Ops/571 Wk 3 Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks in a Process
OPS 571
June 1, 2011
Jim Mayland

      Improvement in any process requires identification of the slowest portion of the process.   Once the constraints are identified, efforts to improve the process can begin.   Often processes attempt to circumvent the bottleneck instead of working with the constraint.

Goldratt’s Theory
      Evaluating the morning routine using Goldratt’s Theory of constraints, many areas of opportunities for improvement become apparent.   First, the biggest constraint to the entire routine occurs with the waking of my daughter in the morning.   The original process outlines two reminder wake-up prompts, however many mornings the required number of prompts is significantly more.   At times, five promptings may be required for her to rise out of bed and prepare for the day.   This significant delay has affects throughout the rest of the process by delaying the additional steps up to 20 minutes or more if the school bus is missed.
      Evaluating opportunities to improve this constraint and improve the throughput of the morning process, the entire family must focus on this bottleneck.   Utilizing the entire family as a resource for multiple wake-up calls and assistance with any morning activities, which need completing allows my daughter to make the bus on time.   Communication among the family members is key to reducing the constraint and improving the throughput of the task.   The family members will become the “ropes” of Goldratt’s Theory.

      The additional resources applied to my daughter’s wake-up prompts will reduce the efficiencies to those individuals but improve the efficiency as a whole for the process.

McGraw-Hill Companies (2005), Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, 11th Edition