Almost Daily Web Log What's new?
Miscellany Questions? Comments?

Strategy & Alignment Operational Problem Solving Project Management Implementation & Change Management

Events on the Focused Performance Calendar



Professional Association Dinner Presentations

Upcoming Dinner Presentations

To Be Announced

Past Dinner Presentations (Topics still available for your meeting)

March 12, 2003 - Harrisburg, PA - PMI Harrisburg Chapter
Topic: Multi-Project Management -- Turning Many Projects into Few Priorities with TOC

November 7, 2002 - Bethlehem, PA - PMI Keystone Chapter
Topic: Multi-Project Management -- Turning Many Projects into Few Priorities with TOC

February 19, 2002 - Bridgeport, NJ - ASQ South Jersey Section
Topic: Beyond the Fishbone - Root Cause Analysis for Complex Systems
Click here for a sneak preview

February 20, 2002 - Cedar Grove, NJ - Joint meeting of ASQ and APICS North Jersey Chapters
Topic: Taking Advantage of Resistance to Change (and the TOC Thinking Processes) to Improve Improvements

April 12, 2001 - Cedar Grove, NJ - APICS North Jersey Chapter
Topic: The Theory of Constraints - More than Bottlenecks and Buffers

April 11, 2001 - Long Island, NY - PMI Long Island Chapter
Topic: Multi-Project Management -- Turning Many Projects into Few Priorities with TOC

March 14, 2001 - Piscataway, NJ - APICS Central Jersey Chapter
Topic: The Theory of Constraints - More than Bottlenecks and Buffers

January 10, 2001 - West Nyack, NY - ASQ Tappan Zee Section
Topic: The Theory of Constraints - More than Bottlenecks and Buffers


Major Conference Presentations

Upcoming Conference Presentations

(None scheduled right now. Check back later.)


Past Conference Presentations (topics also suitable for professional association dinner presentations)

May 20-24, 2002 - IIE Annual Conference 2002 - Orlando, FL
Topic - Using TOC to Avoid Disappointment in Improvement Programs

The practice of management can be defined as analysis, development, and implementation of improvements in an organizational environment. As such, managers and associates of an organization often find themselves involved in improvement programs and processes. But unfortunately, too often, the results of these efforts are disappointing. There are usually plenty of specious excuses for these less than satisfactory results, but there are also a set of real roots of this disappointment that, if recognized, can be avoided if given appropriate forethought. These roots can be categorized in terms of the three basic questions faced by management -- What to change? To what to change to? and How to make the change happen? TOC not only provides insight at a conceptual level, but also provides tools for analysis, functional applications for rational local improvements, and processes for necessary buy-in. Probably even more important, the TOC approach to analysis, design and implementation is a scalable process that can result in an all-important holistic approach for getting out of the cycle of ineffective improvement programs and into a true strategic process of on-going whole-system improvement. This paper and presentation will provide an introduction to these TOC-based processes and strategies.


May 6, 2002 - PMI NJ Symposium - Edison, NJ
Topic - Project Management is Really Risk Management; Using TOC and Critical Chain to Manage Risk Throughout the PM Process

Project Management is the process of turning uncertain events and efforts into certain outcomes and promises. If this is the case, then the primary process associated with project management should be that of risk management. How other processes, such as scope, schedule, and spending management support risk management is therefore critical for successful project management and for maximizing the value of our project-based efforts. Critical Chain-based project management has at its core a focus on the management of uncertainty and risk.


March, 2002 - World Project Management Week - Hong Kong, China
Topic - Critical Chain and Risk Management - Protecting Project Value from Uncertainty

Protecting the value of a project involves dealing with the uncertainty that will be associated with its delivery. Project Management is the process of turning uncertain events and efforts into certain outcomes and promises. If this is the case, then the primary process associated with project management should be that of risk management. How other processes, such as scope, schedule, and spending management support risk management is therefore critical for successful project management and for maximizing the value of our project-based efforts. Critical Chain-based project management has at its core a focus on the management of uncertainty and risk.


November, 2001 - PMI International Symposium - Nashville, TN
Topic - Buffering Against Risk - Risk Management and Critical Chain

Critical Chain project management has received considerable attention since the publication of Eliyahu M. Goldratt ’s Critical Chain in 1997. Most of this attention has been focused on the areas of schedule development.But the details of the scheduling methodology -- the protected critical chain versus a volatile critical path, just-in-time starts replacing as-soon-as-possible starts, the eschewing of task due dates and use of buffers of time to protect the project's promise and monitor its progress -- are only means to an end. That end is speed and reliability of project performance unencumbered by conflicting pressures and behaviors.And reliability of project promises is as much a result of effective risk management as it is of effective planning and scheduling. The major beneficial effects of the Critical Chain approach come from the linking of scope and time management to risk management. The intimate interactions of these processes in Critical Chain make them difficult to pigeonhole in the current taxonomy of the body of knowledge,and therefore,they can easily be overlooked. The conduits for these interactions are found primarily in the development and use of schedule buffers and in the process of Buffer Management.


May 21, 2001 - IIE Solutions 2001 - Dallas, TX
Topic - Improving Improvements -- Taking Advantage of Resistance to Change with the TOC Thinking Processes

Everyone in business is a salesperson, selling his or her ideas, proposals, and recommendations. Even a CEO/President/Owner needs to achieve buy-in of key strategies and tactics if they are expected to succeed. The ability to acquire necessary collaboration and commitment is enhanced if the proposer understands the layers of resistance that one can count on encountering, and the appropriate steps to take within each. What is often not appreciated is that this same resistance is an invaluable source of improvements to the original proposal. You can take advantage of this benefit with a logical process that is geared to do so, whether starting at the beginning of building a solution or at its presentation for buy-in. The Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes provides such a process and tools to "improve your improvements."


