Remember TOC: The Theory of Constraints? Goldratt explained it in his business novel "The Goal".
TOC is alive and well if you use Kanban in your WIP management
First, you may ask, before considering the theory:
What is a constraint?
- Limitation on throughput
- Stuff, outcomes, that are valuable to business or client
- That which is value-add to the business value proposition
- Debris is not throughput; it’s overhead
Now, what's the Theory?:
Once a stage is full, there’s no advantage to keep piling up WIP inventory at earlier stages
And, what is it that I'm supposed to do as manager re TOC?
Subordinate to the constraintAnd, how can I make a constraint more capable so that I can improve throughput?
- “Efficiency” of widgets/hour at earlier stages is meaningless
- To clear the constraint, subordinate all resource allocations to the priority of working on the constraint
All hands on deck rule
- Add similar resources (parallelism)*
- Re-organize methodology at the constraint
- Re-tool or re-train
- Avoid constraint by going a different direction
* Beware of Brooks Law: adding resources to a late project makes it later (Fred Brooks: "The Mythical Manmonth")
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