Pedro Arantes

Theory of Constraints (TOC) - Elevating the Constraint

Perform the longest step in parallel, change how you do the longest step to make it faster, increase your team skills.
Zettelkasten, October 28th, 2022.


There are several ways to elevate a constraint:

  • Perform the longest step in parallel. You can assign more people to the slowest step to match the throughput of the other steps. However, the number of items in progress for the long step would increase. There's a combination of people to match all steps, leading to the ideal queue capacity utilization.

  • Change how you do the longest step to make it faster. This approach is the most effective and has the most significant impact so long as you keep the quality of your work. You can speed up a step through automation, simplification, and improving the process. For example, your team is overengineering features, spending extra time searching information, waiting for builds, refactoring because the quality is low, or other partners are blocking them.

  • Increase your team skills. You can invest in training to improve your team skills to better execute the activities.

  • Break down your longest step into smaller steps. This approach involves more people and coordination.

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