What’s That Theory?
I know some of you have taken the plunge and hired a belt, good for you! You’ve taken the first step to improving the quality of your service or product, but just because you’ve hired a belt doesn’t mean you understand a word they are saying. Fear not, I am here to rescue you! If your belt has come to you with something called the Theory of Constraints and you have no idea what it is or why it’s important, let me first say that it is a legitimate phrase and your belt is on target if he/she is talking with you about this.
The Theory of Constraints is a concept that suggests every process has an inherent constraint that creates a roadblock to achieving the organization’s highest level of performance. Does it take a rocket scientist to point this out? No, but the reason the belt is bringing it to your attention is because of a simple equation:
Hampered performance=hampered profit generation
There are 5 steps to utilizing this theory and with a little openness you can apply these steps to any business.
1. Identify the constraint (s).
2. Exploit the constraint.
3. Subordinate other activities to the constraint.
4. Elevate the restraint.
The benefits to TOC are worth knowing and embracing. Potentially, TOC can:
- Increase your organization’s ability to accomplish strategic goals.
- Increase net profits and ROI.
- Decrease confusion within the organization.
- Decrease production time.
- Improve delivery time.
- Give staff the ability to analyze and resolve routine conflicts.
Obviously this is not a step by step guide, but it is a good starting place to begin understanding your belt and how Six Sigma is helping your organization.