Теория ограничений Голдратта. Конспект Рустама [Theory of Constraints Goldratt by Dettmer]

Ну раз уж @Areku выложил свой Конспект “Теории ограничения систем Голдратта” Уильяма Деттмера, пора бы и мне выложить свой. У меня он не такой лаконичный и не на русском, но тем не менее тоже имеется. С интересными дополнительными материалами, ссылками и прочим.

Почему на английском? Потому что читаю на английском и переводить на русский как-то очень уж напрягает. К тому же преподавание английского обязывает практиковать язык.

Перевести можно использую Deepl, очень бодрый и качественный перевод.


  1. CTR
  2. IOM
  3. CRT
  4. EC
  5. FRT

Categories of legitimate reservations

  • Known logical diagrams not exactly logical, because they don’t address the issue of connections between one or several elements.
    • CLR actually differentiates one’s perception from the way things really are.
      • It tests cause and effect with several specific tools. They all circle around effects of causation.
        • Clarity.
          • good communication
        • Entity existence. Where entity is a statement, logical and complete without grammatical mistakes, that understandable at the first glance and doesn’t imply several ideas and has not if-then assumption.
        • Causality existence.
        • Cause insufficiency.
        • Additional cause.
        • Cause and effect reversal.
        • Predicted effect existence.
        • Tautology.
      • CLR can be applied for
        • to check soundness of a built tree by tree builder and scrutinizer (a person who searches flaws in the logical construction)

Builder and scrutinizer look like debating people? (from my ideas about knowledge creation systems) They not openly oppose each other, but one tries constantly disrupt ideas of the other. But in the case of building trees only one has ideas, the other one is checking ideas from every possible angle. Attacks them, if you wish.

Builder wants to construct a tree and present at some point in time, creator loves his creation, and he is touchy about his work. Though he can accept sound advice, it is important to present it in a non-threatening way. Those who check trees for consistency must do it from a supportive position and have substantial expertise in the field in question.

In order to be understood presenter or lector should understand himself. Like Feynman used to say, that when he wrote the curricular for beginners physicist class, if he can’t explain complex principle in simple words it only means that his knowledge of the topic not complete.

It’s not important to reach an agreement in argument. More important is to find an agreement in definitions.
Listener’s problems of understanding are:
Meaning, significance, context of meaning, cause and effect, missing not mentioned steps (intermediate)

You should always remember that in order to be logical entities have to express

  • a complete idea
    • subject and verb, sometimes objects are OK. Remember the story about moon landing module. Personal pronouns are only acceptable.
    • It, this and those are signal of bad logic
  • be grammatically sound and correct,
  • do not include several notions and be atomic,
  • exclude if-then ideas and should be valid at the first glance.

Simplicity is the mean for building sound trees.

  • Adherence to the rules is important for building

  • Apply validity test to conditions of reality not actions.

  • For checking cause and effect occurrences builder and scrutinizer have to check effects of one thing on another and be able to look beyond of what is stated in the beginning.

  • Some of the cause and effect situations are unobservable and can represent biased opinion of a builder.

How to protect oneself from biases?

  • Cause insufficiency is the most common defect in logical trees.

  • Rule of thumb limit the number of arrows to four. Each additional arrow brings less valuable information and has less important cause in its core. Four arrows are optimal.

    • If you absolytely can’t avoid using four or less arrows, put every additional arrow as a different cause.
  • Simple casualty one arrow cause and effect

  • complex casualty, multiple arrows from multiple causes to single effect.

    • Each may add magnitude to another and create cumulative effect.
  • Best way to check cause and effect through a question. What if existing causes not all that there is, and maybe we should look for some additional causes.

  • There might be simple and complex causality

    • Simple one arrow cause and effect
    • multiple arrows from multiple causes to a single effect. Each may add magnitude to another and create cumulative effect.

If we predict that some cause and effect relationship is valid that means there are some unstated cause and effect might exist.

  • Expectation
    • Is it there?
    • Proposed effect.
  • Coexistence
    • Is it there at the same time?
    • proposed effect and existing effect coexist.

