Jelena Fedurko-Cohen, Humberto Baptista & Oded Cohen: Talking about Thinking Processes for Supply Chain

Part 1: Understanding the Core Cloud for Supply Chain

In the recent webinar The Layers of Supply Chain Synchronization, Humberto touched upon several issues regarding TP for Supply Chain, and the two webinars presented on this page are the continuation of this discussion.  

Webinar Part 1 is the exchange of views between Jelena and Humberto. Jelena presents her analysis of the Supply Chain Core Cloud – what is apparent it it and what is ‘between the lines’:

  • looking in detail into the well-known assumptions behind the arrow B-D,
  • making the analysis of the logical clusters,
  • presenting and classifying more assumptions behind B-D.

Jelena and Humberto also discuss the need for more precision and disciplined thinking in working with TP. 

Webinar Part 1 recording

The sound of Part 1 is not great at the start of the recording, but then gets better. The sound of recording of Part 2 is OK.

Pdf of Part 1

Webinar Part 2: Constraint, Thinking Processes and 5 Focusing Steps

Webinar Part 2 is an active discussion between Humberto, Jelena and Oded and important issues of:

  • 5 Focusing Steps as a Thinking Process on its own,
  • what is Constraint and what is not,
  • difference between a Constraint and an Obstacle,
  • the content and the meaning of each of 5 Focusing Steps in relations to specific Thinking Processes tools
  • discussion about the difference between the TP tools that can be used for 5 Focusing steps in the process of developing a solution vs applying a solution.
Webinar Part 2 recording

Pdf of Part 2

Humberto Baptista: The Layers of Synchronization of Supply Chain


Pdf of the webinar material


Good session, Humberto. Layer 1 visibility is a neat description.

Robert Bolton


Great job, Humberto.

Henry Camp

Dr. Shoshi Reiter: To bring about Happiness at work – Utopia or Reality?

Pdf of the material used in the webinar



Debi Roberts: Using TOC for suicide prevention. The Elliot Strickland Lecture.

“It fills my heart with optimism and compassion to hear that the Elliot Strickland lecture is making such an impact.”

Elliot’s Mum, Zoe Strickland

Webinar material in pdf

TOCPA thanks Goldratt Japan,  the Japanese regional company of Goldratt Consulting, for their project to put Japanese subtitles on the presentation and disseminate it in Japan in order to share Debi Robert’s experience and knowledge to help people who are facing crisis situation.

Andrew Kay: Using CCPM to stay on course and stay calm in a volatile project environment

The pdf of the material used in the webinar


In continuation of the discussion

Jim Heffernan

Hi Andrew, I really enjoyed your presentation this evening. You may remember me; we met briefly in Chicago at TOCICO. I worked for more than thirty years in the Telecoms environment in diverse Service Management, Operations, Project Management and Transformation roles. I really understand and appreciate the concrete nature of the issues and obstacles that you highlighted. (I have some of the scars to prove it.) I also spent 8 years as an independent consultant mainly on public service transformation. In 2004, I implemented CCPM in Telecom Eireann in conjunction with Kevin Fox, Ray Immelmann and Sanjeev Gupta. We deployed the Concerto product. Since then I have judiciously applied TOC principles and some Lean Six Sigma over the years but always trying to apply sound project management principles. Often apart from brief reference to bottlenecks or applying the Cloud and PRT, I may not mention TOC at all except to a vital few. Service environments can be very challenging. – High variation, high touch time and often no awareness of the concept or importance of process. 

The main point of my question was that many discussions and papers on CCPM seem to centre on in the detail estimating tasks times, buffers etc. essentially trying to manage within the noise, without  appreciating fully the importance of Project Organisation, Stakeholder Management, Risk planning and risk Management (as opposed to variance management, for which I think buffers do a reasonable job. 

Great job and thank you. 


Ted Hutchin: (1) Inherent Simplicity of TOC TP. (2) Transition Tree.

About me! 

After 30 years of working with TOC and the TP, in all manner of organisations right around the world, it would appear that some people think I might have something to say.  Currently I would describe myself as semi-retired, a writer, and essayist with a blog, a Benedictine Oblate, a coach and mentor, a spiritual director, chaplain to both Police and Fire Service but most often, husband, father and grandfather – truly wonderful.  Eli once said to me that grandchildren are the gift you get for not killing your kids!  I would agree with him that holding your first grandchild exceeds that of holding your first child.  A legacy truly passed on.

