Showing posts from July, 2007

Lucy in the Chocolate Factory

This little gem explains why push systems are a bad idea: What do you think happens when an organization based on push systems tries to go agile without changing the rest of the organization?

The Trap Has Been Reset

In my previous post I wrote about improving systems vs. improving processes. Yesterday, I went back to the book café in my little anecdote, and found that someone had moved the tables back to their original position. The insidious lamp trap has been reset for the next customer. As I pointed out, improving systems instead of just processes is worthwhile, but hard to do. It does take a lot of effort, usually over an extended period of time. Maybe I'll move the tables back under the lamps again this afternoon.

Process vs. System Improvement

A couple of days ago I sat in my favorite book café and worked on a Current Reality Tree. Opposite from where I was sitting, a couple with a small child sat down. The man sat at the right table. The woman sat at the left table. (Right and left are from the position of the viewer, i.e me, throughout this article.) After a few minutes, the man rose up, tried to go between the tables, and hit his head on a lamp hanging from the ceiling. The figure above shows the tables where the couple was sitting. If you look closely at the picture, you won't be surprised that a couple of minutes later, when the man rose up again, he hit his head, just like he did before. The lamps are not centered over the tables, so rising up to the left of either table is likely to result in a bump on the head. The third time the man rose up, he instigated a process change. Instead of trying to go between the two tables, he went to the right of his table. This time, he didn't hit his head. Most people would b

Review: Throughput Accounting vs. Throughput Accounting

Been to busy to blog again, but I have been reading. For some time now, I have been studying whatever material I can lay my hands on about Throughput Accounting (TA). TA is a management accounting system that is based on the Theory Of Constraints (TOC). Who needs another accounting model? Just about everyone, it turns out, because the standard model, GAAP Accounting (Cost Accounting), is so fraught with problems it is positively dangerous. Though GAAP accounting works sometimes, it does not always come up with the right answers. TA is a more reliable alternative. This review covers not one, but two TA books, the recently published Throughput Accounting by Stephen Bragg, and Thomas Corbett's Throughput Accounting, from 1999. (Yes, they have the same title.) In the book Throughput Accounting: A Guide to Constraint Management , Stephen Bragg explains how TA works, and he does it very well. The focus is on accounting for manufacturing companies. Thus, some of the specifics are not dir