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(This page is about thinking in the context of the [Theory of constraints]]. For wider implications see List of thought processes.

Thinking processes in theory of constraints are the five methods initially developed by Eliyahu M. Goldratt to enable the focused improvement of any system (especially business system).

The purpose of the five thinking processes is to help one answer three questions essential to achieving focused improvement:

  1. What to change?
  2. What to change to?
  3. How to cause the change?

The five thinking processes are:

The newest development is the strategy and tactics tree, see also this link.


  • Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. ISBN 0-88427-061-0
  • Eliyahu M. Goldratt. It's Not Luck. ISBN 0-88427-115-3
  • Eliyahu M. Goldratt. Critical Chain. ISBN 0-88427-153-6
  • Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Eli Schragenheim, Carol A. Ptak. Necessary But Not Sufficient. ISBN 0-88427-170-6
  • Eli Schragenheim. Management Dilemmas: The Theory of Constraints Approach to Problem Identification and Solutions. ISBN 1-57444-222-8
  • Lisa J. Scheinkopf Thinking For a Change: Putting the TOC Thinking Processes to Use. ISBN 1-57444-101-9
  • William H. Dettmer. Goldratt's Theory Constraints: A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement (contains some errors in the models presented). ISBN 0-87389-370-0

External linksEdit

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