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This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Friday, September 26, 2003

When New Policies Move the CCR -- (Note: For those of us from the "classic rock generation," this CCR has nothing to do with Suzy Q Rollin' on the River.) David Anderson, author of the new book, Agile Management... (and recent addition to my blog roll), writes about the need to carefully consider changes to project systems. When they have been fine-tuned around the existence of a particular capacity constrained resource, new policies applied anywhere in the system can have surprising effects.
"Introducing a new policy can move the system capacity constrained resource (CCR) and create problems throughout an organization. These problems are foreseeable when a manager understands the effect of policies on the CCR. Policies are a type of constraint. The introduction of a new policy might make it the overall system constraint...When the CCR moves, everything changes. New policies can move the CCR. Changes in CCR should be planned and the overall system-wide effect understood in advance, otherwise chaos ensues, leading to accusations, blame and loss of trust. The introduction of new policies cannot be made locally. New policies should be agreed system-wide after being fully understood by the value-chain of line managers affected."
The key statement in the excerpt from David is that the described problems are "foreseeable when a manager understands the effects of policies on the CCR." Since such a potential constraint is at the core of the ability of the system to do what it does, identifying it, managing it carefully, and considering anything that might impact it need to be among the first things attended to when a proposed change or policy comes up.

This may sound like something new to worry about, but in reality, when constraint and CCR awareness permeates an organization, management simplifies considerably due to the new focus on the leverage point for system performance.

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