Find your Herbie – The 200 words project

Here’s this week’s 200 word idea thanks to The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt

Alex Rogo was taking a long hike with his son’s boy scout group. He noticed that, while everyone seemed to be moving as fast as they could, they weren’t really making progress as a group. He was reminded of his Operations mentor’s advice – “find the constraint.” Constraints are obstacles that hold the whole system back – e.g, in a manufacturing plant, it is the machine with the biggest queue of materials behind it.

Alex soon realized that one boy, Herbie, was the slowest of them all. So, he moved Herbie in front of the group and forbid the others to pass him. This completely changed the dynamic – the group soon realized that any improvement with Herbie, however small, would improve the group’s pace. So, they divided everything in Herbie’s backpack between the boys and Herbie moved faster. The group made it to the camp in good time and Alex learnt a key lesson in improving productivity – take the time to identify and remove constraints. Every other improvement we make is non-essential.

HerbieSource and thanks to:

‘There is no one Herbie and finding one will create others.  The point is not to find him, but always look for him. So, clear your mind, find your Herbies and make them faster.’ | Sean Low on his blog