Monday, 17 March 2008

CMM or Constraints Management

Meant to write something about SKI on Troughput blog allready some time ago, but forgot about it. Now it popped up again from my Google Alerts. Just a generic comment on Bob Nardelli at helm of Chrysler, but in the post there are two books that I hadn't heard of before. Any of you read either of these and could give some comments?

The Logical Thinking Process: A Systems Approach to Complex Problem Solving
by H. William Dettmer

A major rewrite of Dettmer's classic Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, this new edition presents a whole new approach to building and applying logic trees. The logical thinking process referred to in the title is nothing less than a broadly applicable, systems-level approach to policy analysis. Dettmer has streamlined the process of constructing the logic trees while simultaneously ensuring that the results are more logically sound and closer representations of reality than ever before. He explains an easier, more logically sound way to integrate Current Reality Trees with Evaporating Clouds. His new version of the thinking process "retires" the Transition Tree in favor of the marriage of a more detailed Prerequisite Tree and critical chain project management. This book contains new examples of logic trees from a variety of real-world applications. Most of the diagrams and illustrations are new and improved. Explanations and procedures for constructing the logic trees are considerably simplified. Completely new to this edition is a unique graphical software application - Transformation Logic Trees, designed primarily to create thinking process logic trees and only secondarily for other flowcharting uses. Provided on the accompanying CD-ROM is a full-function, unrestricted copy of version 1.0 for new and experienced users of the thinking process alike to use in building their logic trees. Appendix J in the book provides more information on how to install and use the software.

Strategic Navigation: A Systems Approach to Business Strategy by H. William Dettmer
There are many parallels between the business world and the military world: both must always be wary of the competition; both must be able to adapt to rapidly changing conditions; and if either falters the results could be devastating. Yet while military leaders have employed essentially the same strategies for thousands of years, business leaders often feel the need to try the latest fad in an effort to capture lightning in a bottle and lead the company to success. In Strategic Navigation: A Systems Approach to Business Strategy, best-selling author H. William Dettmer explains how sound, proven strategies used by great military leaders from Sun Tzu to Schwarzkopf can also be easily and effectively used in the business world.

Dettmer begins the book by introducing the conceptual framework of military strategy and maneuver warfare, which dates back over 2,300 years to the time of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. He first explains how the time-tested principles of war planning and military execution can be readily applied to non-military uses, such as commercial business, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies, leading to considerable benefits in coherence and focus. Dettmer then introduces a logical, systematic tool set to help you translate the military strategy ‘template’ into action, which can then be applied to nearly any industry or business type. The system described by Dettmer is quick and easy to use, flexible enough to accommodate changes in the external environment, and supports the creativity of both strategists and executors.


Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey said...

Just a short note as I head to Detroit to share my love of Boyd's work:

There is time to register if you are in the neighborhood...

I will offer the presentation on my blog when I return.


P.S. I still get a fair number of hits from this reference. Thanks.

Panu Kinnari said...

Would like to attend, but not actually 'in the neighborhood' :)

Henrik said...

I made a videocast review of The Logical Thinking Process. It's here:

The short version of the review is: I liked the book a lot.

I liked Strategic Navigation too, mainly because it is the book that got me hooked on Boyd. SKI recommended the book, I read it, read Boyd's original presentations, and found that Boyd framed ideas that had been slopping around in my head for years. More than 25 years of working and studying, and suddenly the pieces fit!

I had been searching for a common language that can be used at all levels in an organization. I found that language in the OODA concept, and in Boyd's idea of strategy as a game of interaction and isolation.

On the other hand, Strategic Navigation is heavier reading than the TLTP book. The strategic theory isn't all Boyd. Bill has moved closer to Boyd's ideas since 2003, when Strategic Navigation was published. This shows in the TLTP book.

For the past year I have been working on a Strategic Navigation book of my own, with Bill's blessing of course. I am emphasizing Boyd's ideas a lot. One thing I have spent a lot of effort on is applying Boyd's IOHAI concept to business organizations.

I'm writing the final chapter right now, about organizational change. It is amazing what happens when you take Boyd's insights, Dettmer's TLTP, and apply it to theories of change. Suddenly you realize change efforts must have all the elements of maneuver conflict: fast OODA loops, a network based change organization, bundles of coordinated moral-mental-physical attacks using the principles of interaction and isolation...