The process by which you distribute a new post oncepublished is a system.
The process by which you set up your blog in the firstplace is a system.
The actions you take to turn a new arrival to your site intoan email subscriber…. that is a system.
The work you to do produce a video is a system.
The work you do to create a product and make it ready to sell is a system.Get my point? EVERYTHING is a system.
What Is The Theory of Constraints?
As we’ve done before, let’s turn to Wikipedia for a definition:
The theory of constraints (TOC) is a management paradigm that views any manageable system asbeing limited in achieving more of its goals by a verysmall number of constraints. There is always at least one constraint, and TOC uses a focusing process toidentify the constraint and restructure the rest of theorganization around it.
Sounds a bit academic, perhaps? Yeah, I hear ya. But, itsactually pretty dang simple.1.In our perfect world, every system would result inthe perfect output in the perfect amount of time andminimum resources required.2.In that “perfect world”, we could say that the system hasno constraints.3.On the flip side, when the system is NOT optimally producing the desired output, we can logically assumethat there ARE constraints.4.Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In thesame fashion, any system is held back by its constraints,and it is the BIGGEST constraint which has the biggestimpact on the system.5.Applying this theory uses a series of processes and toolsto detect the primary constraint and then handle it.In a nutshell, that is the Theory of Constraints. What things could be a constraint? Well, it is anything whichis holding back the system.For instance, if we look at the actual act of blogging. The actof producing a blog post is a system. Now, for some people,it takes literally HOURS to produce a single blog post. Thereis nothing wrong with that… UNLESS it is getting in the way of actually executing the system. If the mere idea of blogginggives you a cold sweat because you’re frustrated by how long ittakes for you to write a single post, then that is a constraint.If you’re producing a video and you’re feeling blocked by yourlack of knowledge on how to do video editing, then that is aconstraint.If you’re still confused as to what your niche or market should be, then that is a constraint. In this instance, it is the lack of decision which is the constraint, and there is a process we cango through to bust up the real “why” on that decision hangingup for you.If your business is feeling constrained by lack of traffic to yoursite, then traffic is a constraint. But, then, by applying the toolsof TOC, we work it backwards. We break up this big thing of “traffic” into smaller constraints, and ultimately we arrive atthe largest constraint which is holding you back from gainingmore traffic.
Nested Why’s – One (Of Many)Techniques To Spot Constraints
Here’s the odd thing about constraints…They aren’t always obvious. In fact, many times, they’re mostdefinitely not.See, if it were glaringly obvious, it wouldn’t be a constraint any longer. Because you’d just deal with it, alleviate it and moveon. The mere fact that it IS a constraint depends on the truththat you haven’t discovered it yet. OR, you’ve looked right at itand didn’t realize the true nature of what it was.One of the things you can do to work on finding yourconstraint(s) is what I’m calling nested why’s. It is the simpleidea of asking WHY you don’t have the outcome you want rightnow. Then, ask “why” again. And again. And so on.For example, the current reality for you could be “I’m notmaking the money that I want.”. OK… why? Well, I don’t have enough traffic right now. OK… why? Well, I haven’t really written a decent blog post in awhile, sonobody is really paying attention to anything I’m doing. OK… why?I don’t really know what I can provide that people will want tosee. OK… why?