I am still looking for more thinking on how to apply Theory of Constraints ideas and thinking in heavily uncertain areas like discovery research, where typical drop-out rates are well above 80%. I've been curious about the applications in software development because it seems I could learn something there. And I have a bunch of people in my extended network that work in this arena.
David Anderson pointed to a nice summary of his own book, The Theory Of Constraints: Productivity Metrics In Software Development by Derick Bailey. The main elements of Bailey's contribution just helped me see how the TOC terminology and concepts fit into a software development arena. What is inventory or an appropriate metric for throughput? It gives me some insights into the arena. Maybe I should find Anderson's book?
I finally read through Clarke Ching's Rocks Into Gold, which he describes as a parable on how to thrive during the credit crunch. It focuses on a software company with a derivation on how valuable it is to deliver early, rather than delivering everything. Of course, in research, delivery is a likely candidate for sales (whether that is a drug or a new electronic component or a new material), so this doesn't quite equate. But there are interesting ideas nonetheless.
I would appreciate any additional pointers too.