11 November 2017, Oded Cohen
Last Thursday (9th November, 2017), I gave a presentation in the 35th TOPA Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania on TOC Buffers.
Discussions that followed the presentation have brought me to realize that there is some misunderstanding of the TOC Buffers.
The word/term Buffer is commonly used today as reserve, on top of, etc. – generally to indicate a mechanism for protection for the unknown, mishaps and unexpected.
Some TOC practitioners have the perception that Buffers in TOC are there just to absorb variability. This is partially true but it is not the full picture, and this does not explain the difference between the meaning of the ‘TOC buffers’ and the conventional ‘buffers’.
The TOCICO dictionary states that: “buffer – Protection against uncertainty. The protection is aggregated and may take the form of time, stock (inventory), capacity, space or money. Buffers are strategically located to protect the system from disruption.”
Actually, the above definition is true for any protection mechanism that was inserted into major conventional managerial systems as early as the 1950s and onward.