Holistic TOC Implementation Case Studies (Chapter 16 of the Theory of Constraints Handbook)

Dr. Alan Barnard and Raimond E. Immelman


Level of TOC knowledge acquired:

Advanced and Intermediate


46 pages

Designed for:

Business owners, Implementers, Leaders, Consultants, Academics and Managers


Holistic Implementation and Change Management/Buy-In


Thinking Processes, Five Focusing Steps and Strategy & Tactic Tree







How do you put a whole organization (not just Operations, or Distribution or Engineering or Sales) on a Holistic Process of Ongoing Improvement (POOGI) and do it in a way where the implementation of all the changes is focused and synchronized to achieve both ongoing growth and stability?

This chapter provides a historical perspective on the need for an holistic approach to implementing Theory of Constraints (TOC), an overview of the past attempts to develop such an approach and why most of these attempts have failed.

Then two of the leading TOC experts in the world (Dr Alan Barnard and Ray Immelman), each with many TOC functional and holistic implementations behind them, share their experience and insights gained on how to achieve and sustain a holistic TOC implementation that will deliver both ongoing performance growth and improved stability through two large and complex TOC case studies - one from the Private Sector (First Solar Inc.) and one from the Public Sector (Solid Waste Management in African Cities).

Recommended Good Practices for Implementing TOC Holistically

  • Use the TOC 5FS, TP Roadmap, and S&T Tree
  • Changing Behaviors/Paradigms with Stories and Games
  • Important Role of a TOC Champion Supported by TOC Experts
  • Finding and Leveraging Pockets of Excellence
  • Importance of a Simple Mechanism for Making Holistic Decisions
  • Using and Encouraging the Use of TOC’s Thinking Processes
  • Importance of Roadmaps, Follow-Up, and Follow-Through
  • Importance of Aligning IT Systems with TOC Rules
  • Continuous Improvement and Auditing
  • Become the Change You Want to See

Comprehensive coverage of the Theory of Constraints 

Complete Table of contents of the Theory of Constraints Handbook

About the Authors:

James F. Cox III, Ph.D, CFPIM, CIRM, holds TOCICO certifications in all disciplines. He is a Jonah's Jonah, Professor Emeritus, and was the Robert O. Arnold Professor of Business in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Dr. Cox has written three books on TOC.

John Schleier holds TOCICO certifications in all disciplines. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Mortgage Services Division of Alltel, Inc., Executive Vice President of Computer Power, Inc., and Director of Office Systems and Data Delivery for IBM.


The Theory of Constraints Handbook: