Before diving into Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints, it’s important to understand that much of Goldratt’s work is based on the earlier work of Dr. Deming and that in many cases Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints and Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge go hand in hand.
Understanding how the Theory of Constraints can be applied to DevOps. One way of understanding this is to fully understand that in most companies there are a very small number of resources, which dictate the output of the entire delivery system. These limited resources are generally “the constraints.” A company often attempts to build a system to manage the flow of work to and through the constraints. In most cases the constraints are constantly being wasted which means that the constraint is likely being dramatically underutilized.
As an example, to understand this, look around your company and the odds are your company has a few go-to people who, if they were to quit or were run over by a car, they would be next-to-impossible to replace. These people are always busy solving problems and consulting with others. These people are the constraints. These people waste most of their important time dealing with tasks that have do nothing to do with improving the business or exploiting the constraint. if you think about those go-to people at your workplace, don’t you often see them being assigned menial tasks, or they are constantly being hounded to get to meetings, and even more importantly hounded to track their time. The problem here is that these people are not working to their max capacity even though they are the busiest people at work. In other words, they are not working to their full capacity.