A Cloud-a-Day Keeps the Conflict Away!

Clouds from New Zealand

27/09/2010 17:04

Kelvyn Youngman, a Theory of Constraints (TOC) practitioner from New Zealand, has made available a valuable source of information about TOC on his website A Guide to Implementing the Theory of Constraints (TOC).

The Evaporating Cloud As a Tool

Having in mind the primary focus of this website, we recommend to read the article about Evaporating Cloud in the Tool Box section.

In the beginning of the article Kelvyn Youngman says:

A cloud is an elegant graphical means of displaying and solving an apparent conflict or dilemma between two actions. It is also sometimes known as a conflict resolution diagram; however, its correct name is a cloud. Central to the use of clouds as a problem solving device is the assumption that there are no conflicts in nature – only erroneous assumptions. "There must be an erroneous assumption that we make about reality that causes a conflict to exist (1)." 

Let’s look at this from another perspective and another culture – Japan; “Problems exist because people believe they exist. If there were no people there would be no problems. People are also the ones who decide that a problem has been solved. Problem solving is the most typical human behavior (2).”


The Cloud process is explained by a dilemma case study common with employees: "ASK/DON'T ASK FOR A SALARY RISE".

More Advanced View On Clouds

Experienced users will appreciate two PowerPoints presenting advanced usage of the Cloud, namely "Reformulated Lieutenant’s Cloud" (PPT #3) and "A Suite of Systemic Clouds" (PPT #4).



(1) Goldratt, E. M., (1999) How to change an organization. Video JCI-11, Goldratt Institute. 

(2) Kawase, T., (2001) Human-centered problem-solving: the management of improvements. Asian Productivity Organization, pg 193.

Topic: Clouds from New Zealand

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