I realize I mentioned the Four Concepts of Flow in the last post and that I have listed them explicitly here on the blog before. These come from an article that has been published within the Theory of Constraints community called Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. And the four concepts themselves are credited to the thinking of Henry Ford and Taiichi Ohno.
- Improving flow (or equivalently lead time) is a primary objective of operations.
- This primary objective should be translated into a practical mechanism that guides the operation when not to produce (prevents overproduction).
- Local efficiencies must be abolished.
- A focusing process to balance flow must be in place.
These are also explained in a seven minute video of Eli discussing the four elements and giving some examples to bring them to life. I've seen them used in project management and manufacturing, and the previous post mentions a version of these concepts related to patient flow in a hospital or healthcare environment.