Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Update on Our New Book

Yesterday I received a request to post something about our new book, Focus and Leverage: The Critical Methodology for Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma (TLS).  So in today’s post I will do just that.  I might add that Bruce Nelson was the lead on this book and in my opinion, Bruce did an outstanding job of putting this book together.

This book is written as a sequel to the second edition, Epiphanized: Unifying the Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six-Sigma. This story focuses on the continuing adventures of Connor Jackson, Joe Pecci, Sam Henderson, and Becky Chen (Jackson). In the sequel these characters apply their common sense approach and knowledge of problem solving and process improvement by getting involved in two new industries. First, is a company named Aviation Dynamics. They are a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility. The company is suffering from poor on-time due date performance, and a new backlog of work that is putting extreme pressure on management and the employees. Because of their bad performance they are fearful of losing some of the new work, which is up for contract renewal. Because of the past performance some customers aren’t happy. Second, some of the characters get involved with Saint Luke’s hospital after a less than perfect visit to the ER. The team presents a strategy to help the hospital reduce and manage the ever increasing wait times for hospital services, especially in the hospital emergency room.

To quote Bruce, from our Preface, “While you might think that these two industries are at opposite ends of the spectrum, both are plagued by the same types of common problems.  Both have significant wait time problems defined by delayed completion of services and delivery of products, and both are hearing very negative comments from their customers.  These problems are all due in part to their inability to analyze the system and figure out what to change.  Both have “outdated thinking and ideas” about systems management and flow.  Both have previously applied the methods and concepts from Lean and Six Sigma, but have had very little sustained improvement to show for their efforts.  When they are exposed to the TLS methodology, good things start to happen at both organizations.”

“We hope, with this book, we are able to show the reader the necessary systems thinking best suited to find and analyze what the system issues really are and the consequences to the system for not resolving those issues. In the sequel, we have expanded on two concepts first introduced in the appendix section, second edition of Epiphanized. The first concept is the discussion and application of the Interference Diagram (ID) and Intermediate Objective (IO) Simplified Strategy, or ID/IO Simplified Strategy. The ID/IO Simplified Strategy is a product of combining several TOC thinking process tools into a single thinking tool. The ID/IO is a comprehensive and combined approach used to discover and analyze prevalent system issues and in doing so, much less time is required to achieve the desired results. The second concept is the inclusion, discussion and application for the Multiple-Drum-Buffer-Rope (M-DBR) concept and how it applies to both of these industry systems. Also, in the sequel we introduce the reader to the TLS methodology cycles. The first cycle discusses which steps to take. The second cycle discusses how to take those steps. And, the third cycles describes what the expected results should be.”

“We wish you, the reader, an enhanced understanding and success on your continuous improvement journey. We truly believe that if you follow the guidelines and methods we have laid out, your journey will be much easier and hopefully, more profitable.”

We also have included a piece on how the hospital improvement team, with Connor’s guidance was able to significantly reduce one of the key metrics in hospitals today, Door to Balloon Time.  This metric is associated with stemi-type heart attacks where time is of the essence.  We all know about how difficult wait times are in hospitals, so we’ve given the readers a glimpse of how to reduce them.

That’s a summary of some of the things we have presented in this book and we’re both very excited about how it will be received, especially by our healthcare readers.  If you have friends who work in either the healthcare field or the MRO industry, we would very much appreciate it if you would let them know about our book.

Happy Holidays from Bruce and me,

Bob Sproull


Juan Carlos Gonzalez said...

Excellenthe book, I read it in 3 days. In a nutshell:

The best solution is usually the simplest / cheapest solution.

Before you start spending $, "spend" the ideas of your employees.

Waiting for the next one !!

Juan Carlos

Bob Sproull said...

Thank you Juan Carlos, I appreciate your kind words. What did you like most about the book?