Tame your Work Flow

Perhaps the best way to describe “Tame your Work Flow” is that I now know I did not understand Dr Eliyahu Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints prior to reading it. Yes, I had read “The Goal” 20+ years ago. But even with reading follow up articles I missed the amazing power of the Theory of Constraints. The authors have undertaken two of the most significant challenges in improving organizations today. The first is gaining insights into how to deal with complexity and the second is teaching people how to use them. The TameFlow Approach does both.

When dealing with complex systems, people often attempt to simplify them. But even if that is accomplished, the systems are still enormously complex. The way out is to understand the Theory of Constraints’ principle of Inherent Simplicity. Inherent Simplicity is the presumption that inherent in complex systems there are rules that, when understood, enormously simplify the system. Inherent simplicity already exists. We must find it and take advantage of it. This will enable us to increase performance and reduce or eliminate the challenges we are facing.

This approach is used in the hard sciences. Consider the movement of all the bodies in the universe. Newton came, three rules. Now simple. Newton did not invent the rules. They were there. But he found them and now we know how to correctly predict the behavior present. It is true that some systems are so complex that even with an understanding of the Inherent Simplicity in them we may not be able to accurately predict their behavior. But with this understanding we can predict what will be improvements to the behavior of the system, and that’s what we’re going after.

Understanding the inherent simplicity in development systems is not enough, unfortunately. One must also convey this knowledge to people so that they can take advantage of it. In “Tame your Work Flow,” Steve and Daniel lay out many inherently simple concepts that they have discovered. Then they take these concepts and show us how to use them.