Thinking Processes Including S&T Trees (Chapter 25 of the Theory of Constraints Handbook)

Lisa Scheinkopf


Level of TOC knowledge acquired:

Introductory, Advanced and Intermediate


60 pages

Designed for:

Academics, Business owners, Consultants, Implementers and Leaders


Strategy and Tactics and Thinking Processes


Current Reality Tree, Evaporating Cloud, Future Reality Tree / Negative Branch, Pre-requisite Tree / IO Map, Strategy & Tactic Tree and Thinking Processes







This is an individual chapter of Theory of Constraints Handbook.

  • What are the TP tools?
  • Why are they so effective in analyzing business and personal problems?
  • How is the application of logic, language, and structure brought together for penetrating analysis of problems and conflicts?
  • How do the TP tools then help in laying out the transition from an undesirable present to a desirable future?
  • How do they help protect a plan from unanticipitated pitfalls?
  • How do they link together as an integrated system of logical capabilities for bringing about positive change?


I hope to answer these questions in a way to show that almost anyone willing to do the work can achieve deep insight and make significant and meaningful improvements to environments both simple and complex; with step-by-step instructions on how to do it. I begin with discussion of the tenets in logic and fundamental assumptions in philosophy that underlie the TOC TP. Then I illustrate how the discipline of diagramming helps in guiding our analysis.

Each of the TP tools is discussed in sequence with instructions on how to use it. The chapter moves on to examples, some of them real application cases.


  • Introduction: Anybody Can Be a Jonah!
  • The Basic Building Block—Cause-and-Effect Logic
  • Basic Terms and Mapping Protocol
  • Tools for Daily Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Negative Branch Reservation (NBR)
  • Evaporating Cloud (EC)
  • The Integrated TOC Thinking Processes
  • What to Change?
  • The Bank Case: What to Change, Snowflake Approach
  • To What to Change
  • How to Cause the Change
  • The Strategy & Tactic Tree
  • Chapter Wrap-Up

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: