Discussing Theory of Constraints in Service Based Organizations 

 January 29, 2011

By  Gavriel Shaw

In a Linked-in thread on TOC in Services, Richard said:

“…how would one apply ToC to an organization where it is project and service-based, but almost all of the services on any given “project” are handled by a single resource (a consultant)?

This would be similar to CC, but then there is the need to manage across multiple simultaneous projects where the only common resource on a group of projects is one (or a very small number) of consultants.”

My reply:

The single resource (consultant) will have to apply increasing leverage of his or her own time.

Through owning ‘essence work’ (face time with clients?) and delegating/outsourcing the ‘tail or responsibilities’ (to a PA, junior partners, etc).

It might be that only 20% of their time is spent on the actual value adding insight and expertise that the client really wants or needs. Their focus will be on increasing the percentage allocation of their time spent on performing the value adding function that is unique to their expertise. I.e. How can they get from 20% to 40%?

By leveraging this single/finite resources time through eliminating lower value time consuming tasks, narrowing their focus, concentrating their value output – the breadth and depth of his reach expands through the support structure that supports him.

The picture of a multi-armed hindu god comes to mind, or Harold Geneen of ITT who successfully managed 50 companies that I read spent just 30 minutes per week on each company by reviewing a single page Tracking Report (See article on Geneen)

Leverage is not a new idea.

Maximum combined effectiveness and efficiency through personal productivity, group collaboration, and systems will always be fundamental to the knowledge worker.

And then ‘consolidating, systematising, and eventually, automating or replicating’ the single-resources talents.

My 2 cents.

Gavriel Shaw

Gavriel Shaw

Gavriel has product and marketing expertise from a variety of roles, including CMO, Head of Growth, Head of Marketing, eCommerce Director, Web Marketing Director, Product Marketing Manager, and Senior Copywriter in various sectors, both B2C and B2B.

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