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Constraints Broken Down in Simple Terms

Constraints can be monstrous adversaries to defeat, especially when a person does not possess the proper weapons to fight with. Writing at his blog, Ryan Ogilvie examines a few simple tactics that help execute a proper defense plan to destroy these ghastly villains.

Confronting Ghouls & Ghosts

Some instances may not permit the entire removal of a constraint; however, the identification and acknowledgment of their existence is still necessary. Improving a constraint helps to improve a process, because it is only as strong as its weakest link. There is a simple five-step plan in order to understand a constraint:

  1. Identify
  2. Exploit
  3. Subordinate
  4. Elevate
  5. Prevent inertia.

In a simple fast food example, Ogilvie illustrates the importance of identifying the problem. In a hurry one evening, he went through a fast food drive-thru, only to discover that to his dismay, the name lied and he sat in a line for what seemed like eons. Eventually he got his food, but not without asking himself why he even went there. Another evening he drove by and saw a sign declaring that they improved the drive-thru experience, so he gave it another go. To his elation, he discovered that this was indeed a faster, more efficient experience. When he inquired to the manager what they changed, he discovered that the ordering speaker and the payment window were too close together, and because of this, the process of making the food was delayed.

In this scenario, the fast food restaurant identified the problem and adjusted the system in order to overcome the difficulty. Taking notes from this can inspire a proactive plot to overcome constraints.

You can read the original post here: http://servicemanagementjourney.blogspot.com/2015/09/constraints-broken-down-in-simple-terms.html

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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