Theory of Constraints In the Theory of Constraints, business managers must identify bottlenecks in the production process in advance in order to build proactive solutions that increase the efficiency of a plant or office. In businesses that are based in selling products and services that they also produce, the project manager can apply systems theory to view the entire production system and organization of the company as a system. Through this, the manager can also make a model through a chart or organizational outline that describes every stage in the production process, and analyzes the stages and stations of the process in mapping the efficiency of each.
With the relationships inherent in the production process itself, the manager can chart the patterns of throughput over the course of manufacturing in order to see where the bottlenecks occur. These bottlenecks represent a reduced rate of production that other processes are determined by and which reduces through that the overall productivity and profitability of production. By clearly defining bottlenecks, the project manager can target improvements in the technology, staff, or organization of the stage so that the production limitations are solved to the greater efficiency and profitability of the company. Applying this strategy to the software development process, as managed by Agile methods of organization, the project manager can look at the different teams and their speed of work as one of the main factors.
For example, skill of the programmer in production of software can be considered a bottleneck. In object oriented programming where different parts of the software product are developed by different teams independently, a delay in one small part of the project will delay the publication and release of the whole.
Other bottlenecks in software development can be found in computer speed, internet connection speed, and in other computer hardware issues related to efficiency on the desktop. Thus, upgrades in both staff and hardware can improve efficiency in software development using Agile methods of programming and project management. To apply the 5 step process outlined in “The Goal” as a means of project management of systems: 1.) Identify the systems bottlenecks The bottlenecks are found in programming skill of staff as relating to problem solving and software production of object-oriented models.
Additional bottlenecks are in computer processor power, web connection speed, and software versioning used by staff to create new products. 2.) Decide how to exploit the bottlenecks The bottlenecks can be exploited as advantage over similar businesses in the sector by recruiting quality and trained staff as programmers who excel in their field. The company should also keep up to date computer hardware and software in the desktop environment of the programming team, for even the few seconds gained in processing speed add up over time to efficiency in production. 3.) Subordinate everything else to the above decision From this we reach a decision to dedicate our company to quality programming practices through hiring practices and innovation through keeping on the latest edge of developments in the sector. 4.) Elevate the systems bottlenecks To elevate the bottlenecks, the project manager should introduce training for long term employees to keep their skills updated, and find a balance of time commitment that fits with production requirements.
The company can also use our excellence in programming and office innovations in technology as part of the marketing strategy and brand identity. 5.) If in a previous step, a bottleneck has been broken go back to step 1 If a computer workstation breaks, as a bottleneck, halting production, the company should replace it as soon as possible by having identical backup computer systems and files of every workstation networked and automatically backed up on the network, so that they can be easily restored in the event of a crash or hardware failure. Source: Goldratt, Eliyahu M.; Jeff Cox.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement.
Great Barrington, MA.: North River Press.