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Theory of Constraints (TOC)

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In his book "The Goal", first published in 1984, Eliyahu M. Goldratt introduced the concept of the Theory of Constraints. The focus of TOC is constraint management - eliminating the bottlenecks in a process that limit production or throughput. Key concepts of constraint management covered in "The Goal" include:

Lead times
Reduction of Batch Sizes
Return on Investment
Cash Flow


TOC optimizes resource utilization by identifying, exploiting, subordinating, elevating and reassessing constraints in the process. Scientific principles are applied as a set of logical thinking processes to develop transformational, breakthrough business solutions. A constraint is any resource whose capacity is less than the demand placed upon it. TOC attacks constraints and barriers (a restriction or other block to increases in output).

External Links

Oregon Glass Case Study using the Theory of Constraints from the Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute website. - TOC in Healthcare: Hitting the Bottleneck case study from the Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute website. - My Saga to Improve Production by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, AGI-Goldratt Institute. -