I might also mention being an ex sailor, ex rugby player, ex academic, ex soldier as a radar engineer but they are all behind me now.  It’s what lies ahead that is exciting, living life in crescendo!

Webinar 2: The power of Transition Tree

21 February 2019

When I met Oded and Jelena back in 2018 Oded observed that I was one of a very small group of people still using the Trt and yet surely as a powerful tool contained within the TP it should be more widely used – after all it has so many applications.

Where did my interest in the Trt begin?

During the Jonah Programme – the second TP example at Ashridge in 1991, I attended with many of the TOC community in the UK at the time and stayed with my friend David Marks who lived close by. When the Trt was presented we both struggled with it and so, on the way back to David’s home, we decided to think about the course we were running the following week for IBM teaching them about manufacturing. As David went through the four days of the course, working our way through the structure we had used for some time, I quickly realised that he was talking a Trt even if neither of used that structure!!!

So maybe it had some merit after all!!!

Pdf of the webinar material


The email exchange between Ted Hutchin and Celso Calia


22 Feb 2019

Hello Celso, good to hear from you after all these years and thank you for your kind comments.  I believe in the concept of inherent simplicity, a  phrase used by Eli as you know and which should have remained the title of the book that eventually came out as The Choice.  I try to seek this idea of inherent simplicity in all that I do and that includes using the TP for my work and my writing.  Not always easy to achieve but, when I do manage, always highly rewarding!

I have sent the presentation to Jelena and Oded so you should have it fairly soon I hope but I have attached it just in case.  Us old TOC hands always share our knowledge without question.  I am happy to answer any questions you might have especially in helping people to learn how to use these tools.  Whilst I know the Trt has fallen away, I also believe that there are some who question the use of the Cloud which I find equally strange, and slightly disturbing as I consider the Cloud to be one of the great tools for analysis but as in all the TP tools there must be great teachers as well as great practitioners.

Always happy to help if you need me

take care my friend



25 Feb 2019

Dear Ted

First of all, thanks for sending the material of your presentation. 

For 29 years I and the ones who work with me, use TP from the diagnosis of the prospect till the construction and the implementation of the solution. I certified around 300 professionals in the Jonah Program, few ones in the Jonah´s Jonah Program where I teach TrT but still, you´re right, we always neglected the TrT – unfair, I never gave real merit to it. That´s why I became interested to see your seminar. You´ve changed my mind, We will start using it to write the main procedures. There is one TrT that I like which describes, in detail, the process to build UROs. It is an old stuff. Old but brand new !! Have you seen it?

Well, let´s keep in touch. Best regards.


A letter to TOCPA from Petr Žitník with a TrT pdf 

16 Apr 2019

Dear Jelena,

greetings from Prague.

I would like to thank you for your arranging of interesting TOC webinars via TOCPA website.

For example, I appreciate the recent Ted Hutchins‘ webinar considering the very useful TOC TP tool, the Transition Tree.

Very easy to use, yet very powerful tool, however a bit forgotten.

I learned TOC TP at Washington State University from dr. James Holt in his EM 526 class in 2010.

Please find enclosed one of my homeworks.

It is a PRT and some TTs summarizing The Choice book from Eli. 

Petr Zitnik_THE CHOICE Highlights (PRT, TTs)_with Dr Holt appendix_for TOCPA

I would like to ask you for forwarding this file to Ted Hutchin as my „thank you“ gift for the webinar.

Of course, you can use the material for any purpose you would find useful within the frame of TOCPA or your other TOC activities.

Best regards

Petr Zitnik


Very good session. Well done Ted

Robert Bolton


Is the lack of use of the transition tree due to the decrease in satisfaction that comes from being too certain of the outcome? That is by fully planning something out we lose the thrill of winging it?

Christophe Lambert


I was never taught TrTs but taught myself about them anyway and use them for writing books. as well as before making major moves. I agree with Ted that it is a great tool. Although I am only one person and one who might be called good at “winging it,” I am an example that challenges the assertion that people are using the tool less. Great presentation! I was relieved to be using the TrT correctly, which I had worried about.

Henry Camp


Great webinar! A Big hug to my mentor Ted, in Maindenhead, 1996!

Salvatore Longo


Love that I keep learning new things from Ted! Very well done, my friend!

