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TOC Core Concept

The core concept of the Theory of Constraints is that every process has a single constraint and that total process throughput can only be improved when the constraint is improved. TOC seeks to provide precise and sustained focus on improving the current constraint until it no longer limits throughput, at which point the focus moves to the next constraint. The underlying power of TOC flows from its ability to generate a tremendously strong focus towards a single goal (profit) and to removing the principal impediment (the constraint) to achieving more of that goal. In fact, Goldratt considers focus to be the essence of TOC.

The Five Focusing Steps

Assuming the goal of a system has been articulated and its measurements defined, the steps are:

  1. Identify the system’s constraint(s).
  2. Decide how to exploit the system’s constraint(s).
  3. Subordinate everything else to the above decision(s).
  4. Elevate the system’s constraint(s).
  5. Repeat the process

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