Awarding-winning author Kevin Kohls’ self-published business novel Addicted to Hopium—Throughput reveals how to create and sustain an improvement process focused on meeting the demand of successful products. It not only takes a fresh look at implementing a method to analyze and improve throughput, but also includes components that will allow the method to become a “habit.” These designed habits allow the process to be maintained over many, many years, surviving the loss of champions and the damage that comes with Management Churn. Kohls’ premier example is the Throughput Improvement Process, which he developed at a major automobile manufacturer assembly plant in 1987. Surprisingly, this process is still in place thirty years later, becoming not only the template for current production improvement, but the basis for designing and validating future systems across this global automotive manufacturer.
Addicted to Hopium follows fictional character Andrew Wright, an employee of MegaCo Manufacturing, as he struggles to meet the demanding requirements of a new, possible customer. The customer is not only looking for a commitment from MegaCo to make their demand; he is asking them to prove it through the use of an analysis. The customer insists that this analysis take a system viewpoint and include variation. But MegaCo is addicted to Hopium. They make whatever promise that is needed to get the purchase order and then hope they can make that promise. Which they rarely do. How can Andrew break this addiction and help MegaCo secure the contract and keep their promise?
Kohls introduces readers to the Dependency Variation Analysis (DVA) model, which is used as the basis for this book. DVA combines the Theory of Constraints, simulation, the design of a habit, and elements of motivation into a simple execution process that yields both short- and long-term sustainable results.
The book is a fun, interesting read that gives the reader insights into the problems of both manufacturing and management. The DVA model is appealing not only to the business examples in the book, but Kohls also does a great job of applying them to some non-business scenarios to help establish a frame of reference. If you liked reading such books as The Goal, The Power of Habit, and Drive, then you will enjoy Addicted to Hopium–Throughput.