Circular logic (Tautology).
To avoid ask questions

  • Is this cause intangible?
  • Is the effect ordered as a rationale for the existence of the cause?
  • Are there any additional predicted effects that could substantiate the tangible cause?

The more men in a CLR group then worse doesn’t matter that all of them understand rules of tree building, cause and effect and what sound logic mean. If only one person (tree builder) knows rules of CLR it could turn into advantage.

I won’t write extensive notes on the third chapter Intermediate Objectives map for several reasons:

  1. Chapter isn’t big.
  2. I’ve drawn a beautiful mindmap.
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Intermediate Objectives map

Look at the mind map

  • IOM is a graphical representation of:
    • a goal. Goals are set by stakeholders. If the company is small, it might be a person. For complex-structured companies, board of directors. For non-profits, people, and taxpayers ultimately will be stakeholders.
    • Critical success factors.
    • Necessary conditions.
  • It is intended to set in time and space a sound groundwork of what should happen to the system in order to succeed.

We have to assume that all systems have goals that could be achieved through one (rare case) or several factors and milestones that are determined beforehand. In order to do that, we have to define and agree on what we can and what we can’t control and influence. Set boundaries of the system.

  • Boundaries
    • span of control. What we can influence.
    • Span of influence. Perimeter of all aspects of life we can influence. Usually bigger than control.
    • The external environment. The biggest of all and it has sphere we can control to a certain degree and areas that are completely out of our control. How leader finds those few elements that need to be changed? They are important.

Strategic application. Goal, Critical Success factor and Necessary conditions are consequent steps. Why goal is first in the chain? Because we have to keep in mind where we want to get, and begin our journey from the end, moving backwards, determine first CSF, then NC. They are building blocks on top of which the goal is sitting. BTW, look into [[дерево компетенций ученика]] and build comprehensive IOM for education. Building student’s trajectory even possible.

  • Characteristic of IO map
    • terminates at the goal level.
    • Has limited number of:
      • CSF — 5 is an optimal number.
      • NC — milestones. Two levels deep.
    • Each successive level is more detailed than the previous one.
    • IOM represents
      • destination
      • key intermediate milestones.

Don’t lose main purpose of IOM: to define a clearly identifiable benchmark for success of the overall system

  • How to
    • We start with checking the limits of our world and looking for boundaries
      • control
      • influence
      • who is a decision maker?
    • Then we articulate a goal
      • We state it as a condition, that describes an outcome of specific activity,
      • beware of describing goal as an action and activity itself.
    • Then comes the process of determination of:
      • CSF.
      • NC.

They could be determined as a list of successive bullet points, remember to terminate at a goal level. But I suggest use sticky notes, easy to use and in abundance on MIRO board.
After we have finished arranging goal, CSF and NC we must connect them. Remember NC shouldn’t be more than two levels deep, and if we have enough authority in the matter we verify, if not we are looking for stakeholder’s consent. The exercise could be dummy assembling or simulation of simulation, as Алексей Каптерев | Коммуникации said during our meeting with him.

After IOM is finished we can start drawing current reality tree

we can start drawing current reality tree

CRT depicts as it is and focuses on undesirable effects in our processes.

  • It seek cause and effect connection and connects them with whole system’s condition and tries to find genuine causes.

  • CRT is designed to reach next objectives:

    • Understanding of complexity and the system.
    • Articulate what inhibits development of the system. UDE. Effects that are contradicting goals, CSF and NC.
    • Work from top UDE to the root cause and see where the problem is lying.
    • Identify which root cause creates the worst effect on the system.
    • Determine which of the RCs a lying beyond our spheres (control and influence).
    • Isolate few causal factors (constraints)for maximum effectiveness of the system? (how is it done?).
    • Search for simplest potential changes. TRIZ law of ideal object. [[Идеальный объект]]
  • Working with CRT we assume that:

    • cause and effect is not correlation.
      • Correlation embedded in CRT are invalid. They isolate wrong causes and lead to incorrect root causes. Cost energy and effort. BEWARE.
      • Decisions based on them less sound than those that are based on cause and effect.
      • CLR can help us not to fall victim to correlation.
    • all elements of the system are interdependent.
    • all processes could be changed.
    • both effects are produced DE and UDe.
    • Several UDE are working in accord.
    • cause and effect are managed by CLR and subjected to scrutiny beforehand.
    • there are unstated assumptions.
    • all cause and effects are replicable in every next iteration. If not then changes have been made.

