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. To aspire to achieve lofty goals, we must lift our ability to properly measure and deeply understand the immutable laws of the supply of, and demand for, the human, material, information and financial resources that power our intentions. (more…)
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 be equipped with the means to make better decisions.
The reason we have financial measurements in the first place is to ensure that we make better financial judgements for our organisations. These judgements can fall into five basic categories:(more…)
Imagine being the conductor of an orchestra and having to make your baton signal for every note of every musician, from beginning to end. Impossible, no? Now try and imagine the musicians playing without the guiding hand of the conductor to keep everyone sounding together—louder and softer, faster and slower, entrances and exits. This is the dilemma we face in our projects. We need to understand the ‘score’ in two tiers.
The top tier represents the fundamental shape of the project—the path from beginning to end—along with the resources for each task. In our orchestral analogy, the resources are the different parts of the orchestra—strings, woodwind, brass and percussion—while the conductor ‘assembles’ the musical phrases across the ensemble to create a mellifluous whole.(more…)
Every industrial workplace has safety rules you ignore at your peril. If you’re not wearing a hard hat and goggles at a refinery, or don’t have steel-capped boots in an aircraft hangar, you’ll be asked to leave. And not politely, either. These are binary metrics: yes or no. In or out. So why don’t we apply the same rigour to how we plan and perform our work? (more…)
What an age we live in. I don’t have to go to the library to avail myself of the world’s best thinkers—I need only tune in to YouTube. I still love to read, but how very convenient to be able to watch or listen to some of the world’s greatest thinkers on my way to and from work, whether in the car ride into the office or on a flight across the continent.
While some complain about the algorithms that select what you see based on your past preferences, I’m still in the phase of amazement that it has served me up such rich pickings, the likes of which I would never have known about unless I was an academic, used to cross-referencing citations.(more…)
A colleague once turned up late for a meeting and after the usual cursory apology noticed I was not happy: ‘What are you so concerned about?’ he asked with a supercilious grin. ‘It took 14 billion years for both of us to get here, what’s a few minutes between friends?’ Against the scale of time from big bang to the present, those few minutes are indeed trivial, but what’s really sitting underneath the attitude that makes it a cultural norm to let time slip?
Whatever business you’re in, reliability is a virtue and often a prime source of competitive advantage. In the world of projects, delivery on or before the due date has the potential to save costs, realise benefits and release your resources to work on the next project sooner. If you are an airline, rail service or bus operator, on-time performance is probably the single most important measure your customers will mark you on. If you provide groceries to a supermarket or iron ore to a steel mill, the more reliable your performance, the less money you have tied up in ‘just-in-case’ inventory.(more…)