Rotate a Tree to start your project

During the Logical Thinking Process training course (June 2015), Bill Dettmer took us through the whole process and the associated tools at each step. The process starts with the famous Goal Tree, assess the current situation and focus on critical root causes with the Current Reality Tree (CRT). Conflict Resolution Diagram (AKA Evaporating Cloud) may … Continue reading Rotate a Tree to start your project


Schragenheim’s concise history of constraints

The definition of a constraint in Theory of Constraints (TOC) has varied as the corpus grew and matured. Still today it is confusing for newbies to sort out what is meant with "constraint", depending how they got their basics in TOC. Thanks to Eli Schragenheim, one of TOC's founding fathers, and the related post on … Continue reading Schragenheim’s concise history of constraints

Performance improvement: simple things can earn big results

Silly things can cost a lot in terms of productivity and output.  In this video interview, Philip Marris  asks me about lessons learnt while helping a pharmaceutical plant to improve productivity and deliver drugs to patients faster. It is about how simple actions solve those silly small problems and bring big results at literally no cost.

Stuck with continuous improvement?

This post is a kind of post scriptum to “Improving  50% is easy, improving 5% is difficult” in which I described 3 stages of improvement and ended stuck with continuous improvement as the Return On Investment (ROI) in C stage was not worth going on. Now assume it is not possible to radically change the … Continue reading Stuck with continuous improvement?

What is Kaikaku?

Kaikaku is one of these Japanese words which found their way into the Lean lingo. Kaikaku is usually translated into “radical change” or breakthrough. my tiny Japanese dictionary proposes “reform”, “renovation” and “reorganization”. "Doing" kaikaku means introducing a major change in a process in order to drastically improve it (quantum leap). Kaikaku is therefore “opposed” … Continue reading What is Kaikaku?

Theory of Constraints, Lean and aviation MRO

In a previous post, “CCPM helps shorten aircrafts MRO”, I explained the benefits of Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) for reducing the aircraft downtime during their mandatory and scheduled MRO. If CCPM is great and helps a lot meeting the challenge, it will not squeeze out every potential improvement, thus time reduction, on its own. … Continue reading Theory of Constraints, Lean and aviation MRO

CCPM helps shorten aircraft MRO

Facts Aircrafts have to undergo periodic Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO). This is mandatory in order to insure the aircraft's airworthiness and overall safety. During these inspections and repairs, the aircrafts are grounded. For the owners and operators, the shorter the turnaround time*, the better. An aircraft is a huge investment and the ROI is … Continue reading CCPM helps shorten aircraft MRO

TOC-based decision for best product mix

Theory of Constraints (TOC) provides a framework to identify, exploit, set pace and elevate* the constraint, or put in simpler words: identify the bottleneck in the process and make the best with it. *Identify, exploit, subordinate, elevate and prevent inertia are known as the “five focusing steps” of Theory of Constraints. In this constraint or … Continue reading TOC-based decision for best product mix

Improving  50% is easy, improving 5% is difficult

It is with this enigmatic sentence that one of my Japanese mentors introduced the growing difficulty with continuous improvement. What it means is that at the beginning of an improvement program or when starting in a new area, the first and usually the easiest actions bring big improvement, hence the “easy” 50%. This is also … Continue reading Improving  50% is easy, improving 5% is difficult