Objectives Map

52. Introducing Be Fast or Be Gone: Racing the Clock with CCPM

53. Parkinson’s Law, The Student Syndrome, Cherry Picking and Multi-Tasking

54. Overcoming the four negative behaviors in Project Management

55. Intro to combining the Interference Diagram (ID) and the IO Map

56. The Simplified Strategy

57. The Interference Diagram

58. Interference Diagram for Strategy

59. The ID/IO Simplified Strategy

60. Preface Part 1 for Epiphanized©

61. Preface Part 2 for Epiphanized©

62. CHAPTER 1 Part 1 for Epiphanized©

63. CHAPTER 1 Parts 2 and 3 for Epiphanized©

64. CHAPTER 1 Part 4 for Epiphanized©

65. CHAPTER 1 Part 5 for Epiphanized©

66. Focused Operations Management For Health Service Organizations by Boaz Ronen, Joseph Pliskin and Shimeon Pass

67. Marketplace Constraints

68. A Discussion on Variability

69. More Discussion on Variability

70. Still More Discussion on Variability

71. Paper from the International Journal of Integrated Care

72. Value Stream Mapping

73. Paths of Variation

74. Step 3, Subordination

75. The Key to Profitability: Making Money Versus Saving Money

76. My First Experience With TOC

77. TOC in Non-Manufacturing Environments

78. Deborah Smith’s Excellent Chapter in the TOC Handbook (i.e. Chapter 14)

79. More on Performance Metrics

80. Efficiency, Productivity, and Utilization (EPU) ©

81. Productivity as a Performance Metric

82. Utilization as a Performance Metric

83. What the Dog Saw –Malcolm Gladwell

84. Speaking at the CPI Symposium – Cal State, Northridge

85. NOVACES– A Great Young Company

86. NOVACES’SystemCPI©

87. Problems With My Publisher

88. The Why? – Why? Diagram

89. Experience With the Integrated Methodology

90. A New Piping Diagram

91. The Healthcare Industry

92. More Bad News From the Publisher

93. A Message from the CPI Symposium

94. Multiple Drum-Buffer-Rope

95. Problem Solving Roadmap

96. Problem Prevention Roadmap

97. Improving Profitability

98. More on Throughput Accounting

99. More on Parts Replenishment

100. TLS

101. Engaging the "Money Makers" in Your Company

102. A Conversation on the Theory of Constraints

103. The Key to Successful Consulting Engagements

104. The Three Basic Questions to Answer

105. A Problem With the Airlines

106. A Better Way to Improve Processes and Systems

107. The Problem With Project Management

108. Critical Path Project Management Revisited

109. Critical Chain Project Management Revisited

110. The Fever Chart

111. Comparing CPM and CCPM

112. Performance Improvement for Healthcare – Leading Change with Lean, Six Sigma and Constraints Management

113. More on Performance Improvement for Healthcare

114. Even more on Performance Improvement for Healthcare

115. Still One More on Performance Improvement for Healthcare

116. The Final One on Performance Improvement for Healthcare

117. The Real Final One on Performance Improvement for Healthcare

118. Focused Operation's Management for Health Services Organizations.

119. Focused Management Methodology

120. The Clogged Drain

121. The “Soft” Tools of Improvement

122. More on TOC’s Distribution/Replenishment solution

123. Still More on TOC’s Distribution/Replenishment solution

124. Amir Schragenheim’s Chapter 11 entry in the TOC Handbook

125. Comparison of Lean, Six Sigma and TOC

126. A Simple Lesson on Applying TLS to Your Processes

127. A Historical Index of Blog Postings

128. Mafia Offer Part 1

129. Mafia Offer Part 2

130. Mafia Offer Part 3

131. Airline Problems

132. A YouTube Interview with Bob Sproull and Mike Hannan

133. Active Listening

134. Viable Vision

135. Throughput Accounting

136.  Performance Metrics

137.  On-the-Line Charting

138.  Comment on Epiphanized from a reader in the US Marines

139.  Active Listening

140.  Healthcare Case Study

141.  Change

142.  Getting buy-in for Change

143.  Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Client Part 1

