### Theory of Constraints

Capacity Management
Theory of Constraints
Capacity of a Process or System
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Balance
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on Unsplash
The drum, buffer, rope concept
Slack et al 2016 – Figure 10.17
The Goal – Goldratt
Process limited by
bottleneck
Manage the bottleneck
before you manage the
rest
Think about flow & end to
end processing time

The five steps of the Theory Of Constraints
(TOC), as suggested by Goldratt (1984)
TOC sets out a five-step procedure to manage and, where possible,
remove the
bottlenecks or other constraints that are restricting the
capacity of a process:
1. Identify the bottleneck or other capacity constraint in the process.
2. Decide how to exploit the constraint – that is, obtain as much capacity as
possible from the constraint.
3. Subordinate everything to the constraint – the non-constrained elements of
the process should be adjusted accordingly.
4. ‘Elevate’ the constraint in the process – that is, try to eliminate it.
5. Go back to step 1 and identify the next bottleneck or other capacity
constraint.

Identify the
constraint
Exploit the
constraint
Subordinate to
the constraint
Elevate the
constraint
Find the next
constraint
Theory Of Constraints – Goldratt (1984)
5 3 5 4 5
Potential Process Stage Capacity
Actual Process Capacity
5 3 3 3 3
The Goal …
The five steps of the Theory Of Constraints
(TOC), as suggested by Goldratt (1984)
1. Identify the bottleneck or other capacity constraint in the process.
5 3 5 4 5
Potential Process Stage Capacity
Actual Process Capacity
5 3 3 3 3
1. Identify the bottleneck
Identify the bottleneck or other capacity constraint in the process.
5 3 5 4 5
Potential Process Stage Capacity
Actual Process Capacity
5 3 3 3 3
1. Identify the bottleneck
5 3 5 4 5
Potential Process Stage Capacity
Actual Process Capacity
5 3 3 3 3
2. Exploit the constraint
Decide how to exploit the constraint – that is, obtain as much capacity
as possible from the constraint.

5 3 5 4 5
Potential Process Stage Capacity
Actual Process Capacity
5 3 3 3 3
Subordinate everything to the constraint – the non-constrained
elements of the process should be adjusted accordingly.
3. Subordinate everything to the constraint
5 5 5 4 5
Potential Process Stage Capacity
Actual Process Capacity
5 5 5 4 4
4. Elevate the constraint
Elevate’ the constraint in the process – that is, try to eliminate it.
5 5 5 4 5
Potential Process Stage Capacity
Actual Process Capacity
5 5 5 4 4
5. Identify next bottleneck
Go back to step 1 and identify the next bottleneck or other
capacity constraint.