Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shouldn't We Local-Optimize at Bottlenecks?

The short answer is no. Once we start thinking local, we are heading down the wrong path.

Consider what we should do at a bottleneck:
  • Increase the resource's throughput, by increasing its efficiencies.
  • Manage the flow in the system to reduce idle time at the resource.
  • Add more capacity, by introducing other resources capable of the same function.
  • Outsource a portion of the work to resources outside the system.
  • Rethink the need for some work to go through the bottleneck.
You'd notice that only the first of these points is local in nature, and we should only consider it as an option. It may not be the best one.

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