Browsing All Posts filed under »toc«

interview with eli goldratt

November 27, 2009


Clarke Ching has achieved a major coup by posting a 1-hour interview with Eli Goldratt. In the interview Goldratt talks about his new book Isn’t It Obvious, which is another business novel about the Theory of Constraints, this time applied to retail. It’s a great book, and a very good interview — good job Clarke.

rocks into gold

January 18, 2009


My very talented friend Clarke Ching has self-published his second novel Rocks into Gold (his first, Rolling Rocks Downhill, is due out later this year). Rocks into Gold is a “parable for software developers who want to survive — and then thrive — through the Credit Crunch”. If you’re a subscriber to this blog you’ll […]

inherent simplicity

September 19, 2008


This week I’ve been doing a lot of reading around Goldratt’s latest big idea: inherent simplicity. The premise is that any complex system (Goldratt typically considers companies here) always has an “inherent simplicity”. Once found, this simple model of the complex organism can be used to reason about it and create breakthrough analyses of, say, […]

downstream testing implies a policy constraint

September 9, 2008


As usual, it takes me multiple attempts to figure out what I really want to say, and how to express myself. Here’s a bit more discussion of what I believe is implied by downstream testing: The very fact that downstream testing occurs, and is heavily consuming resources, means that management haven’t understood that such activity […]

why YAGNI acts to EXPLOIT the bottleneck

May 26, 2008


Clarke asked me to explain my earlier throw-away remark that YAGNI forms part of the EXPLOIT step in moving the bottleneck away from development, so here goes… YAGNI (You Aren’t Gonna Need It) is an exhortation from the early days of XP. It has been discussed and misunderstood a great deal, so I’m not going […]


September 11, 2007


My apologies if this has been said or written a thousand times before: YAGNI is XP’s way of exploiting the constraint. Which means that XP, and hence most agile methods, are set up on the assumption that the development team is – or soon will be – the bottleneck. And having identified that bottleneck, our […]

insurance for software defects

August 31, 2007


The more I think about it, the more astonished I become. Maintenance contracts for (bespoke) software: Buying insurance to cover against the possibility that the software doesn’t work. I know the consumer electronics industry does the same, and I always baulk at the idea of spending an extra fifty quid in case the manufacturer cocked […]


August 14, 2007


This week I’ve come across a few articles that clicked together as I read them, and in so doing they reinforced one of my deepest beliefs about software development – or any other profession, for that matter. The articles were: Train Wreck Management by Mary Poppendieck, in which Mary chronicles the origins of “management” and […]

carnival of the agilists, 3-aug-07

August 5, 2007


John Brothers has posted the latest edition of the Carnival, entitled I’m running late. This is a perennial topic for all software development projects, and doubly so for those of us who take a lean or TOC view of productivity and change, so props to John for bringing that focus to the carnival this time […]

a ruby sparkline showing variation

July 25, 2007


Back in May’s Carnival of the Agilists I referenced a post by Clarke Ching in which he suggests we can learn a lot about variation in a complex process by simply flipping coins. When I tried the simulation a few times with Excel I found, as expected, that heads and tails don’t always occur in […]


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