Good example of synthetic problem. Marshak have translated the poem inside, Could be adapted into Russian.
[[an example on which CRT building could be practiced]]

The main objective of CRT it to isolate what needs to be changed.

  • CRT if properly depicted overlaps spheres of control, influence and outside uncontrolled environment

Undesirable effects p.101

By what standard?

To determine UDE phrase the effect in grammatically sound full sentence it can identify UDE as UDe or fact of life that can’t be influenced.

  • Next step is to check for negativity:
    • Do others agree with me on that? That UDE is negative in correlation to goals CSF and NC? Numbers don’t mean anything.
    • Agreement of society. Would they see negativity as I see it. For example, bad marks of a student is a problem of bad education, unskillful teachers or lack of attention to what children do at home?
    • Does UDE constitutes an unacceptable deviation from the goal?
    • Does it affect throughput of the system?

If we have several root causes, a good habit is to determine which RC is guilty for 70 percent of UDE or simply put for the majority of problems. And deal with it. When we were reading [[Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking]], Halpern introduced rule of making good decision it is called 2/3 rule. It can be measured by a specifically designed worksheet.

Core problems are not root causes. CP builder is trying to tie up several disparate branched, which in beg trees leads to expenditure of resourced and brings cognitive stress, when working with RC is much easier, though it also has some drawbacks.

Firstly, dealing with RC requires consensus of what ISN’T UDE, IOM helps in that. It helps us understand what’s good for the system and what should be happening, and limits our ability on putting tags on everything that might be undesirable. Secondly, in building our tree we stop looking for vague and over-broad core problems and concentrate on a few RC. But the IOM needs to be drawn in the first place.

Don’t plant any CRT without drawing IOM!

Definition of critical root cause:
A critical root cause is a policy, practice, or prevalent behavior that constitutes the lowest level of causality in existing reality lying within someone’s sphere of influence to change.


Solving problems starts with a search of a conflict. And if search is thorough, we can find several conflicting problems. Reach one goal and second goal destabilizes. To resolve the conflict Dettemer offers a tool for conflict resolution Evaporating cloud

a tool for conflict resolution Evaporating cloud

One of the reasons behind UDE is that one o several processes impede development of the system. Some hidden conflict slows down changing speed or completely blocks it. Evaporating cloud resolves the conflict in a win-win manner and sometimes is called a conflict resolution diagram.

EC opens an opportunity to create a playground to ideas that might evolve into solution to a complex problem.

  • The purpose of EC
    • Confirm an existing conflict.
    • Articulate conflict that perpetuates a major problem.
    • Find all assumptions around conflicting situation.
    • Resolve.
    • Avoid compromise.
    • Create win-win solutions.
    • Create ideal objects. Major breakthrough.
    • Explain in depth reasons behind a problem.

Before continuing with evaporating cloud we need to state some assumptions regarding it:

  • Problems are born from competition between two forces.
    • Competition at some point in the future evolve into problem.
      • Conflicts in any systems is an indication of suboptimization.
      • Conflict more often than not invisible, confrontational or obvious.
  • System goals require achieving more than one underlying conditions.
    • Conditions are driven by prerequisites.
      • Prerequisites is a level of a conflict. (Later on that. Zigzagged arrow).
  • Conflicting forces exist on several layers
    • functionally
    • organizationally
  • Sources of conflict might be
    • in policies
    • in human relationships
  • Conflict results from underlying invalid or no longer relevant assumption.
    • Conflict resolutions lies in breaking or invalidating assumption or opposing force.
    • Assumption underlying conflict can easily be identified and determined.
  • Conflict frequently involves complex interaction among several factors. Not bipolar.
  • There are no “Silver Bullets”. No way of solving problem with one determined leap.

