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Practical Wisdom: Drum Buffer Rope

Think of a production system and you’ll probably conjure up some kind of assembly line. Whether you imagine humans or machines doing the work, this mental model feels wedded to manufacturing. It needn’t be—production principles are universal. An airline’s check-in desk is part of a production line. So is the hospital’s procedure for admitting patients.

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Bang for buck—the art of portfolio management

The real cost of any decision is what you forego by making that choice. In economics, the cost of a decision based on the cost of the next best option is called the opportunity cost. At its most poetic, Henry David Thoreau put it thus: ‘the price of anything is the amount of life you

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The Value Management Office (VMO)

All improvement is change, but not all change is improvement. Organisations typically change because they want to improve their competitive advantage. How do we give ourselves the best possible chance of success? Change resides in the domain of projects and project management. We most often think of the word project as a noun. But treat

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mediumA quantum leap in resourcefulness

In Part One, I wrote about the kind of challenges we all face when trying to define the human, material, information and financial resources available to us. In small groups, we can estimate what is reasonable and possible simply by talking to people and seeing what they have on their plate. But as our projects

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On being resourceful: the problem

Most organisations vastly underestimate how wasteful they are with their resources. We need to get much better at thinking systemically and acting systematically in the planning and performance of our work.

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The measure of money

Whatever you think about the free enterprise system, making more money now and in the future is a cornerstone for those for-profit companies who participate in it. Let’s look at how TOC can fundamentally shift management thinking and achieve ever better returns on shareholder funds. By using the systems-based measurements of Constraint Accounting, you will

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