Kathy Austin

Webinar 1: Inherent Simplicity of TOC/TP, A road travelled 

10 October 2018

This webinar is the result of a comment I made on the TOC Practitioners Worldwide forum on Facebook.  It was suggested that others might like to know a little more about my observations about using TOC/TP for organisational and personal relationships.  To do that requires a little more background, and even more about my evolving use of the TP and why I find it to be an excellent tool for understanding and communication.  So, something about my journey, something about my use of the TP to tell the story of those I am working with, a story they tell and I capture. And some reflections about where I am and where I might think I am heading with new ways of using the TP for understanding and communication.

Pdf of the webinar material 

Webinar calendar

See more on Thinking Process on TOCPA

Feedback on TOC Practitoners Worldwide: 

Jelena Fedurko-Cohen: Ted Hutchin, many thanks for the webinar. It was great! 

Andrew Kay: Thank you, Ted – very inspiring journey. And thank you for capturing some very crucial elements in TP analysis especially to listen for, encourage and capture the “story” or situation in detail to gain understanding and clarity on UDE’s (system or personal) and using the vaporizing cloud to get to the “heart” of the matter. That has to come from a deep place of caring with humility. Really Great!! Last night (3.00am) I wanted to ask if, in your experience, completing a Jonah program is sufficient to think like a Jonah? How would you suggest new Jonah’s acquired mastery of the thinking tools?

Ted Hutchin: The Jonah Course is the beginning of the journey to become a TP master. We used to have the Jonah’s Jonah course which went deeper. Then there is the lifelong practice of using the tools. It is like living the contemplative life as the monastics did in a sense. Only here we are simply mastering tools that can help us in life rather than the journey to understanding the true self. It almost always comes down to seeking and listening at the feet of masters. This is not a cult though! It is about learning how to use analytical tools that can help us on our own life journey and those with whine we travel if only for a short time.

John Covington: Thank you Ted — it was great.

Rodger Morrison: Thank you Ted – thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jonah Salvatore Totino Longo: Well, Ted Hutchin was my master at Jonah Course in Maidenhead in 1996. Ted was and still is simply great.

Jaime Marun: great!

Kathy Hadley Austin: Absolutely. Lots of very useful “nuggets” there. Thanks to all involved!
Ted Hutchin: Thanks to all who have offered comments. Glad it struck a chord, and hopefully started some deep thinking.

More questions and comments after the webinar:

Can you explain why you feel there is no long term success in TOC/TP selling?


It is not the selling that is the problem, I did that for over thirty years and would probably have continued to do so had I not retired, and even then I have had people ask me to come and train/teach/mentor/coach them – but I have moved on.  The issue lies in the fact that most of our selling to a company/organisation does not last – in that almost any company we work with successfully in terms of knowledge transfer and application, continuing for a while without our help as they know what to do, is not sustainable simply because the people that own the business change.  They are bought out, they have a new manager at the top, whatever the reason, even simply people leaving and new people coming – all of these mean that whatever we do is prone to stopping, likely to weaken, be diluted until it is no longer present other than as a memory.


Great presentation


Thank you, now think about what it says to you and ask yourself, what is my unique contribution to the development of the TOC/TP


Ted, I am inspired to pursue and explore what you have discussed. Talmudic method for example is new to me – I have nothing except what you have presented; what would you suggest as next steps ?


Start with Google, then find someone to teach you what you are seeking, colleges, universities, on-line teaching material,  I learned about Talmudic and Socratic approaches from Eli, then others from within the TOC community that knew about these things, then widen my scope – I read, I went to people who used them to learn how to apply – book learning is only one way to acquire this knowledge – you also need a good teacher and a good mentor – find them.


Can you say more about why someone needs to be taught this, why studying a book is not sufficient?


Would you want to go to a brain surgeon that has only read the book, or learn to drive by reading the book and maybe watching how to do it on YouTube?  When I was marking the TP work with TOC-ICO it was easy to distinguish between those who had been taught AND read books compared to those who only read – and this last group often failed.  There is, within the Body of Knowledge known as TOC/TP a wide combination of books, which are a great source of knowledge held within the written word, and, remember all written work is an interpretation, that of the author.  So you must find someone who can teach you, challenge you, how else do you learn how to interpret the written word other than experiential learning.  My bookshelves are full of books, including my own – but I still need to go and learn what they mean and that requires a wise master.  Once we, within the UK AGI team were asked to capture the Trt of the Haystack Syndrome.  Most of us did not understand what Eli was talking about, but the combination of studying the book very very carefully (Talmudic) and, in my case listening to the Cassette tapes (over and over again) enables me to grasp the essence of what Eli was writing about, I even explained Rods to the satisfaction of one of my mentors!!!