==Ideas are just ideas even ingenious, in order to implement them you have to find a solution.==

  • True conflict resolutions is not consensus or rationalization or win or lose. Resolution is when you’ve resolved all sides of the conflicts and not sacrificed one for the other.
    • More often than not conflict is subtle. Differences in opinions or views and experience.

There are two types of conflicts.

  • Opposite conditions
    • Sth forces us to do, sth prevents our actions.
  • Different alternatives
    • When we have two mutually exclusive paths. If we see either-or conditions it is a hidden conflict.
      • Indication of hidden conflict.
        • Sense of stagnation, instead of breakthrough nothing happens no matter how mush effort is put.
        • One way to confirm stagnation – look at the time schedule of management. What they do with their time and energy?
  • Breakthroughs solutions are:
    • challenging
    • nontraditional
    • ideal
    • not the way it was always done.

Breakthrough solutions are difficult to find, hard to implement. But they are simple at the core. To find them it’s good to look into TRIZ, Crawford’s slip method, creative thinking and lateral thinking also problem-solving and decision-making strategies might come in handy.

  • Elements of Evaporating cloud
    • One key objective
      • Safe bet is to use goal from the [[Intermediate Objectives map]]
    • Two necessary sufficient requirements
      • Are usually critical success factors from the same [[Intermediate Objectives map]]
    • Two conflicting prerequisites
      • These are the actions that have to be made to satisfy requirements.
    • Underlying assumptions
      • A key to unlocking the conflict.
        • Brainstorming or [[Метод записок Кроуфорда]] means of idea generation.
        • If don’t have an invalid assumption to begin with, try invalidating some on purpose.
        • The most common place to look for invalid assumption is between prerequisites.
    • One or more injections (Breakthroughs)

It is better to extract EC from CRT and do not clutter the latter with additional entities that do not belong there. What’s more important, they activate different cognitive processes and have different aims. ![[EC scheme.png]]

[[Symbology EC.png]]

The source of conflict is usually a core root cause, negative branch from the tree.

NC are expressed in statements:


  • The idea behind EC is to put in front of each other two competing forces. Represent the dilemma we are plagued with.
    • Both positions must be placed into prerequisites boxes at the tail of the EC diagram.
    • And clearly articulated, with five words or fewer.
    • Use actions verbs. If you articulated one side of the conflict but have trouble with the other, ask yourself a question "What stops me from going this path?"
  • “Needs” have to be determined.
    • They must be non-negotiable, NC.
    • Read the cloud backwards, “in order we must”. It is also good practice of validation of the whole EC.
  • Develop underlying assumption.
    • Each arrow has at least one assumption.
    • Use extreme wording in articulation. Be as critical as possible.
      • Quantifiers are best suited for such task: never, always, absolutely, absolutely impossible.
      • Prohibitions are OK too, MUST
    • Injections or breakthroughs must render the conflict.
      • They can be either conditions or actions.
      • TRIZ is the best source to look for inspiration. [DOMB and Terniko]

After we solved problems with all conflicts, resolved all opposition its time to start drawing future reality tree

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future reality tree

Practical exercise

Practical exercises are difficult to come around with, so it saddens us but doesn’t stop.
Let’s adapt one COVID-19 related example.


We are planning in presenting to the market new product. Educational product. Our goal is to earn X money or if we are operating as a non-profit entity reach a certain level of satisfaction or efficiency.
All actions are happening in specific real life conditions. The world is put on hold, everything works through internet and online meetings are on the rise and product is new on the market. VR education environment.


Use this new FRT tool to create a possible image of the future, create a prototype:

  • Ensure that any changes will actually advance the goal and critical success factors of the system.
  • Is your approach logically sound, it won’t create devastating side effects on the system.
  • What negative branches might occur and what injections might help with resolving. Or should they be moved from the tree and EC build around them?
  • What positive reinforcing loops might emerge in the tree?


When you’ve thought about questions above and proceed with your future reality tree:

  • Gather necessary information (GOAL, CSF, NS, UDE)
  • Assume what conflict might appear and resolve it.
  • Formulate DE (Positive, not neutral). State the effects in present tense use nouns and verbs
  • identify all assumption that underline each arrow.
  • Trim the tree if necessary.

