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.

Simplifying even with a lot of complexity #TOCICO16

Another favorite principle in the Theory of Constraints community is that there is inherent simplicity in any system. But this is something hard to swallow for a lot of people.  Kevin Naya works at Boeing - they make some pretty involved products that have a lot of interactions.  This can be considered complex.  His talk was entitled "Inherent Simplicity for Inherent Complexity at Boeing."

The key idea he presented talked about the seeming conflict between optimizing the global system and optimizing the local operations.  We want to optimize the global to support the overall organization and keep stakeholders aligned.  But we want to optimize locally to make sure the work gets executed.

Typically, I have seen this conflict broken around the assumptions that drive the local optimizations.  Local efficiencies and cost-world thinking are some of the biggest challenges to driving global improvement.

But in the discussion about very large programs with lots of moving pieces, Kevin Naya suggested that the conflict between global and local could be broken.  He described a process where the overall system is optimized, and then the local pieces are synchronized with that and then optimized at their level, in line with the global direction.  And it is at the local level where the typical logistical approaches employed: limit WIP, release work according to capacity of the system, ensure full kit, and rapid review / improvement.  Depending on the organization, this could be WIP boards, critical chain, drum-buffer-rope or other applications.  

Dealing with uncertainty according to TOC #TOCICO16

Innovation using TOC #TOCICO16