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TOC Part 2 - Theory of Consulting

It seems that one thing that is required when implementing TOC is consultants. Now, since you can read Goldratt's books and you can see how Alex Rogo thinks this stuff up all by himself, implements it and saves his company, you might start thinking it is possible to do it yourself. But according to the consultants you would be wrong.

One can't fault consultants. They have bills to pay just like everyone else. I know that many of them provide important services (Just try implementing Project Server on your own...), but I tend to be suspicious of them when they say start listing everything that you will need to do and it all requires their participation. I'm still not sure why something supposedly as simple as TOC requires a huge effort. I've already mentioned that it is very little different from a resource loaded critical path schedule. Any competent Project manager should be able to understand it.

Another thing that TOC people will constantly repeat is that you need executive sponsorship or your implementation will fail. Um... generally if you are going to change the way you manage your company - even if you are going to use the I Ching - you will need upper management to be involved in some way. And of course there are courses available for upper management. What I find a bit objectionable about this is that it is like saying that for the diet consultant to guarantee the results you must already weigh less than xx pounds. Management buy-in is half the battle. One almost thinks that the reason that the consultants want upper management involved is that the consultants know who have 6 figure spending limits.

But, please don't get me wrong. Most of the TOC consultants I've met have been personable and seemed to genuinely want to help. I'm not against them, I just find that some of their practices seem to have a strong element of self-preservation surrounding them and I wonder how much that drives the canonization of TOC rather than the other way around.

The next article will get into some of the mechanics of TOC and examine the typical claims made for TOC. With some real examples we can move away from my opinionated comments and towards something worthy of reasoned discussion.



The previous article is TOC Part 1 - Theory of Constraints.

The next article is Are you living in a Superfund site?.

Current articles are in the main index page and you can find a complete list of articles in the archives.

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