In Theory of Constraints we follow a process to improve. First we decide “what to change”. To do this, of course, we need to agree on the problem(s). Once we have consensus on the problem we then work on the solution or “what to change to”. And after that, we decide “how to cause the change”.
It all sounds very straight forward and logical and it is. This process does work, but at times it can prove to be challenging — especially when we don’t take enough time to agree on the problem. So Brad and I are especially vigilant about that. Because there is really no point to moving into discussing the possible solutions unless and until we have agreement on the problem. Every time we’ve pushed ahead too fast we always have to go back and get agreement on the problem.
- There can be multiple solutions that would work or we think there are multiple solutions that could work.
- People are only comfortable with solutions which they are familiar with and have intuition around.
- We don’t know what we don’t know.
- The Theory of Constraints solutions are often counterintuitive, the opposite of what most people do now, and most people have no familiarity or intuition around them.
So you can see, if the solution is to implement our Velocity Scheduling System for scheduling job shops (based on Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints and Simplified Drum Buffer Rope) we may get some push back (aka You want me to do WHAT?) even AFTER we have successfully agreed on the problem.