Identify the Systems Constraints

In order to improve the system in terms of the goal, you have to identify what is holding it back. You have to decide "what to change." The system's constraint is like the weakest link in a chain; no matter what we do to improve other links in the chain; the chain does not become stronger until you improve the strength of the weakest link. It is evident that you have to find the weakest link before you can improve it.

In a project-management system, the weakest link can be anywhere: in the project-management process, in company management policies, in any of the supply chains, in work procedures, in the measurement system, or in communication. Since

Figure 2.11 The five focusing steps represent the TOC approach to ongoing improvement.

a project does not have physical form until it is well under way, the constraint is often not evident. Systems theory describes why and how symptoms may occur a long time after the actions that caused them. (See the Laws of the Fifth Discipline.) You also know that the symptoms may appear somewhere other than the cause, through chains of effect^cause^effect. Therefore, study of why projects have gone wrong may not identify the actual cause of the symptoms.

TOC identifies the constraint of a nonproduction system as a core conflict. Like any constraint, the core conflict is the primary reason that the system is not performing better. It is the root cause of one or more UDEs in the system. In order to eliminate these UDEs, you have to first identify the core conflict.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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