The “Theory of Constraints”… In Other Words – What’s Holding Your Business Back?

The “Theory of Constraints”… In Other Words – What’s Holding Your Business Back?

The “Theory of Constraints”… In other words – What’s holding your business back?

Do you feel there is a part of your business that is not operating the way you would like? It might be your time management that continually puts pressure on you and limits your business growth and efficiency, or it might be your project management system that creates inconsistent results on projects.

The barriers that hold us back were explained by an Israeli Business Management expert nearly 40 years ago. He called these barriers the “Theory of Constraints”, and said every business has obstacles that are slowing its growth, efficiency, and profit. There is often one primary constraint in a business, and when it is identified and eliminated, the business will take a major leap forward.

When I first start working with my clients, many of them know the major constraints in their businesses but are seeking the right way to deal with them.

If you want to evaluate your major constraints, try this quick exercise. Ask yourself “what would I like my business to look like if it had the time to develop?” These additional questions might help:

  • What projects would I like to design/build?
  • What would my marketing look like on social media/my website?
  • How many team members/sub-contractors would I have, and what roles would they fulfil?
  • What would my sales/profits be?
  • What is my quoting/PM system like?
  • How would I best serve my business, and what would be my role?

Try answering the above questions using bullet points. Then, think of your business in its current state and highlight the areas that need attention, by making a comparison between now and your vision. Next, prioritise what you think is the first major constraint that needs attention before anything else.

Often, we are on a treadmill running our business, dealing with all the urgent tasks and responsibilities, and we don’t allow time to work on our business, in order to identify and eliminate major obstacles that are limiting business growth and efficiency.

Identifying a major constraint sounds simple enough, but eliminating it will take some time and effort. But we all know that everything worthwhile takes time and effort! Addressing this constraint might be quicker than you think.

Interestingly, making the decision to address and work on a constraint is the hardest part of this process, because once you do, the frustration you have been feeling starts to ease – because you now have a better understanding of the cause of the congestion. Then, as you adjust a part or parts of a process, and test the changes, you start to see improvement.

I have found that when I change a major constraint, my attitude is immediately uplifted, and that influences all areas of my business.

So my message is, decide to address one constraint affecting your business, that you have been putting off, and addressing it will make a significant change to your operation.

And if you get stuck and need some help, give me a call.


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