Management

Theory of constraints

The theory of constraints (TOC) adopts the common idiom "A chain is no stronger than its weakest link" as a new management paradigm. This means that processes, organizations, etc., are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them or at least adversely affect the outcome. The analytic approach with TOC comes from the contention that any manageable system is limited in achieving more of its goals by a very small number of constraints, and that there is always at least one constraint. Hence the TOC process seeks to identify the constraint and restructure the rest of the organization around it, through the use of five focusing steps. The theory of constraints (TOC) is an overall management philosophy introduced by Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his 1984 book titled The Goal, that is geared to help organizations continually achieve their goals. Goldratt adopted the concept with his book Critical Chain, published 1997. The concept was extended to TOC with respectively titled publication in 1999. An earlier propagator of the concept was Wolfgang Mewes in Germany with publications on power-oriented management theory (Machtorientierte Fuhrungstheorie, 1963) and following with his Energo-Kybernetic System (EKS, 1971), later renamed Engpasskonzentrierte Strategie as a more advanced theory of bottlenecks. The publications of Wolfgang Mewes are marketed through the FAZ Verlag, publishing house of the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. However, the paradigm Theory of constraints was firs

used by Goldratt. [edit]Key assumption The underlying premise of theory of constraints is that organizations can be measured and controlled by variations on three measures: throughput, operational expense, and inventory. Throughput is the rate at which the system generates money through sales. Inventory is all the money that the system has invested in purchasing things which it intends to sell. Operational expense is all the money the system spends in order to turn inventory into throughput. Before the goal itself can be reached, necessary conditions must first be met. This typically includes safety, quality, legal obligations, etc. For most businesses, the goal itself is to make money. However, for many organizations and non-profit businesses, making money is a necessary condition for pursuing the goal. Whether it is the goal or a necessary condition, understanding how to make sound financial decisions based on throughput, inventory, and operating expense is a critical requirement. [edit]The five focusing steps Theory of constraints is based on the premise that the rate of goal achievement by a goal-oriented system (i.e., the system's throughput) is limited by at least one constraint. The argument by reductio ad absurdum is as follows: If there was nothing preventing a system from achieving higher throughput (i.e., more goal units in a unit of time), its throughput would be infinite Ч which is impossible in a real-life system. Only by increasing flow through the constraint can overall throughput be increased.