What differences between the Logical Thinking Process and Theory of Constraints’ Thinking Processes?

Two relatively similar ‘logical thinking ways’ exist and have almost the same names: the Logical Thinking Process and Theory of Constraints’ Thinking Processes. One may ask why two? and what differentiate one from another?

The first in time were the Theory of Constraints’ Thinking Processes (TOC TPs, note the plural) that were initiated by Eli Goldratt. These ‘processes’ were merely logic trees and one ‘cloud’.

Later came a variation brought up by Bill Dettmer with his experience teaching the Thinking Processes. The variation consists mainly in:

  • the addition of a logic tool that did not exist in the original Thinking Processes: The Goal Tree,
  • the Goal Tree as the first tool in sequential order that feeds the different other logic tools, which makes the whole a Thinking Process,
  • conversely the denial by Bill Dettmer of the Thinking Processes being… processes!
  • the Logical Thinking Process keeping a much more demanding and logically rigorous approach, using deductive logic, not inductive,
  • an emphasis on the “rules of logic”, also known as Categories of Legitimate Reservations (CLR) in the jargon.

The addition of the Goal Tree and other points of divergence weren’t taken over into the TOC TPs. Therefore, in order to distinguish this new way from the original one, Bill Dettmer chose to name it the Logical Thinking Process.

You may listen to Bill Dettmer it explaining himself, even so partially, in this short video.

About the author, Chris Hohmann

About the author, Chris Hohmann

View Christian HOHMANN's profile on LinkedIn

2 thoughts on “What differences between the Logical Thinking Process and Theory of Constraints’ Thinking Processes?

  1. Hi. Chris. Once again, great post. I have also read Bil Dettmer’s new book: “The Logical Thinking Process – An Executive Summary”, and for me this “new” dettmer’s approach and explanation is useful, makes sense and it is curious. But I confess that for me it has always been clear that the Goal Tree or IO Map (depends on the term used) was the starting point for everything ( logical thinking process included). It may be more clear for me, because i use the Goal Tree also as the starting point for the Strategy Map and consequent connection to Hoshin Kanri (strategy deployment) and so on.
    Kind regards from Portugal


    • Hi Sérgio,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I guess we’ve had a similar first experience with the Logical Thinking Process(es) and naturally came to similar conclusions.
      Nice country of yours, we’ve only flown over it this summer but plan to return for another holiday!
      Warm (!! 35°C) greetings from Paris.

      Liked by 1 person

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