Today attendees of the Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization (TOCICO) conference were treated to a full day of new TOC content developed by Eli Goldratt in the months before his death. The amount and depth of content is a tribute to his commitment to the body of knowledge he founded. I can’t possibly cover all the content discussed on Day 1. My notes cover 14 notebook pages and even those are just highlights.
The main contribution was Goldratt’s identification of the fourth pillar of TOC (Never say “I KNOW”) and a process to leverage that pillar.
The process contains several steps:
- Identify a “giant,” not a choopchick
- Identify the enormity of the area not addressed by the giant
- Get on the giant’s shoulders
- Identify the conceptual difference between the reality that was improved so dramatically by the giant, and the area untouched.
- Identify the wrong assumption
- Conduct the full analysis to determine the core problem, solutions, etc.
Goldratt had followed this process when he wrote his article, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” about the Toyota Production System.
Today we followed the process with the giant defined as the current state of the Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) methodology. In a four part presentation, Lisa Scheinkopf took us through the history of the development of CCPM, the birth of the term “constraint” to replace Goldratt’s initial term “bottleneck,” the integration of the danger of multi-tasking to project duration into CCPM, and the writing of the book Critical Chain.
During break out sessions we were offered a small group opportunity to dive into the Project Management Strategy and Tactics (S&T) Tree, a logical diagram of the steps necessary to create an amazing project management company. This was my first introduction to S&T trees though I’ve heard of them for years.
After lunch we were treated to a breakthrough that Goldratt had found hiding in the untouched area of CCPM: the remaining bad multi-tasking (BMT) left in traditionally effective CCPM projects. Through several more sessions we were led through the process and results one company achieved by tackling the remaining bad multi-tasking in their projects.
Where the company was completing 5 projects per month prior to the second pass CCPM effort, after two rounds of targeted improvements to reduce bad multi-tasking their projects per month jumped to 14 then 42. Yes, you read that right. The company got an 800% increase in project completions through behavior changes related to eliminating more multi-tasking.
I’m excited to share more details with you, but they’ll have to wait until another day. It’s past late here and the morning will come too soon. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week.