We are continuing our series based on The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints. {This series was co-written with Brad Stillahn.}

So how do we get the key people in a highly custom job shop to do the totally counter intuitive steps of the Velocity Scheduling System (based on Theory of Constraints Simplified Drum Buffer Rope)? Well, instead of pushing the steps of a system they don’t understand, don’t agree with, and have no intuition around – we build on a previous success.

What success? Ask any custom job shop if they have ever pulled out all the stops for a customer and turned a job really quickly. Most (probably all) will say yes. Ask them to tell you the story. You will find that they were able to do a job in a fraction of their typical quoted lead-time. For example, one client did a job in 3 days that they would normally quote a 6 week lead-time for.

When they are telling the story ask about what they had to do to get that job done. And what did they had to stop doing or what jobs did they have to stop working on to make it happen. Listen very closely, take notes and ask questions to draw out the story.

Typically they will explain how they had to stop working on a several jobs that they had already started. Then they will talk about how they “crashed” the job. “Crashing a job” is our terminology for bringing multiple resources to bear on a job. They might have used 2 lathes to run operation 1. And as soon as one piece was done it immediately went to operation 2 on a mill instead of waiting for all it sister parts to complete operation 1. In this way, the job just zipped through the shop.

They were able to complete this job so quickly because they 1) reduced work in process by stopping work on other jobs; 2) By focusing on finishing this one job and 3) by “crashing the job” and bringing multiple resources to work on it.

These 3 actions are some of the key components of the Velocity Scheduling System (VSS). The problem you would discover is that they think that they cannot continue to take these actions on an on-going basis. And if they did, they would be inefficient and the company would lose money.

So what we now explain, is that the VSS is a system that will help them find the balance between what they did on that rush job and efficiency. Then we simply ask – would you be willing to try it and to help customize VSS for their plant. We will explain everything, but knowledge does not change behavior, what we need from you is a commitment to try what we ask.

Who would say no to that? Particularly in the group environment we have for our VSS Coaching Program.

If we can get the biggest detractor for each company to agree to try it, to really do the program, they are unlikely to go back on their word. (Law of Consistency) Then, the crystal clear step by step instructions of VSS, in combination with their story and experiences will help the new process (VSS) to stick.

This process of building on a success can be used in any number of circumstances. We’ve also used it to help companies with their sales and marketing, project completion, and distribution solutions. How can you use it? Drop us a line and let us know your thoughts.

What’s your experience with buy-in? Please add your comments to this post  (really, I want to know).

Here’s to maximizing YOUR profits!

Dr Lisa

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