This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

What is your problem?

Let's see if these sound familiar in finishing the statement, "Our problem is ..."

... we don't have a ABC (software system, internal organization, capability).
... we are using antiquated XYZ (equipment, processes, ...).
... our efficiencies (or other metric) are too low. 

These are some form of a problem stated as a "lack of a solution". The obvious solution is to buy/implement an ABC or pay to replace your XYZ. How many projects in businesses today are focused on building / implementing a solution without understanding why? Internal measures are trickier, but they often inspire projects focused on improving the measure without checking if the measure is actually guiding us to take the correct actions. 

The fact that you don't have something isn't the problem. The fact that you want a shiny new thing isn't the problem.  

What is a problem?  It's something that prevents you from reaching your goal - or makes getting there very difficult. It's a limitation - if you could get rid of it you could achieve more of your goal (or get there faster).  

In the TOC world a problem is anything that prevents you from getting more Throughput - and Throughput is sales, not merely production of parts. Most often, TOC focuses its efforts around the overall constraint of the system - if the constraint can do more / faster, then the whole system should perform better in achieving the goal.  (If that isn't the case, then you aren't looking at the constraint.)

Inspired today by James Lawther, who has a very similar article, The Solution to Everything.

Success example with Throughput Accounting

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