144.  Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Client Part 2

145.  Continuous Improvement in Healthcare

146.  Using Your Senses in Continuous Improvement

147.  A Video by Phillip Marris on CI

148.  An article about a Construction Company Using the TOC Thinking Processes

149.  Using TOC in Healthcare Part 1

150.  Using TOC in Healthcare Part 2

151.  Using TOC in Healthcare Part 3 Supply Replenishment

152.  Using TOC in Healthcare Part 4 Supply Replenishment (con’t)

153.  Using TOC in Healthcare Part 5 Supply Replenishment (final)

154.  The Sock Maker

155.  The Negative Effects of Using Efficiency

156.  Cost Accounting Part 1

157.  A Political Voting Story

158.  Cost Accounting Part 2

159.  Cost Accounting Part 3

160.  Using TLS for the Affordable Care Act

161.  The System Constraint in Hospitals Part 1

162.  Wait Times in Hospitals

163.  The Oncology Clinic Case Study Part 1

164.  The Oncology Clinic Case Study Part 2

165.  Article: Emergency Department Throughput, Crowding, and Financial Outcomes for Hospitals

166.  Goldratt’s 5 Focusing Steps in Healthcare

167.  My First Experience With TOC Part 1

168.  My First Experience With TOC Part 2

169.  My First Experience With TOC Part 3

170.  My First Experience With TOC Part 4

171.  My First Experience With TOC Part 5

172.  My First Experience With TOC Part 6

173.  Healthcare Case Study Part 1

174.  Healthcare Case Study Part 2

175.  Healthcare Case Study Part 3

176.  TOC in Healthcare

177.  Healthcare Case Study Part 4

178.  My Transition From Aviation Maintenance to Healthcare

179.  Door to Doc Time Case Study Part 1

180.  Door to Doc Time Case Study Part 2

181.  Door to Doc Time Case Study Part 3

182.  Door to Doc Time Case Study Part 4

183.  My White Paper in Quality Forum Part 1

184.  My White Paper in Quality Forum Part 2

185.  My White Paper in Quality Forum Part 3

186.  A Meeting on Epiphanized at the Pittsburgh Airport

187.  Billing for Immunizations Case Study Part 1

188.  Some Thoughts on Performance Improvement Part 1

189.  Some Thoughts on Performance Improvement Part 2

190.  Case Study on Using TOC in Healthcare

191.  IO Map

192.  TOC Thinking Process Tools Part 1

192B.  TOC Thinking Process Tools Part 2

193.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 1

194.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 2

195.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 3

196.  Synchronized and Non-synchronized Production

197.  Competitive Edge Factors

198.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 4

199.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 5

200.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 6

201.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 7

202.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 8

203.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 9

204.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 10

205.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 11

206.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 12

207.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 13

208.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 14

209.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 15

210.  Case Study on How to Use TOC’s Thinking Processes Part 16

211.  The IO Map Revisited Part 1

212.  The IO Map Revisited Part 2

213.  The IO Map Revisited Part 3

214.  The IO Map Revisited Part 4

215.  An Interview About The Ultimate Improvement Cycle by Joe Dager

216.  Healthcare Case Study:  Door to Balloon Time Part 1

217.  More On My First Experience With TOC Part 1

218.  More On My First Experience With TOC Part 2

219.  More On My First Experience With TOC Part 3

220.  More On My First Experience With TOC Part 3

221.  More On My First Experience With TOC Part 4

222.  A Discussion on Constraints Management Part 1

223.  A Discussion on Constraints Management Part 2

