I have been a great fan of Dr Goldratt having read all this books, my favourite being his first book “The Goal”. This book “Necessary but not Sufficient” is written as a “business novel” and shows the fictional application of the Theory of Constraints to Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and operations software and organizations using that software.
Here is an interesting comment by Alistair MacDonald (from Goodreads) “The stance of the book on the value of software is that “software is necessary but not sufficient”, Ie: software is a necessary evil. I think this is an accurate view of software: it’s valueless without the ability to reprogram humans to use it correctly. The book applies this concept to change in general; Ie: providing a systems approach to fixing a human problem is only half of the solution, you also have to change the mindset of the users so they are able to buy in to the paradigm shift that the system enforces. There is a hidden world of beauty among all of this, which is that the original meaning of software was “people to run the hardware” (prior to hardware having the ability to operate on procedural instructions from memory). So, “we need the software”, but “we can’t expect results without changing the users”.
An excerpt from Jack Vinson’s blog on this : “With regard to the story in the book, I enjoyed it for what it was. It follows the usual path. The vendor and implementer see they have a problem meeting their forecasts. They come upon the idea of selling bottom line value, rather than the usual justifications that their industry offers. And they discover just how hard it is to turn “visibility” into a number that means anything to the bottom line. Eventually, they hit upon a way to think about their software in a new way – a way that is inspired by Theory of Constraints.”