Intro to TOC

Interactive Demos

The ProConCloud Method

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Below a listing of some of the key Research Insights gained by GRL




In this chapter of the Theory of Constraints Handbook, author, Dr. Alan Barnard shares his research insights on why so many of the changes initiated by management fail to deliver the desired improvement (typically 70% of all changes fail) and how Theory of Constraints can be used to significantly reduce this failure rate. To answer these two important questions, this chapter provides a framework for designing and implementing a continuous improvement and auditing process within organizations from a Theory of Constraints (TOC) perspective and shares some of the important new TOC developments in this field as well as make recommendations on practical ways to integrate this approach with organizational strategy and as a focusing method for LEAN, 6 Sigma and other improvement techniques.

The chapter starts with the definition of key concepts and a brief historical perspective on this subject and then provides an overview of the current gap and its and consequences related to typical errors of omission, commission, detection (to answer Why Change). It then examines the underlying conflicts and assumptions that need to be challenged (to answer What To Change), the solution criteria, direction and details of a solution to break these conflicts and prevent new undesirable effects (to answer What To Change To), and finally sharing insights on how to practically overcome typical implementation obstacles (to answer How To Cause The Change and Achieve a Process of Ongoing Improvement).


In this chapter of the Theory of Constraints Handbook, authors, Dr. Alan Barnard and Ray Immelman shares their experience and research insights on how to put a whole organization (not just Operations, or Distribution or Engineering or Sales) on a Holistic Process of Ongoing Improvement (POOGI) where all changes are focused and synchronized to achieve both ongoing growth, harmony and stability.

This chapter provides a historical perspective on the need for an holistic approach to implementing Theory of Constraints (TOC), an overview of the past attempts to develop such an approach and why most of these attempts have failed. Then two of the leading TOC experts in the world (Dr. Alan Barnard and Ray Immelman), each with many TOC implementations behind them, share their unique experiences and insights gained on how to achieve and sustain a holistic TOC implementation that will deliver both ongoing performance growth and improved stability and harmony through two large and complex TOC case studies – one from the Private Sector (First Solar Inc.) and one from the Public Sector (Solid Waste Management in African Cities).

Research articles

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  • “What is Theory of Constraints (TOC)?”- by Dr. Alan Barnard
  • A Review of Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC)
  • Challenging one of the basic laws of economics – by Dr. Alan Barnard
  • Exponential Population and Economic Growth Versus Finite Scarce Resources = Boom or Bust? – by Dr. Alan Barnard
  • The challenge of balancing supply and demand – by Dr. Alan Barnard
  • The relentless pursuit of the weakest link (African Explosives) – by Tony Rattey
  • The world of Theory of Constraints
  • Theory of Constraints Throughput Accounting – by Dr. Alan Barnard
  • TLS: TOC+LEAN+6Sigma – The Continuous Improvement Trio
  • US Marine Corps TOC Implementation

TOC Implementation Golden Nuggets fromDr Eli Goldratt and Efrat Tal

  1. How to deal with Stock Buffer Increase orders in MTA
  2. When to ignore exceptions in Setting Inventory Target Levels in MTA
  3. Immunizing Distributor from Competitors reducing prices in MTA
  4. Setting Inventory Targets in MTA
  5. Preparing for Rapid Response in RRR
  6. Prioritization of MTO using Buffer Status & Due Date
  7. Process vs Transfer Batch
  8. What does % red mean in Managing Buffers?
  9. Color psychology
  10. MTA+MTO Mixed environment
  11. Light blue 1 a way to exploit the protective capacity
  12. Using Light blue in BM to exploit excess capacity
  13. Reaching the plateau

Case Studies

ABB Case Study
Achieving Fast And Reliable Deliveries With A Robust TOC Solution Simple Enough To Be Supported By Standard ERP Systems – by Dr. Alan Barnard, Dr. Katja Rajaniemi and Fredrik Nordstrom

Daiwa House Case Studies

  • Improving Performance on SAP Implementation Project (SAP and Daiwa House) – by Daiwa House
  • Six lessons from a lightning ERP rollout (SAP and Daiwa House) – by Bob Lewis
  • System development and implementation using “The Goal” way. Increasing the entire capacity and speed by eliminating wastes that stem from local optimum

InWent Case Study
Using a simplified version of Theory of Constraints to achieve more with less time within the Public Sector: A Case Study from Africa – by Dr. Alan Barnard

Random House Case Study
Selling more books by reducing shortages and surpluses – by Dr. Alan Barnard

Tata Steel Case Study
Applying Theory of Constraints to achieve Viable Vision for Tata Steel – by Bimlendra Jha

Dr. Alan Barnard PhD Thesis

How to identify and unlock inherent potential within organizational and individuals using a systems approach

Research papers by other authors

  • “A Review of Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC) – lessons from the international literature” – Steven J. Balderstone and Victoria J. Mabin
  • “Archetypes of sustainability: Hopeful strategies for organization growth and renewal” – by David Sibbet
  • “Change or Die” – by Alan Deutschman
  • “Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow” – by Larry E. Greiner
  • “Learning through System Dynamics in preparation for the 21st century” – by Jay. W. Forrester
  • “Strategy and Tactics” – by Eli Goldratt, Rami Goldratt and Eli Abramov
  • “Transforming the systems movement” – by Russell L. Ackhoff
  • “Why few organizations adopt Systems Thinking” – by Russell L. Ackhoff


  • Buffer chart
  • TOC Game
  • Goldratt Research Labs Multi-Tasking Simulation Game

Book Reviews

“The Checklist Manifesto – How to get things right” – by Dr.Atul Gawande

TOCICO Dictionary

The TOCICO Dictionary

TOC Videos

  • Dr Alan Barnard: 10min Demo of the Harmony Strategy & Tactic Expert System Software
  • Goldratt Lectures: Why Thinking Globally (not locally) is so important – Storyline Animation
  • Goldratt Lectures: Building an Ever-Flourishing Company Part 1
  • Goldratt Lectures: Building an Ever-Flourishing Company Part 2
  • Goldratt Lecture: How to overcome resistance to change?
  • New Research – Why so many of our change initiatives fail and how to prevent it?

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