224.  A Discussion on Constraints Management Part 3

225.  A Discussion on Constraints Management Part 4

226.  A Discussion on Constraints Management Part 6

227.  How I Present TOC Basics to Students & Teams Part 1 (Most viewed of all posts)

228.  How I Present TOC Basics to Students & Teams Part 2

229.  YouTube Video on Improving Flow Through a Bottleneck

230.  YouTube Video on Throughput Accounting

231.  YouTube Video on What to Change

232.  YouTube Video on What to Change To

233.  YouTube Video on How to Cause the Change to Happen

234.  A Meeting With an Executive of a Larger Corporation

235.  The Missing Link

236.  You Tube Video by Goldratt on Henry Ford and Taichi Ohno

237.  Prevention Versus Detection – The Bug Guy

238.  An Article by Anna Gorman of the LA Times

239.  TOC’s Solution to Supply Chain Problems

240.  The Nun and the Bureaucrat Part 1

241.  The Nun and the Bureaucrat Part 2

242.  The Nun and the Bureaucrat Part 3

243.  The Nun and the Bureaucrat Part 4

244.  The Nun and the Bureaucrat Part 5

245.  The Nun and the Bureaucrat Part 6

246.  A Healthcare Clinic Case Study Part 1

246B.  An Update to Focus and Leverage Part 246

247,  Drum Buffer Rope in Manufacturing

248.  The Sock Maker Revisited Part 1

249.  The Sock Maker Revisited Part 2

250.  Throughput Accounting Part 1

251.  Throughput Accounting Part 2

252.  Throughput Accounting Part 3

253.  How to Use and Integrated TOC, Lean & Six Sigma Methodology Part 1

254.  How to Use and Integrated TOC, Lean & Six Sigma Methodology Part 2

255.  How to Use and Integrated TOC, Lean & Six Sigma Methodology Part 3

256.  How to Use and Integrated TOC, Lean & Six Sigma Methodology Part 4

257.  How to Use and Integrated TOC, Lean & Six Sigma Methodology Part 5

258.  Critical Path Project Management Versus Critical Chain PM Part 1

259.  Critical Path Project Management Versus Critical Chain PM Part 2

260.  Critical Path Project Management Versus Critical Chain PM Part 3

261.  Critical Path Project Management Versus Critical Chain PM Part 4

262.  Critical Path Project Management Versus Critical Chain PM Part 5

263.  Critical Path Project Management Versus Critical Chain PM Part 6

264.  The Cabinet Maker – A TOC Case Study Part 1

265.  The Cabinet Maker – A TOC Case Study Part 2

266.  The Cabinet Maker – A TOC Case Study Part 3

267.  The Cabinet Maker – A TOC Case Study Part 4

268.  How I Run Improvement Events

269.  Using The Goal Tree vs. the Full Thinking Process Analysis Part 1

270.  Using The Goal Tree vs. the Full Thinking Process Analysis Part 2

271.  Using The Goal Tree vs. the Full Thinking Process Analysis Part 3

272.  Using The Goal Tree vs. the Full Thinking Process Analysis Part 4

273.  Using The Goal Tree vs. the Full Thinking Process Analysis Part 5

274.  Using The Goal Tree vs. the Full Thinking Process Analysis Part 6

275.  An Analysis of Focus and Leverage’s Top Page View Postings

276.  An Index of All Focus and Leverage Blog Posts

277.  Using the Thinking Processes in Healthcare Part 1

278.  Using the Thinking Processes in Healthcare Part 2

279.  Using the Thinking Processes in Healthcare Part 3

280.  The Four Disciplines of Execution Part 1

281.  The Four Disciplines of Execution Part 2

282.  The Four Disciplines of Execution Part 3

283.  The Four Disciplines of Execution Part 4

284.  The Four Disciplines of Execution Part 5

285.  The Goal Tree – A New Way to Make it and Use It Part 1

286.  The Goal Tree – A New Way to Make it and Use It Part 2

287.  The Goal Tree – A New Way to Make it and Use It Part 3

288.  Operation Excellence by Jim Covington

289.  The Saw Mill Assessment

290.  How I present the Theory of Constraints to People Not Familiar With it

291.  David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell’s Latest Book

292.  The Basics of TOC

293.  TOC’s Replenishment Model Part 1

294.  TOC’s Replenishment Model Part 2