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We’re excited to provide free access to 7 of over 500 presentations on Theory of Constraints (TOC) ranging from theory to the implementation of TOC in small and large service, manufacturing, and government organizations. These applications were selected to provide a brief definition of TOC and show the breadth of successful applications from simple to complex. The same concepts that are applied to manufacturing can be modified slightly and applied to construction, software development (and implementation), healthcare, government, etc. We have listed below the references and abstracts for the free presentations on this portal. In addition, we have provided a comprehensive annotated bibliography of presentations over the past decade and webinar videos currently in our archives. And, at the end of this annotated bibliography is a link to the TOC book list segmented by topic areas.

TOC has universal application at the individual, organization and supply chain levels. The organizations described in these presentations have made significant improvement by using the TOC philosophy to continuously improve. TOC is the best methodology for today BUT there will always be a need for continuous improvement. These tools are part of the journey to excellent organizations.

Our hope is that you’ll learn from these 6 presentations and are moved to join TOCICO to gain access to the rest of our archives.

TOCICO membership includes:

  • FREE on-line access to all past TOCICO conference videos including the several hundred videos starting with the second conference in 2004. These were previously sold for $149 per conference (totaling $1,788), but now, viewing ALL of them are INCLUDED with your membership.
  • Discounts on TOCICO products and conference attendance.
  • FREE access to the over 50 recorded webinars by some of your favorite TOC authors.
  • FREE registration to all new webinars – and just wait until you hear what’s in the works!
  • FREE pdf of the TOCICO Dictionary – 135 pages of pure content.
  • All 6 Strategy & Tactics trees by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
  • Over 20 Theory of Constraints articles with more on the way.
  • And, access to networking with the TOC community around the world on the TOCICO website. Build your page, start discussions, or contact another member – the new TOCICO website is web 2.0 ready and ready for you to engage.




Goldratt, E. (2009). The foundation of the theory of constraints. First European TOCICO Regional Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Goldratt Marketing Group.

Goldratt discusses writing the introduction (chapter 1) of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) Handbook. What is TOC? Focus: do what should be done and don’t do what shouldn’t be done and the evolution of TOC. Throughput accounting was developed about 1981. In about 1985 other environments wanted a solution. Bottleneck was used. Traditional critical path project management was developed in 1958. The critical chain methodology was developed about 1986 for Statoil of Norway. The constraint was the critical chain which represents the time it took to complete the longest path of dependent activities based on technological sequence and resource dependencies. The name theory of constraints was formulated based on this understanding of a different (project versus production) environment. In retailing, the constraint was the shelf space. The five focusing steps (5FS) process originated in 1987. New questions were asked in new environments. New opportunities opened. Everyone is taking what we developed and copying what we did but they didn't think to understand the differences. Therefore their solution didn’t work. When you look at reality and where you want or think you should be you are looking at gaps. Once you acknowledge the inter-dependencies of the gaps you recognize what you call problems are undesirable effects of underlying core problems. Most of the solutions you have been recommending are solutions for UDEs not for the real problem. How do we answer the questions of identifying, exploiting, subordinating, etc.? What we find is you are really using the scientific approach but no one had verbalized how to do it. We spent three years to verbalize the scientific approach. Our solution was the thinking processes (TP). Toyota had developed the five Whys? The current reality made it easier to find the core problem because it was easier to dive down from five UDEs rather than one. From 1989 to 1992 we checked and rechecked the TP. The more powerful the solution the more it changes reality. Many new challenges appear. With improvement in operations, the constraint moves elsewhere. When we don’t have an answer to a problem we try to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Hitachi Tools from Toyota results of implementing TOC in their job shop were highlighted. This implementation represented the opposite of focusing. This tremendous change created a decisive competitive edge (DCE is defined as a company able to satisfy a client’s significant need in a manner that no else can satisfy it.). Hitachi did not use the DCE. The constraint was in the market. They have the biggest mafia offer ever: Hitachi inventory gets three times the number of inventory turns on their items than competitors. Hitachi did the direct opposite of focusing. The DCE created a need for a new sales process which brings the client to realize that one of his DCEs is blocked by me and my competitors. Holistic implementation became necessary (the 4X4) therefore the strategy and tactics (S&T) tree was vital. The process on ongoing improvement and the evolution of red and green curves are discussed. The organizer of the body of knowledge is the S&T tree which moves down from the objective to what actions must be done and what actions must not be done.


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Adams, G. (2008). Delta Air Lines: Meeting challenges in engine maintenance. TOCICO International Conference: 6th Annual Worldwide Gathering of TOC Professionals, Las Vegas, NE, Goldratt Marketing Group.

