Meeting Bill Dettmer

I am fortunate having met William Dettmer in Paris, France, November 27 and 28th, 2014. Bill is senior partner with Goal Systems International and author of eight books and numerous articles about Theory of Constraints, Thinking Processes and more. >Lisez cet article en français I have read Bill’s works and found myself deep-diving with great … Continue reading Meeting Bill Dettmer


Frightening slowness in a fast moving world

Usually the high pace of changes and speed of events in our world is frightening and we complain about things going much too fast, stressing our adaptation capabilities. But as we get used to it, slowness once soothing can now be frightening. In the last months is 2014 I am facing a change in my … Continue reading Frightening slowness in a fast moving world

What is VSM good for?

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is one of the most popular tool of the Lean toolbox, frequently associated with finding improvement opportunities. Yet VSM is more than a kind of treasure map. >Lisez cet article en français Enabling “helicopter view” Drawing a VSM is like getting aboard a chopper and take off to watch the perimeter … Continue reading What is VSM good for?

Tales from the Pyramid – Base first

Some improvement initiatives start bottom-up, especially in bigger companies or corporations, when a department manager or local executives decide a Lean deployment program launch without a formal go from top-most bosses. It can also be a pilot workshop in some area, “just to see” the outcome, agreed by top but without much of their involvement. … Continue reading Tales from the Pyramid – Base first

Conflict Resolution Diagram / Evaporating Cloud

The Conflict Resolution Diagram (CRD), also known as Evaporating Cloud (EC) or simply 'Cloud', is a necessity-logic based tool from Theory of Constraints’ Thinking Processes. As the name tells, the Conflict Resolution Diagram is used to surface and resolve conflicts, e.g. dilemmas. Conflicts, which can be named ‘different points of view’ are not always obvious, … Continue reading Conflict Resolution Diagram / Evaporating Cloud

Theory of Constraints is something great, except for its name

Theory of Constraints (ToC) is among the three philosophies / approaches / methodologies with Lean and Six Sigma leading to tremendous success, but the only one with two frightening words out of the three of its name! When facing tough challenge or stuck in a crisis, the last thing anyone would look for is a … Continue reading Theory of Constraints is something great, except for its name

Cost and inventory reduction, right target?

Waste and costs reduction has almost become the definition of Lean for many people as well as an irresistible lure for most executives and managers. Yet costs and inventory reduction, is this the right target? In the various definitions proposed by Lean theorists, including Jim Womack, priority is given to identifying and creating value for … Continue reading Cost and inventory reduction, right target?

Thinking Processes – Current Reality Tree

The Current Reality Tree (CRT) is one of the Thinking Processes logical tools. As the name tells, it depicts the current reality* in a series of dependent logical cause-and-effect relationships, starting from Undesirable Effects down to one or a few critical root causes. A root cause may also be called “core problem” or “core driver” … Continue reading Thinking Processes – Current Reality Tree

Introduction to ToC Thinking Processes

Thinking Processes in a nutshell Theory of Constraints (ToC) found its original application in industrial production and soon spread to any activity including a physical flow, e.g. administrative work. In this context it is relatively easy to understand physical flows and the existence of bottlenecks hindering the flow. Yet all constraints are not bottlenecks, i.e. … Continue reading Introduction to ToC Thinking Processes

The myth about common sense

The widespread belief about common sense is that it is innate and widespread. Another widespread belief is that philosophies, approaches or methodologies like 5S, Lean, Continuous Improvement and more are “nothing but common sense”, said with a bit of contempt. What is common sense? According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, common sense (noun) is the … Continue reading The myth about common sense