Understanding TA



I’m referring to the section called “Smart Money at the Constraint”, where there’s a depiction of a system with a constraint in the middle.

There is a parenthesis in pages 105-106 which I can’t really understand:

“Having a ‘push’ or a ‘pull’ system in this example makes no difference: the Throughput is not impacted! Then moving from a ‘push’ system to a ‘pull’ system will significantly improve Cycle Time. As a third improvement, and promoted by Tameflow, one can be moving from a ‘pull’ system (Kanban Method) to a ‘flow’ system (Throughput) where a constraint management and TOC system is enforced to yield a real 'flow system.”

My question is:

Are these 3 different solutions, or do they build up on top of each other? Why, for example, in the first solution we’re saying that pull/push does not make a difference, but then we’re sort of assuming that the system is a ‘pull’ system on the other solutions?

Thanks and apologies for the longish comment :slight_smile:



This is a very good question. The long answer to fully grasp this is to watch the entire Ship Building Simulation by Klaus Leopold at

The short answer is:

  1. trying to push or pull at a constraint will not change the throughput at the constraint. It makes no difference. (this is very nicely illustrated at the conclusion of Klaus’ video)

  2. However, once you start pulling work from the system (and stop pushing), you will still witness the same throughput, but lead time will improve drastically. (This is very nicely explained at the conclusion of Klaus’ video as well)

  3. Now with Tameflow you can increase throughput at the constraint with increased flow ! To achieve this
    a) make sure the constraint is always busy and never idle by following the guidance illustrated in the book
    b) use MOVEs as described in chapter 13
    c) use DBR Kanban boards as explained in chapter 11
    d) USE FULL KITTING as explained in chapter 14

With these 4 adjustments, you will go from pull to flow and impact the speed that work travels thru the constraint!

Thank you



I also forgot …

These are 3 views or approaches to see work. They do not ‘build’ upon one another. As a matter of fact, they are orthogonal and do not coexist. You either push, pull or flow.

Thank you.


Thank you Daniel! Very helpful!