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How to Integrate Theory of Constraints (TOC) with Six Sigma


Working with the Theory of Constraints (TOC) can be very beneficial for many businesses nowadays, especially those that are constantly striving to improve their operations and get even more out of their work. This happens to align perfectly with the general ideas behind Six Sigma, making the two a powerful combination with a great potential. If you want to see great improvements in your business and ensure that they will not impact your operations in any unexpected ways, look no further than integrating the Theory of Constraints.


Aligning TOC and Six Sigma


Continuous improvement is one of the core ideas behind Six Sigma, and it’s the exact state that you’re trying to achieve by integrating the Theory of Constraints into your work. When you’re working with TOC, you’ll always know that the improvements you’re making are going to impact your business positively, instead of having any side effects that will ultimately cause problems down the road.


On the other hand, Six Sigma can help you trim the fat in your operations by allowing you to focus on waste reduction as much as you can – and this usually goes hand in hand with integrating the Theory of Constraints into your operations. By ensuring that you’re not wasting any efforts or resources in any area of your operations, you can easily move in the direction of improving every step of the process.


Verifying the Validity of Each Change


One of the best things about Six Sigma is that it forces you to always look at your business with a critical eye and evaluate its current state under a microscope. This can often allow you to spot errors in the current setup much faster than if you’re attempting to verify your processes through auxiliary means, and this in turn is a perfect complement to what TOC does for your business.


Put simply, when you’re working with TOC, you’ll want to ensure that every change you’re making to your operations pushes some constraint outwards, while at the same time remaining within reasonable bounds. You can easily use a constant verification process as part of your Six Sigma implementation in order to ensure that those constraints are not getting violated at any step of the way, and optionally to get alerts whenever such a violation does occur. This can be a very powerful tool with serious implications for your overall operations.


Sometimes you may even discover that you could have pushed things even further, thanks to the analytical techniques found in the area of Six Sigma. It’s generally a very powerful set of tools and methods that can help you get in full control of your business in a relatively short period of time, and ensure that you’re always striving for continuous improvement.


Analyzing the Change of Your Business Throughout Time


Last but definitely not least, when you’ve got Six Sigma integrated tightly into your operations, this means that you have a reliable way of looking back through time and seeing how your business has changed since its original inception. And this can be a very useful tool when you’re working with TOC, as it can give you a very accurate overview of how things have changed with each improvement you’ve made. Sometimes you may see a certain line of the graph going down but that’s fine, as long as the long-term tendency is towards improvement.




The Theory of Constraints can have a huge impact on an organization that’s already relying on Six Sigma in its operations, and it’s a powerful tool that’s important to master as early as possible if you want to strive for continuous improvement. Even if that’s not the direction you want to move in, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of TOC.


(文章来源:shmula.com,PLY外语学习   作者: Brant Pu   )

TAG标签: 六西格玛 TOC 约束理论 Six Sigma