# Theory of Restraints Example

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00:00

Hi, guys. Welcome back. I'm Katherine MacGyver, and this is your lean six Sigma green belt. So in our last module, we talked about the concepts behind the theory of constraints. We talked about the TOC model, which tells us that we identify our constraints, We exploit them,

00:17

we synchronize, we elevate, and then we repeat so rich wash and repeat all over again. But with that in this module, we're actually gonna walk through a real life example so I can solidify these for you

00:31

because I really want you as you are doing your analysis and starting to focus on developing improvements to think about the theory of constraints as a way that you can support your lean six Sigma practice. So how can you identify where your bottlenecks are and then

00:48

figure out ways to work your improvements? Either your do make improvements or quick hits

00:53

into minimizing those bottlenecks for your organization.

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So we're going to review the TOC model in the context of an example. Before we get to our example, there are three things that you need to think about in theory of constraints or related to the theory of constraints.

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The 1st 1 is your outputs. So this is what is at the end of your process. This is the same is lean and six Sigma. These are going to be your dependent variables the's or your wise.

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This is your project objective. This is what happens at the end of your process. Then you have your constraints. This is what your bottleneck is. So this is going to be

01:34

what is the what are the individual steps of the process and what are those steps individually able to handle, which relates to your throughput? So this is the demand on your process. In theory of constraints, this is actually taught as your rhythm of the business

01:53

or as your drum beat.

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But this is what we actually need this process should you. So with that, here's a really bottleneck for those of you who are fond of driving or have to commute in any way,

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You know exactly what this looks like when we have too many cars for the number of lanes available.

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That is our bottleneck. So think of this is a process where our output is getting to the office and our process is driving down the interstate were cruising along. We're doing our thing. Oops, we have construction. And now we have a bottleneck and we are backed up and we're late to work.

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So that is what I constraint would look like in real life

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if we resolved that constraint. One of the ways that we can do it is decrease our throughput. So the demand on the process, which means that were never at a point where the demand exceeds that constraints, capacity or capability and we have no traffic jam. Another way that we could do this

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is Teoh. Exploit the constraint or figure out a way to make this constraint work for us. So in this specific example,

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maybe we add those missing the lanes back or we decrease the construction zone. Of course, we limit our throughput. Um,

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for those of you who are very, very comfortable with driving a couple of examples that I'm going to talk through where our Department of Transportation has exploited the constraints, The first example is an H O. V. Lane. So we have a high occupancy vehicle, lanes.

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This is an opportunity to exploit that constraint. Where are constraint is is we don't have enough lanes for the traffic available.

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So we reroute and reward people for carpooling by giving them a private lane. This effectively decreases the throughput or the demand on the other lanes of traffic.

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Another solution that they do quite a bit here in Colorado is metered lights on your on ramps. So another way that we, because

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adding more lanes is far more expensive in the Department of Transportation perspective, then limiting our throughput. What we do is is as you cruise to get onto your interstate, there's a traffic light down there,

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and it stops and starts to meter the number of people that go on. So instead of having this influx

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at rush hour that floods our interstates and causes a traffic jam, we have a limited throughput. So we have to pause before we get on the interstate, which does not allow for this influx or this bottleneck, and we have a consistent flow of traffic. So with that, um,

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I chose the traffic constraint because it's something that I think that we have all experienced sitting in or having lanes closed or seen the different ways that we can exploit it. So the Colorado example of the meter to traffic,

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then moves into our next model where we synchronize it. So we know that how we're gonna exploit our constraint

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is we're gonna limit our throughput or a demand on the process. So now we're going to synchronize it, and we're going to use some data

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and look at what is an appropriate number of courage to be or frequency to be added to that process without overwhelming the capability of your process on Ben, we're gonna elevate it. So now we figured out how to work this.

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So now we're going to refine it, and we're going to make it a little bit better. Um, and then once we elevated and refine it and it works a little bit better, we're going to go back to our elevated and refined and exploited processes. And we're going to start all over again by trying to recognize the next set of constraints,

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the next construction zone

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or the bottleneck, and we're going to continue repeating this process as its own form of process improvement.

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So with that today, we went over the traffic model example of the theory of constraints. What I am challenging you guys to do is Look around your workplace and think about what are the areas that are bottlenecks or constraints.

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And if you could exploit them, what would exploitation look like? How would you flip that from a constraint

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to a benefit?

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And with Now we're going to switch back into lean six Sigma in our next module, and we're going to be firmly in our improved phase, Um, with design of experiments. So we're gonna test in real life those experiments in those root causes that we've identified in our analyze phase. So I will see you guys there.

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