Theory of Constraints — A Concise, Expert Management Briefing

FRT — Future Reality Tree

Provides a planning tool to avoid partial solutions

Can be used to predict the effects of any idea or solution

Useful in a team format

Excellent for gaining consensus on a good idea

The Theory of Constraints Thinking Process that focuses on designing the future you want — the Future Reality Tree

The Future Reality Tree is one of the most enjoyable, as well as one of the most powerful, Thinking Process tools to work with, and is particularly effective as a tool for gaining consensus on a plan of action. It uses cause-effect logic to develop a plan to create a future condition ... for example, to eliminate a suite of performance problems in production, or to create a suite of performance characteristics in a hospital.

This Theory of Constraints tool has many uses; typical uses of the Future Reality Tree include:

  • To help ensure that all the elements of a solution are present.

Every manager knows that there's usually "more to it" than is immediately obvious when a solution is being planned; well, this is the tool to flesh the whole solution out into a level of detail beyond most managers' experience.

Aa a result, this tool offers managers a high degree of assurance that a "good idea" will indeed generate the desired outcomes.

  • To help ensure that the negative side effects that can arise from even the best ideas, are identified in advance and pre-empted.

There ALWAYS are negative side effects, either from the actions taken to create the solution, or even from the solution itself. Some people are adept at spotting these; their "negativity" becomes a welcome asset in this process, it makes the plan rock-solid.

  • To check where an action or decision might lead.

Sometimes a manager is considering a possible course of action, or considering implementing a new idea ... the Future Reality Tree is the ideal tool to predict what the effects will be — both positive and negative.

  • To surface "reservations" in someone’s idea or plan, such that the outcome is a stronger idea or plan but achieved in a manner that does not imply criticism and indeed creates the feeling of "you and I against the problem."

This is a valuable "day to day" management skill that the Future Reality Tree makes possible. How often have you heard someone — it could be a boss, a peer or a junior — suggest a course of action with which you are uncomfortable for reasons you can't articulate? This is the tool to use to quickly pin-point what it is that troubles you about the suggestion, raise it in a manner that does not cause defensiveness or friction, and end up with a stronger solution as a result.

 

 

Recommended: If you want to learn more on this topic.. Unless you are willing to commit to a workshop with a TOC Expert, you cannot beat the educational material developed by Eli Goldratt, the originator of the Theory of Constraints. He is an amazing teacher.

The 8 Videos in his Satellite Program are a best-buy for a company, intended for use by groups of employees. His provocative coverage of every industrial application of TOC challenges managers to think in new directions, and to recognize the sacred cows in their organization and their own thinking.

The 16-CD Self Learning Program is extracted from the same material but intended for use by individuals on their own PCs, rather than groups.

The TOC Insights is a new interactive PC-based tool for individuals. As a TOC Expert I thought they were too "cute" ... until I used them with clients. They proved to be highly effective learning tools for the 5 major applications, and the Distribution and Supply Chain solution is documented in detail here for the first time anywhere.

Planned: a Monthly TOC EZine This EZine is intended to be 100% practical, offering tips, advice and illustrations of users' experiences with the different TOC applications.

TOC Experts with practical suggestions to real problems encountered with clients will also contribute.

The EZine will promote the use of TOC in combination with other technologies, for improved results.

We will be taking subscriptions soon.

 

 

 

 

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