AGI Active Learning Program:  Production & Operations

The objective of the Active Learning Program (ALP) is to help individuals understand how almost subtle changes in their thinking and approach to production management can result in a transformation in results.

It has been designed for individuals and teams that want to gain a better understanding of TOC Drum Buffer Rope (DBR), originally depicted in The Goal, and how DBR can be used to deliver products faster, more reliably, on-time, and with lower costs and fewer constraints.

The ALP is a mixture of guided self-study, production simulations to experience the application, and end-of-section questions to help solidify learnings.

Production simulations help individuals better understand and internalize the concepts of using either a Resource or product Demand as the "Drum" to schedule and synchronize workflow across multiple products with level loads on shared resources.

Production simulated experiences include:

  • A production-managed workflow in which to apply the Five Focusing Steps and further internalize the process of using a system constraint as a regulating device to synchronize everything that's going on throughout the system.
  • Deriving a Scheduling process that accounts for work and resource dependency,and concentrates safety where it will provide the most protection from variability by:
    • Identifying Capacity Constraint Resources (CCRs) and Demand constraints as scheduling Drums
    • Exploiting Identified constraints - establishing guildelines for Drum scheduling and maximizing Throughput per Constraint Unit
    • Subordinating/Synchronizing to align production and material release schedules to be in accordance with exploiting the identified Drums and releasing material only as early as necessary
    • Positioning and sizing time buffers to ensure queue times do not adversely affect on-time delivery performance
    • Understanding Productive and Protective Resource Utilization requirements are defined by the interaction of workflow dependencies and variability
  • Understanding Alignment of resource Actions to those of a "Road Runner"
  • Using Time Buffer Management to provide "Product Visibility & Management Control"
  • Understanding the impact of "High Efficiency (Utilization)" and "Batching" on workflow speed (lead time), management intervention, on-time delivery performance and the bottom-line (NP & ROI)

Who Would Benefit

Individuals from all business functions whose primary business is production-managed, such as:

  • Production, Manufacturing, Repair, or Logistics (whether Make-to-Order or Make-to-Stock)

Individuals whose functional areas of responsibility supports or enables production-managed business such as:

  • Finance, Sales, Marketing, Product Design (Engineering), Maintenance, Procurement (Purchasing), Process Improvement, or IT/IS


ALP Take-Aways


  • The key elements of production/logistics complexity and uncertainty; namely process dependency, process variability, shared resources and the interaction between them
  • The importance and means by which to make visible the cumulative effects of the interaction of dependency and variability at the process and resource level
  • How DBR is applied to a production workflow, where work is viewed and managed in the context of processing rates, regardless of whether the workflow is that of production, manufacturing, repair, or logistics
  • That effects of identified variability are much easier to manage and contain through the use of properly positioned and sized time buffers
  • That the cumulative effects of variability, if made visible, enable workflow outcomes to be proactively controlled, via scheduling with time buffer management
  • The Rules of Engagement for production-managed workflows, starting from and Operational Understanding and the corresponding Operational Strategy, which in turn forms thebasis of specific types of Planning, Scheduling, and Resource Management Actions, ultimately resulting in Performance Outcomes


  • About the causal relationships between some of the most common problems in production-managed operations and the types of actions causing them
  • How to better identify and address queuing variability associated with work completion and thereby order completion



US$34.95 per download, which includes one copy (PDF) of the guided self-study workbook and a single-user licensed simulation packge (Windows and Mac)