This is the term applied to the “Constraint Management” approach to scheduling in manufacturing systems, developed by Eli Goldratt and popularized in the novel, “The Goal.”   The “drum” refers to the rate at which the primary bottleneck, or determining constraint, can move items down the line.  Buffer refers to the placing of a time-buffer equivalent to the amount of time which could be lost by a contingency in the production line leading up to the constraint.  A buffer of items corresponding to this delay is kept in front of the constraint, which provides some slack or “rope” to the overall line.

(The Supply Chain Dynamics Glossary)

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J. Jerrald Hayes
I am ex-architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of, 360 Difference, and now too.
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