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2015 TOCICO International Conference

Transforming Industries Track

Boaz Ronen
BOAZ RONEN
Professor of Technology Management
Tel Aviv University

Shany Azaria
SHANY AZARIA
Senior Consultant, Project Manager
Focused Management, Ltd.

Shimeon Pass
SHIMEON PASS
Transforming Software Development in IT Divisions the TOC Way
September 8, 2015

The survival of Service Organizations relies heavily on the responsive development and maintenance of software solutions. As a result, requirements for software development resources in organizations exceed the available development capacity by more than 200%. The TOC way to handle this gap is not by adding more resources, but rather by better management of these permanent bottlenecks – "achieving more with the existing resources".

Organizations obviously cannot afford having too many software developers nor can they afford devoting much larger budgets for IT costs. On the other hand, an ability to develop software solutions with higher throughput rates and in shorter lead times translates directly into an increase in the organization's value to its stakeholders.

In this workshop we will present a proven transformation methodology for achieving more software solutions with the existing IT resources, along with TOC lines. The methodology adapts the generic principles of TOC to the unique and complicated environment of software development management.

We will start with discussing the importance of the transformation process for the achievement of the IT divisions' goal and their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The specific permanent bottlenecks of IT organizations will be identified and discussed along with the typical problems associated with their management. The fact that software development resources are permanent bottlenecks means that the requests for software solutions will be only partially met.

In order to better exploit these permanent bottlenecks of IT divisions, the methodology suggest a two-fold solution:

  • Reducing the "garbage times" of the IT experts by using remedies out of a toolbox for fighting the un-effective time. Foremost of which is the adherence to the principle of the complete kit in the development processes.
  • Prioritizing software solution to be developed according their specific value to the organization using proven tools known as the Focusing Table and the Focusing Matrix. The use of GDM (Global Decision Making) methodology for project portfolio selection will be discussed.
  • Subordinating the rest of the system to the constraint will then be demonstrated by the DBR-related Tactical Gating (TG) mechanism. This mechanism of controlled release of tasks to the system will be shown to be a most effective way for achieving short lead times as well as improved throughputs.

Moreover, it will be shown that TG has two equally important elements:

  • Controlled release of projects to the systems according to the High-Level Tactical Gating (HLTG) mechanism.
  • Controlled release of development tasks to individual developers according to the Low-Level Tactical Gating (LLTG) mechanism.
  • Elevation of the constraint will be proven to be possible through the use of offload mechanisms.

How a successful transformation translates into a significant increase in its stakeholders' value will be verified. Also, several real life case studies will be discussed.

Finally, we will stress the importance of a robust implementation routine. It is crucial for the acceptance of the transformation processes in this unique managerial environment. Methods of ensuring the sustainability of the transformation benefits will be deliberated.


BOAZ RONEN is a Professor of Technology Management and Value Creation at Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Management. He holds a B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering, an M.Sc and Ph.D in Business Administration. Prior to his academic career he worked for over 10 years in the Hi-Tech industry. His main areas of interest are focused on firms' value enhancement and TOC.

He has consulted to numerous corporations, healthcare organizations and government agencies worldwide. During the last 20 years, Prof. Ronen has been leading a team that successfully implemented focused management, TOC and advanced management practices of value creation in dozens of industrial, hi-tech, IT, healthcare and service organizations.

He has been commended numerous times and received the Rectors’ award for outstanding teaching. He was also a visiting professor at the schools of business of NYU, Columbia University, Stevens Institute of Technology, several Kellogg programs around the globe and at SDA-Bocconi (Milan, Italy). Prof. Ronen has published over 100 papers in leading academic and professional journals, and co-authored four books on Value Creation, TOC and Focused Management.

In 2005 he was the editor of the special issue on TOC published by Human Systems Management. His book on healthcare management was recently published by Jossey-Bass / Wiley. His book, "Focused Management: Doing More with Existing Resources", published by John Wiley & Sons, appeared in November 2007. Shimeon Pass co-authored both books. His latest book, "Approximately Right, not Precisely Wrong", on decision making, cost accounting and pricing, appeared in 2008.

In 2012 his work "Justice In Time: Applying TOC to Law Courts Systems" (with Shimeon Pass and Shany Azaria) won the Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt Foundation prize.

SHANY AZARIA is Senior consultant and a Project Manager in Focused Management Ltd.

Ms. Azaria holds a B.A in Economics and an MBA from Tel Aviv University. She has been implementing Focused Management and TOC practices in companies and non-profit organizations. Ms. Azaria has applied advanced managerial methods in service, industrial and government agencies. As a project manager, Ms. Azaria is responsible for presenting management seminars, global assignments and facilitating improvement teams.

In 2012 her work "Justice In Time: Applying TOC to Law Courts Systems" (with Boaz Ronen and Shimeon Pass) won the Dr. Eliyau M. Goldratt Foundation prize.

SHIMEON PASS is an expert in applying the philosophy and tools of the Focused Management methodology and the Theory of Constraints (TOC) in hi-tech, industrial, service, retail and non-profit organizations for over 25 years.

He holds B.Sc. and M.Sc in Chemistry from the Technion, Haifa, and from the Weizmann Institute, Israel, and an MBA from Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Management.

Working in the past for IBM in the ERP group, Mr. Pass has also specialized in the implementation of advanced managerial methods to enterprise information systems.

Mr. Pass specializes in applying Focused Management and TOC in the management of R&D organizations and project management. His papers on value creation and performance improvement were published in leading practitioners and academic journals. His book on healthcare management was published by Jossey-Bass / Wiley. His book, "Focused Management: Doing More with Existing Resources" was published by John Wiley & Sons in October 2007. Boaz Ronen co-authored both books.

In 2012 his work "Justice In Time: Applying TOC to Law Courts Systems" (with Boaz Ronen and Shany Azaria) won the Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt Foundation prize.

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