What is FRT and how to build it

Future is built not by sticking to existing rules but by finding a way around status quo. Essentially, brothers Wright took existing reality and applied to it their creativity. They didn’t destroy reality, but improved it. Airfoil, wing and powered flight.

Future reality tree can be used alone without the support of other logical thinking tools (CRT, EC, IOM). That WILL require brute force.

  • Don’t be afraid of negative branches. Firstly you can trim them, and secondly they are important to see if actions are detrimental or beneficial. NB could be built without FRT and trimmed with timely injection(s).

    • One of the most powerful tool. Can save tons of time by preventing mistakes in the first place.
    • NB can be used without the need to construct EC of CRT. It adds a new reality, perspective. We use new injection(s) for this.
    • It helps to look at the impact of our decision from a potentially negative side, though we planned to having only positive effects. Looks similar co Kahnneman’s negative experiment [[Препарирование живого проекта negative experiment]].
    • Assume as many causes as you can, especially around critical arrows.
  • Negative branch trimming

    • First, we incorporate new reality into FRT with injections that we’ve come up with. At the junction where neutral or positive loop began its turn for the worse.
    • Negativity build not directly but laterally, starts as neutral or even positive and somewhere along the way it turns into negative branch. To stop this process, it is required from us to start trimming with new injection.
      • When applying new injection, we shouldn’t be bothered by all assumptions, check only those that are hanging on a transition arrow.
        • The transition arrow is an arrow that leads clearly to the first negative entity.
      • To get to the underlying assumption in NB of FRT we must ask a different from in EC kind of question: If ==cause== … then ==effect==, because ==assumption==.
      • After we’ve articulated all assumptions, we can create an injection that combined with all causes at the tail of the transitional arrow can create a benign or positive effect, rather than negative.
        • The injection that we think produces benign or positive effect must be scrutinized, whether this can be actually done or it is just willful thinking that it can be executed and most importantly will it produce the desired effect?
  • Positive reinforcing loop, in an essence the same what has negative reinforcing loop been but with different polarity. Effect of such loop reinforces positive effect and infinitely beneficial to the system.

  • Injections are new conditions and actions that must be created in current reality for future reality to unfold.

    • Injections are not fixed or predetermined. They can change in any way possible and we initially live in quantum reality with infinite number of variations.
    • DE that is achieved through specific conditions is a culmination of prior effort, a component activity (studying, assessing, applying knowledge, etc.)
    • If injections are actions, expect a substantial number of them.
      • If you set to quickly on a specific action, other possibilities might be closed. And chosen action might be less effective
      • And it brings another problem psychological, by setting too soon you become overexcited about implementation and not solutions, wherever should be the other way around.
      • Purpose of FRT is to validate certain course of actions.
    • As simple as it could possibly be. No silver bullets, aim should be targeted to the simplest change to existing reality. Changes that will produce desired conditions.
      • Sources
        • CRT
        • EC
        • Spontaneous creativity
          • Brainstorm
          • Crawford
          • TRIZ
          • Delphi (what the hell is that)
        • Logical additions
          • Through questions: What must I add to produce DE? Check connection using CLR
  • Build upward by asking: what additional things must be done to make the original idea effective?

    • If you encounter a cause insufficiency between one level and another, you must add the non-yet-existing injection needed to complete logical causality.
  • FRT acts as safety net for CRT and EC, because FRT is a place, you have to be precise. Working consciously with FRT helps with correcting mistakes we’ve made or overlooked in CRT and EC.

  • FRT can ve use as substitution of strategic planning by representing of what needs to be done.

  • When arrows go through a loop, effect expands in formulation
    added cause and


  1. Where did I see thar DE effect can be created from UDE just by changing polarity? Students ==don’t know how to== work with sources => Students ==manage== sources ==competently==. The group agreed that I had seen correctly. Actually it was said in two places in the book.
  2. Can several injection be used in the course of problem solving? I think yes, because we are talking about measures that reasolve conflict and measures include several actions at least. No silver bullets, remember?
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