12 February, 2014

3-1-4 understanding systems: Constraint

The performance of any system is limited by the availability of the most critical input (resource of the lowest inflow level) in the system

And to improve the performance you have to make enough of this constraint resource
Every system must has one constraint … once it is improved, the next slowest thing becomes the constraint and need to be improved and so on

-          Then, how to identify the constraint and make the system better?

1-     Identify the constraint
Hint: best way to do this is to look at the big picture of the system. A diagram or a flow chart of the system will do and you just ask yourself what is holding me back?

2-     Exploit the constraint
Making sure that the resources that are designed to make this constraint aren’t spending time making anything else because anything else isn't as important

Dedicate all the resources -used to produce, improve this constraint- to this constraint, nothing is more important than it and nothing can share the same resourced with it until it is no longer a problem

3-       Subordinating
Knowing that everything else is less important than making this constraint run better ….. And start taking from other available, abundant resources to serve this constraint

4-     Elevation
Invest more money, energy, time and people to expand the capability of that constraint
The most expensive and consuming choice and you don't use it until you run out of all previous actions and still no results

5-     Check if the system again to see if the constraint is still there
Yes: keep working on it
No: search for the next constraint

-          Know that presence of constraints is a healthy indicator of a good, normal business/system. And I quote here:
"If your pathway is paved and you meet no troubles in it, know that you in the wrong direction"
"Those whom GOD wished to destroy, are given unlimited resources"

-          You can always make something good with the amount of the time and budget you have. It is a matter of making good choices that will make you successful, not the presence of plenty of resources or not