In 2005, Delta Air Lines filed for bankruptcy. Prior to its merger with North West Airlines, Delta was a $17 billion sales revenue airline with approximately 50,000 employees. After merger in 2008 Delta was a $35 billion top line revenue airline with the same number of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) employees. As part of the bankruptcy plan, engine maintenance was required to reduce cost and inventory while, at the same time, increase productivity. In 2002 the MRO had revenues of $77 million and in 2008 the revenues were $470. The requirements for survival aligned very well with Theory of Constraints- -more specifically, critical chain and drum-buffer-rope. The summary of changes includes: create plans with buffers in critical chain and in drum buffer rope; control the work-in-process inventories by controlling release; manage using the buffers, and use exception management. TOC concepts implemented in 2006 were to drive focus on constraints and improve overall engine maintenance performance using continuous improvement as the growth strategy. Six sigma and lean had previously been implemented. TOC concepts have given clear understanding where to apply six sigma and lean methods to achieve true bottom-line results.


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Cox, K. (2011). More efficient government: Implementing TOC in Utah's Department of Workforce Services. TOCICO International Conference: 9th Annual Worldwide Gathering of TOC Professionals, Palisades, NY, Goldratt Marketing Group.

Utah’s Department of Workforce Services (DWS) began to implement TOC the central component of its operational excellence program to reduce costs while improving service levels. This presentation describes the objectives, process, steps and results to-date achieved by DWS. In addition the presentation will share how the process in DWS is being used as the model for driving improvement in other agencies of state government.


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Knight, A. (2013). The development of TOC applications for the service sector. TOCICO International Conference: 11th Annual Worldwide Gathering of TOC Professionals, Bad Nauheim, Germany, Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization.

This presentation highlights some of the core developments over the last thirty years and in particular focuses on areas where modification of the standard applications was not sufficient and a different approach was required (one that remains firmly rooted in the underpinning theory). In each instance Alex Knight demonstrates that the breakthrough has come purely from the derivation of the underlying theory and has never required the addition or integration with other theories. In particular, Alex highlights the following points: 1. There are many examples where the assumptions upon which the generic TOC applications for manufacturing were built are not valid in the service environment. As an example, the concept of choking the release to help identify the constraint is a core first step in all of the operations, project and distribution / supply chain environments and yet this is often simply not a valid option in most services. The implications of this are far reaching and require a rethink in the development and adaptation of the TOC applications for the service sector. 2. The distinction between an operations and project environment are also not always valid in a service environment. Alex exposes a number of examples where ‘both and neither’ of the conditions can exist. As a result, this basis of distinction is no longer really very helpful. Alternative criteria for establishing the position and size of buffers are required. 3. The whole concept of developing a schedule for resources to follow is often redundant. Demand emerges alongside frequent and major changes in both mix and volumes in extremely short timescales. Creating sufficient protective capacity at very short notice becomes a key issue. Establishing the processes for this require a different perspective to the traditional applications. Some of the lessons learned in this environment may have implications for changing the way schedules are developed for other environments. 4. It is inferred from standard TOC processes and the transformational strategy and tactics (S&T) trees that initiating the analysis and eradication of underlying causes of delay should be embarked upon once the system is being guided by buffer management. In many of these service environments, it is more appropriate to initiate this analysis and supporting actions before any attempt to introduce buffer management. The process of on-going improvement (POOGI) is more of a driving force than DBR (the TOC production/operations application) or CCPM (the TOC project management application). 5. In many service environments, the un-desirable effect (UDE) of ‘too early’ is just as valid as ‘too late’. As a result, there has been a need to invent a new buffer system and associated algorithms. 6. Exposing excess capacity can often happen in a matter of hours, days or weeks. This means that the synchronization of sales efforts to increase sales is very important. With staffing as a major part of the operating expense (OE) of many service industries, it is very tempting to cut OE the moment excess capacity has been revealed. In some industries, the very first steps have to be to plan and start the processes to increase sales even before the decisive competitive edge (DCE) has been achieved. 7. Many service industries have high levels of front-line professional staff who must be bought in to the approach. The number of people who can threaten the implementation's success if they do not believe in it is typically a magnitude of order higher. Many are very skeptical about anything to do with management. This has major implications for the approach and intensity of the buy-in that is required. 8. The customer is often an active participant in the delivery of the service and cannot be treated like a piece of work-in-progress. Also, exploitation of the constraint to maximize throughput per constraint minute may be inappropriate. We cannot reduce the lead time for someone to die to free up capacity. 9. Changing the mind-set of a TOC professional to work in the service industry has often taken significantly longer than starting with new recruits who have no knowledge of TOC.