Seminars and Workshops

Scheduled Open Events

Sorry -- No open events are currently scheduled.


The following offerings are not scheduled for open presentation at this time. Please contact Focused Performance for information on bringing them or any other presentation on this page in-house for your organization.)

First Focus - An Executive Seminar - Designed for owners, executives, and key decision makers, this introduction to the 2-dimensional (logistical and logical) approach to maximizing bottom line performance described in Using TOC to Avoid Disappointment in Improvement Programs is offered in both 1/2- and 1-day formats, in both open and dedicated sessions. This presentation expands on the contents of the linked paper to raise and answer questions about the how to develop aligned and focused strategies for significant and sustainable performance improvement.

The Clear Focus Planning Workshop - A leadership-centered strategic planning offering, the Clear Focus Planning Workshop produces alignment of thinking and of action across the team and the organization. Each functional executive brings their biggest problem and walks away with an understanding of why it exists, as well as a plan for addressing it in a way that is compatible and coordinated with the efforts of the rest of the organization. (This is offered only in a dedicated format. Contact Focused Performance for more information.)

Programs, Projects, Priorities, and Promises -- Managing Project-based Organizations for Speed and Reliability - A one-day intro to project management the "TOC way," including the techniques known as Critical Chain Scheduling and Buffer Management for single project performance, and their application to multi-project environments.

Critical Chain Project Management Overview - This program provides an overview of Critical Chain Scheduling and Buffer Management, and shows how it can be used to develop and reliably deliver projects with overall less lead time. A good half day for introducing Critical Chain concepts to your project team and their management.

Critical Chain Project Management Workshop - This two-day workshop is a detailed presentation of what Critical Chain is, why it works, and things to expect if you implement it in your organization.

Operations Management Overview - Geared for those who have limited exposure to TOC and desire to learn the basics of the Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR) operations solution.This overview explains the basics of DBR and Buffer Management and covers recommendations for implementation. This is a good half day for introducing the concepts in your organization.

Supply Chain Management Overview - A 2-day session on the synergistic combination of TOC's solutions for production and distribution management. Learn how to design a true pull system for maximum reliability of delivery with minimum inventory investment. (This presentation has a current schedule for presentation by associates of Focused Performance at the Goldratt Institute in New Haven, CT. Contact us for more information.)

Operations Management Workshop - A two-day detailed exploration of Drum-Buffer-Rope. Using computer simulations and exercises, participants will learn in detail the impact of existing practices of scheduling and control on the lead time of jobs within an organization. Once this base is set, they will move on to understanding the Drum-Buffer-Rope solution and how it successfully overcomes the challenges of scheduling.

What is the Theory of Constraints and What Can it Do for My Organization? - A One-day Seminar - Common approaches to performance improvement tend to focus primarily on local cost reduction or on incremental refinements of current practices. For real improvement, it is necessary to replace such limiting views with a shift of mindset and of management focus to the goal of sustainable growth of whole-system throughput. The Theory of Constraints (TOC) provides a straightforward approach to understanding the key constraints of the global system as well as solutions to leverage their capabilities, resulting in breakthroughs to significant new levels of performance. This one-day seminar provides a comprehensive overview designed to illustrate how the various aspects of TOC can apply to your organization and how you can use it to form and focus a common sense strategy for true and significant on-going improvement.

Deciding on TOC - A half day executive presentation on how to use TOC do developed a fully aligned, organization-wide, "holistic" strategy. One of the unique aspects of this presentation is its focus on what can go wrong if you succeed.

Day-to-Day Problem Solving -- Dilemmas, Doubts, and Difficulties, A 3-Day TOC Thinking Process Workshop -- This set of 3 1-day sessions will provide participants with tools to deal with everyday issues.

Day 1 - Address conflicts and dilemmas for win-win solutions (the Evaporating Cloud). Break out from between rock and hard place situations with "constructive confrontation."

Day 2 - Raise concerns and doubts in a logical way that supports ongoing dialogue (the Negative Branch Reservation). Provide true constructive criticism that allows you to keep the baby when throwing out the bath water.

Day 3 - Develop plans that will use a group's experience to develop a plan to overcome difficulties and obstacles blocking an ambitious objective (the Prerequisite Tree). Determine which bites of the elephant need to be taken first.

These three sessions each involve a bit of lecture and example, but focus primarily on the use of the tool on an issue faced by the participant, and on role-playing practice of the communication of the solution when it is taken back to the real world. Note: Class size will be limited to assure an effective experience and solid solutions for each participant. Sessions are available individually or as a package. 1 session for $350, 2 for $600, all three for $750 per person. These sessions are also available in a dedicated format for presentation at your organization.


Other Events of Interest

TOC World 2002 - Uncasville, Connecticut - November 4-7, 2002 at the Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino


Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. - Confucius

If you are interested in a presentation, a seminar, or a workshop on achieving focused performance through application of the Theory of Constraints in your organization or association, drop us a line.

You can choose from topics listed to the left, or we can develop special programs to meet your particular needs.

Who is FP?
Web Log
Contact Focused Performance