Theory of Constraints and Agility – Presentation

Agile Tour 2013
Agile Tour 2013

Very pleased to have been selected to speak at Agile Tour London 2013 (November 1st) with a friend and colleague of mine Daryn Holmes.

After spending a considerable amount of time looking into various Agile workflows, we explored the relationship of Agile and the Theory of Constraints (ToC) as introduced by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. We started using the simplicity with the ToC and applying it to our workflows. Whether we used Scrum, Kanban or combinations of both, we found that we could improve cycle times and improve productivity by just making some simple changes to software teams without having to invest more money.

The Theory of Constraints (ToC) is at the core of most Agile methodologies. By understanding this problem solving technique we can make informed decisions when improving our processes. In this session we apply ToC to a Kanban model to demonstrate this guided process of continuous improvement. In addition to Kanban, we explain how Scrum has these ideas embedded within the framework. We show real-world examples of how ToC is being applied and the observed outcomes.

To facilitate this session we will ask a small group of volunteers to demonstrate a workflow. This will be similar to the Matchstick game as described in ‘The Goal’ by Eliyahu Goldratt. This helps to demonstrate the effects further and how applied ToC can improve cycle times while maintaining output. We supplement this with a simulator which visually shows the benefits of following TOC over time.

If you’re interested in this presentation, I would also recommend viewing the Knowledge Centre at the Theory of Constraints Institute 

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