All improvement is change, but not all change is an improvement. We can optimise sales, or marketing, or manufacturing, or supply chain, or HR, or IT. Indeed, you can optimise any subsystem of your organisation. But how will it affect your business outcome?
Constraints aren’t your enemy—they’re your friend. If you want the most bang-for-buck for your effort, despite the connotation of the word constraint, it’s precisely at that place you’ll find the leverage you’re looking for.
In a recent workshop, I asked the team to state their goal. The number they gave me—expressed as a volume of safe, reliable tonnes—was a good deal less than the design capacity of the plant. A little surprised, I asked them what was going on.
In one of Eli Goldratt’s last essays, his introduction to the TOC Handbook, he wrote: ‘Can we condense all of TOC into one sentence? I think it is possible to condense it into a single word: focus.’
In Part I, we started using Goldratt’s six questions to judge how technology might help us better control contracted resources at a mine site. Our ambitious agenda required the solution to include group functions and vendors along with the teams directly involved.
How do we decide whether we should adopt a new technology? It needn’t be new to the world, but new to our organisation. After all, Peter Drucker noted that selling Eskimos a fridge to keep meat from freezing was a creative new use of current technology.