Besides TOC/TP have you used any other Coaching tools?


Many form various psychometric tests, Meredith Belbin’s work, Covey, and so many more.  The toolset we should have contains so many tools and techniques – and we must populate that toolbox with those tools that suit us the best – Transactional Analysis and Gestalt are not for everyone but I like them.  The Rule of Benedict is not for everyone but I use that in may work just as with other tools.


I’m thinking about how to complement you on your presentation.


That’s easy, achieve your own goal in life by understanding who you are and what your unique calling in life is, and, if you find that the TOC/TP is for you then begin with developing and having properly scrutinised, your own personal Frt – then make it happen!


Can you explain what paradigm lock is?


It will be the content of my next webinar in the New Year but if you get hold of a copy on Unconstrained Organisations it is all in there – but it really would take too long to respond here in a short response.


Jonah Conference in Trumbull CT circa 1992/1993 (remember we had to say “Moo, Eli?”) 

Ted: YES


So it’s all about long term commitment – not a one-shot fix


It’s about life, lived, experienced, grasped, accepted, undertaken, choices made, the road chosen – Read Robert Frost or Tom Merton for more


Thank you Ted – Brilliant most inspiring and great to hear you again.


Thank you – and thankyou


The tendency of organizational leadership to reverse TOC-based decisions and improvements – isn’t this just an NBR that needs to be trimmed?  E.g., how to trim the NBR of being bought by a larger multinational.


You cannot trim an NBR that is simply a fact of life that happens in the future.  NBRs are only for the injections we are working with right now.  NBRs are driven by our unique understanding of the environment in which our think is being allied right now, both ours the people we are working with.  I have worked with companies that knew they were hoping to be bought by an equity group of some sort, or a much larger organisation and so on. But they had no idea who these people might be – so we could not insulate the work being done from future intrusion and even being discarded – so leave that to those you train, if they have the tools they will work how how best to accommodate and integrate with the new – that is the only mark of our successful teaching, mentoring and coaching.


It’s very difficult to see where our own assumptions are invalid


Thank you for the webinar — what a GREAT START to your series!!!!


Thank you


Great talk, thank you


No, thank you for taking the time to listen

Webinar calendar


Clarke Ching: The FOCCCUS Formula



The pdf of the material used in the webinar

Comments and questions discussed at the end of the webinar:

How do you start the conversation with people who think they “know” the answer based on their gut feeling but you as someone with TOC background know it is wrong?

Tal Aviv


Great session.

Robert Bolton                  

Gijs Andrea: TOC for Service Organization


The pdf of the material used in the webinar

Comments and questions discussed at the end of the webinar:

Good webinar. Thank you. One thing: Have you heard of John Seddon? He suggests that using standard durations for work is counterproductive. Instead he suggests what you discussed in enhancing the flow is enough.

Henry Camp


If someone is waiting (in order to prevent an efficiency syndrome) the utilization drops (on purpose). But shouldn’t we be aware of tipping points when some is waiting reeaaaalllllly long… and thus ALSO look on utilisation in some situations.

Pieter Buwalda


In the criteria for the general solution, i noticed they are strictly referred to “production” process. Are you assuming that people involved in the process have the same level of skills/competence? If not, how can you solve this? Thx a lot, good webinar.

Salvatore Longo


When you have to choose: assign resources to do the ordinary work today or improvement work in the future: how do you recommend to choose the priority between long term (improvement of future performance) and short term (need to do now) goals?

Andrius Melninkaitis


How do deal with issues with respect to decision making level and risk management at senior level, instead of product/service flow (delivery / throughput) at operational level?

Ilesh Shah

Robert Bolton: ThroughPut Focused Mining

The pdf used in the webinar

Webinars calendar

See more on TOC for Mining on TOCPA

Comments and questions discussed at the end of the webinar:

Thanks Rob – for the presentation. Project risk is very much determined by the nature of the contract and Fixed Price is one of the least risky approaches. To what extent do miners know about TOC? And how would they get to know to enable them to lift productivity? CI people tend to be gatekeepers espousing their specific improvement methodologies. Over the last 10 years mine productivity has declined – Independent research shows this. So there is some irony in this. How do we get around the the gatekeepers? Had conversation with business unit managers but ultimately they must go through the CI department? So we know the obstacle – what is the I.O.? How do you then extend the life of mine if you extract more ore?

Andrew Kay



Ian Heptinstall