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Woeppel, M. (2013). TOC tapped to accelerate Gulf of Mexico cleanup (Encore). TOCICO International Conference: 11th Annual Worldwide Gathering of TOC Professionals, Bad Nauheim, Germany, Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization.

In June 2010, Pinnacle Strategies was called upon by BP to rapidly improve supply chain availability and decontamination efforts of what may be the worst environmental disaster in the US. Only weeks earlier, BP’s Deepwater Horizon platform exploded, taking 11 lives and sending oil gushing for three months into the Gulf of Mexico. Less than 48 hours after the initial inquiry, Pinnacle Strategies (www.pinnacle-strategies.com) began a marathon of visits across North America and Europe that led to an almost instant doubling, tripling, and in one case 10 fold increase, of manufacturing capacity for boom, skimmers, and absorbents. Later, after the well was capped, Pinnacle Strategies led improvement activities at decontamination sites across five states where thousands of boats, ships, and rigs were decontaminated before returning to their normal service. In this presentation, Mark Woeppel will describe the Theory of Constraints steps used to achieve the extraordinary increases in capacity by improving bottlenecks at dozens of factories, ensuring that supply never constrained the fight against the oil spill. He will also describe how they accelerated the cleaning of contaminated vessels saving more than $700 million by identifying key measurements and planning the bottleneck into the operation.


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Ronen, B., et al. (2012). Justice in time: Applying TOC to law courts systems. TOCICO International Conference: 10th Annual Worldwide Gathering of TOC Professionals, Chicago, Il, Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization.

The presentation topic is the implementation of TOC and focused management principles to the management of law courts, has achieved substantial lead time, throughput and quality improvements. Our presentation goal and key learning points are to present the generic managerial problems of the adjudication system; to present and validate the use of TOC and focused management tools for the adjudication system; to present case studies that demonstrate the use of simple and practical tools that significantly improve the performance of a law court system.


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Mohanty, S. (2012). Managing new product development projects in auto components industry. TOCICO International Conference: 10th Annual Worldwide Gathering of TOC Professionals, Chicago, Il, Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization.

The presentation discusses the core problem and direction of the solution for the new product development of tier 1 / tier 2 suppliers in automotive industries whose primary job is to develop and supply new components for the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The goal of the presentation is to derive the core problem of the tier 1 / tier 2 suppliers for their new product development team and establish a direction of solution, which can help them to improve their delivery performance of new products at a faster rate. The new product development management of the tier 1 / tier 2 suppliers is a challenging environment where critical chain project management (CCPM) rules cannot be directly implemented on the projects. The definition of what is a project holds key to the solution. The logical entity of the projects on which the role of work in process (WIP), full kitting, planning and execution can be implemented is defined as independent work packets. Once the work packets are defined and CCPM rules are applied on these project entities, the output of the new product development (NPD) team increases substantially, leading to a drastic reduction in lead times and timely delivery of the overall projects. The presentation establishes that the current problems faced by the NPD team of tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers are related to the ways OEMs are currently managing their development projects. The interaction between the single multi-project environment of the OEMs and the multi-project environment of the suppliers, as well as ineffective concurrent engineering model followed by the OEMs play havoc on the suppliers are discussed. They are forced to live in a situation with a huge number of unfinished projects, rampant changes of priorities, unexpected iterations and heavy reworks in their system. The direction of the solution is to break each of the NPD projects into logically independent work packets (a portion of the whole project which can be started and finished without any interruptions from the OEMs) and to implement the CCPM rules, e.g., low WIP, full-kit, planning and execution on those work packets to increase its output. A case study is also presented where the output increased by 8 times within 3 years of implementation.


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The Complete TOC Book List



Our hope is that you will learn from these six presentations and are moved to join TOCICO to gain access to the rest of our archives.

TOCICO membership includes:

  • FREE on-line access to all past TOCICO conference videos including the several hundred videos starting with the second conference in 2004. These were previously sold for $149 per conference (totaling $1,788), but now, viewing ALL of them are INCLUDED with your membership.
  • Discounts on TOCICO products and conference attendance.
  • FREE access to the over 50 recorded webinars by some of your favorite TOC authors.
  • FREE registration to all new webinars – and just wait until you hear what’s in the works!
  • FREE pdf of the TOCICO Dictionary – 135 pages of pure content.
  • All 6 Strategy & Tactics trees by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
  • Over 20 Theory of Constraints articles with more on the way.
  • And, access to networking with the TOC community around the world on the TOCICO website. Build your page, start discussions, or contact another member – the new TOCICO website is web 2.0 ready and ready for you to engage.


You may also want to check out our other Portals: