Goal tree chronicles – ToC is about focusing

This post is a post scriptum to the previous one of this series, relating how a Goal Tree could have helped a pharma plant. In this plant, top management selected more than 20 streams as strategic and worked to achieve the related objectives.

The trouble with this approach is the vast number of objectives to monitor for the top management and the dilution of efforts and resources.

Theory of Constraints (ToC) practitioners keep repeating it, ToC is about focusing on the constraint, thus finding the leverage point. The Goal Tree is a simple but powerful tool to achieve this. From the Goal or vision statement, a logical suite of Critical Success Factors and Necessary Conditions is built with a necessity-based relationship as a rule.

Goal Tree

Goal Tree

Anything that does not obey to the “in order to achieve X we need Y” logical relation is to be discarded.

Following this rule strictly prevents any drifting away from what is really essential and required.

For me, reflecting on this pharma plant experience, it is a brilliant demonstration how easily limited resources can be wasted on secondary objectives.

Even with a Hoshin Kanri to structure the cascade of objectives, I believe many of these 20 streams would have found their way into the X-matrix, keeping the dilution of resources.

Using a Goal Tree as stand-alone tool or in conjunction with Hoshin Kanri is the best approach for efficient outcome.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences!


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