What is TLS? The Synergy of ToC, Lean and SixSigma

TLS stands for Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma. TLS is meant to be the combination of 2 or all of these...philosophies, approaches, methodologies, you name them. I discovered Lean (but we didn't call it Lean then) and Theory of Constraints at the same time, when I joined a Yamaha Corp. subsidiary in 1989. … Continue reading What is TLS? The Synergy of ToC, Lean and SixSigma

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Approach, philosophy or methodology?

We hear and read them often in relation with our preferred body of knowledge*, among which Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma are the most popular: the terms “approach”, “philosophy” and “methodology”. I wonder if people use them purposely or as synonyms and I prick up my ears each time an expert explains Theory … Continue reading Approach, philosophy or methodology?

You don’t give me answers, you ask me questions

He’s a former colleagues of mine I worked with during 10 years. Let’s call him Jack. He’s about 10 years younger, cocky, went from graduation directly to consulting and as he stated himself one day, “can’t stand being unable to answer a client’s question right away”. The opposite of me in many aspects and that’s … Continue reading You don’t give me answers, you ask me questions

Goal-focused gemba walks

Most of the gemba walks are done with a large spectrum search for improvement, usually focusing on the 7 wastes known as “muda”. Some practitioners will look for variability (“mura”) and unreasonableness (“muri”) as well. Yet as improvement opportunities are always infinite and resources are not, this broad approach may divert precious resources on secondary … Continue reading Goal-focused gemba walks

Goal Tree explained by Bill Dettmer

A Goal Tree, sometimes still referred to as Intermediate Objective Map or IO Map, is primarily a Thinking Processes tool, itself a kind of subset of the Theory of Constraints. The top of the Goal Tree is a strategic planning tool while going down to its bottom links strategy to operations. In this video, Bill … Continue reading Goal Tree explained by Bill Dettmer

Ten tricks to get things done

Many action plans share the same problems, they expand with additional todos but little gets done. Here are 10 tricks to change the wish list into real action plan that delivers. 1. accept only important and urgent actions Setup a basic rule to filter out proposed actions or suggestions. A severe one would be for … Continue reading Ten tricks to get things done

Is 3D printing the ultimate postponement? Part two

In the previous post of this series, I used somewhat extreme examples to illustrate the benefits of postponement with additive manufacturing i.e. 3D printing (space exploration, ships amidst oceans and warfare). In this post I use more common examples about how the promises of these new techniques will disrupt existing businesses and bring new benefits … Continue reading Is 3D printing the ultimate postponement? Part two

The catalyst

I like this word "catalyst" when talking about “a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic”. We don’t use it currently in French even so the meaning is the same, we’ll talk about “moderator”, “facilitator” or “coach” instead. Yet “catalyst” is much more how I felt recently … Continue reading The catalyst

Introduction to Critical Chain Project Management

Welcome to my introduction to Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)! Critical Chain Project Management is a "new" approach to Project Management, with connections to the Theory of Constraints. While in the 1980s the production management changed from mainly local unit cost control to a holistic approach that encourages flow (Lean), the project management has not … Continue reading Introduction to Critical Chain Project Management

Goal Tree chronicles – The hamster and the tree

Companies in nowadays competition need proactive and engaged people, yesteryear managers are expected to turn into leaders. Despite this general truth and the logical demonstration of required change, some managers just stick to their cosy routine: the hamsters. In this post: How a “hamster” manager refuses to embrace change required by robust logical analysis At … Continue reading Goal Tree chronicles – The hamster and the tree