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Sustainability: Moving from Common Sense to Common Practice
2016 International Conference
Leesburg, VA - National Conference Center

September 18th - 21st

Applications of TOC in Government Workshop

Kevin Fox - Managing Partner, Viable Vision

Improving the quality, effectiveness, and timeliness of delivering government services is of great importance around the world. The challenge of improving government is both great and varied ranging from tackling social problems, education and health, to delivering services and administrative functions in a timely and cost effective manner. The principles of TOC provide great insight into how complex systems function and how to improve them, with the potential—already being demonstrated—to stretch funding and improve the speed and quality of services.

TOC’s logical thinking processes and scientific approach to problem analysis and resolution are being used to analyze and tackle some of the most vexing societal issues, including education, criminal justice and health. TOC’s established applications—including Critical Chain Project Management, the Five Focusing Steps, and Accounting and Measurements—offer sound fundamental structures for generating rapid improvement in many areas of government as has already been demonstrated across a number of US states and federal agencies, as well as government agencies on almost every continent of the world.

The TOC for Government Basics Workshop provides an overview of how TOC can help meet many of the diverse challenges of government along with very practical tools and applications participants can apply to realize immediate gains. It is designed for government leaders and civil servants seeking to understand the central principles of TOC and how they apply in the unique setting of government. It is also appropriate for the TOC literate interested to understand the challenges and obstacles of applying TOC to government.

The program includes discussions of the challenges of improving government, the fundamentals of TOC, areas where TOC applications have already been adapted and successfully applied, as well highlighting where challenges remain and additional development is needed. The agenda is as follows:
  • Defining the goal of government and its various functions, agencies and departments
  • The critical importance and challenges of measurement, and the use of TOC’s three basic measurements: Throughput, Investment and Operating Expense
  • Understanding and managing the complex systems of resources found in government, and TOC’s Five Focusing Steps
  • The application of TOC’s five focusing steps to improve the quality and speed of government at a substantially lower costs, with practical tools and methods
  • An introduction to Critical Chain Project Management and how it can be applied to improve the timeliness and quality of execution of government projects
  • An overview of the TOC Thinking Processes and their use in assisting governments in analyzing and addressing difficult problems
  • A summary of the challenges and obstacles to the practical application of TOC in government
The Government Basics program is a great way for participants to gain a solid grounding in TOC and the potential advantages of its application across the broad array of government challenges and objectives. This foundational material is complemented by presentations and implementation case studies from a number of government leaders. Together the TOC for Government track provides an excellent vehicle for government leaders and civil servants to start to capitalize on the potential of TOC to improve the effectiveness, quality and speed of government functions.

Kevin Fox is a founding member of Viable Vision, serving as Managing Partner for the last 8 years. His passion is assisting leaders in finding and capitalizing on the underlying simplicity obscured by the apparent complexity of managing organizations. This passion was ignited 30 years ago and fostered by his years of close association with Eli Goldratt and Robert Fox in the Theory of Constraints.

As a consultant he has helped leaders across a wide array of manufacturing industries, and service sectors, including government and healthcare, utilizing TOC principles, to create dramatic improvements in performance. Among his most visible successes are:
  • Helping G.D. Searle to break critical bottlenecks in the development of Celebrex, contributing to what became the most successful drug launch in history

  • Assisting the leadership of First Solar in acquiring and applying the principles of TOC which have been integral to the company’s transformation into a world leader in solar energy

  • Collaborating with leaders to design and prove a model that is now being applied to improve the quality, speed, and efficiency of all facets of Utah’s state government
He understands that sustainable change must be directed and led by the organization’s management. As a result, his role as a consultant is to help leaders identify the root causes of their problems and develop solutions that enable them to generate rapid, large and lasting improvement. TOC’s logical thinking tools and robust applications are uniquely suited to facilitating such transformations, and have been central to Kevin’s success in helping organizations.

Kevin is the author of Aligned & Engaged: Hidden Keys for Turning Teamwork to Profit, a collection of some of the most powerful practices he has learned over the past 30 years, and one of the most accessible books for leaders seeking to develop their ability to achieve rapid improvement in their organization. He is a frequent speaker at professional societies and recognized as a leader in the TOC community. He is a graduate of Yale University, and resides in VA with his wife and three boys.

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