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Goldratt's Theory of Constraints: A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement Hardcover – March 13, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0873893701 ISBN-10: 0873893700

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 378 pages
  • Publisher: ASQ Quality Press (March 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873893700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873893701
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Dettmer's book is for anyone who wants to learn how to systematically use and master the Theory of Constraints.
Sean P. Kearney
It will take some time to see if concepts presented in the book really meets my expectations, but over time I can see improvement over time.
Timothy Johnsrude
In these two books and his non-fiction work, Goldratt presents his "Theory of Constraints" and examples of how to apply it in practice.
Robert W. Bradford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Bradford on April 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Many readers are familiar with Eliyahu Goldratt's hugely successful business novels The Goal and Its Not Luck. In these two books and his non-fiction work, Goldratt presents his "Theory of Constraints" and examples of how to apply it in practice.
Until now, Goldratt fans have had limited options for putting the Theory of Constraints into practice. Developing the methodology from the limited treatments in the novels may work in simple situations, but is unlikely to achieve its full potential in all but the most straightforward applications. True believers can take several days of formal training at the Goldratt Institute and earn the "Jonah" credential, but this approach is beyond the budgets and zeal of many.
Between these extremes, the American Society for Quality has published two very useful books by H. William Dettmer: Goldratt's Theory of Constraints - A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement and Breaking the Constraints to World-Class Performance. Each is a superb tool, but they are appropriate for different audiences.
The first book, Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, is a thorough, textbook style treatment of how to develop the logic trees that underlie all Theory of Constraints analyses. It is most useful to people who will apply the Theory of Constraints in their organizations and want "how-to" training. It is also appropriate for a graduate level course in the methodology. The diagrams and graphics in the book are excellent and are critical to its usefulness.
The second book, Breaking the Constraints..., is aimed at general business readers and senior managers who want to understand the Theory of Constraints and its potential for improving an organization, but do not need the full complement of tools to become a full-fledged "Jonah".
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Adam F. Jewell on February 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
So you've read Goldratt's books, The Goal, Critical Chain, etc..and it all sounds great but you need a more complete understanding of TOC. A business novel this is not, a hardcore explanation of TOC it is. Current Reality Trees (CRT's), Future Reality Trees (FRT's), and all other logic and situational diagrams from TOC are explained in this book. You've really gotta want to learn TOC to get through this book, but with some determination you'll get through it and have a much more complete understanding of what you got a taste of, in Dr. Goldratt's excellent business novels.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I expected a book that gave manufacturing type examples of TOC application..but was sorely disappointed. It is a very thorough explaination of the 'logic' behind applying TOC and uses examples, but they are every day events, not real operational problems. If you want logic and step by step problem solving techniques, buy the book. If you want to see how real companies apply the TOC theories, don't but it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Bill Dettmer has written the best handbook on how to understand Goldratt's Theory of Constraints and apply his Thinking Tools, that I've read. This handbook is comprehensive, and Dettmer's writing style is clear, easy to read, and loaded with examples. His example describing a common reason that hinders success in Total Quality Management is a must-read for anyone involved with TQM. Physical bottlenecks are often easy to spot and fix, but policy and management practices are not. Dettmer's book primarily covers how to use the Goldratt's Thinking Tools to surface and eliminate the core problems behind almost any kind of constraint in the system, tangible or intangible. Teachers, consultants, and anyone interested in improving systems and processes will benefit from reading this book--and applying its techniques. (This is a book I wish I'd had when I was writing my own book, Sales Process Engineering! It would have completely changed the way I treated the section on how to use cause-effect diagrams to troubleshoot sales problems. I say this because, in his book, Dettmer shows a technique that is clearly superior in many ways to the classic Ishikawa, or "fishbone" diagram. Companies who depend on process improvement would be ahead to teach their people how to use the Thinking Tools as Dettmer presents them.)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While Goldratt's books are good, they do little to educate one on how to implement TOC. Dettmer's book shows you how. Don't bother looking for others.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sean P. Kearney on July 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dettmer's book is for anyone who wants to learn how to systematically use and master the Theory of Constraints. While the Goldratt books will inspire and introduce you to the techniques, Dettmer's will show you how to apply them step-by-step.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Dettmer has done us all a great service! I remember putting down The Goal and It's Not Luck and wishing there was and implementation guide to the decision tools utilized in those books. Now there is one. Dettmer has provided a step-by-step approach to building the decision trees pioneered by Goldratt. This book was made for anyone who wants to apply the decision tools utilized by Alex Rogo in the Goal and It's Not Luck. I use this book regularly at my company to figure out what to change and what to change to.
Thanks Bill
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Methot on March 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for learning about the thinking process of TOC. You get the basic symbols, an elegant way to present your drawings on multi-page layouts. More important, you learn how each piece of the thinking process fits into the larger picture. The following topics are covered in detail:

- Categories of legitimate reservation (CLR)
- Current reality tree (CRT)
- Conflict resolution diagram (CRD)
- Future reality tree (FRT)
- Prerequisite tree
- Transition tree
- Group dynamics of TOC.

What I have found most valuable in this book is that it teaches you how to use each technique and how they interact with each other. For example, I didn't know that there were may ways to start building a conflict resolution diagram but the author describes three: right-to-left, left-right-center and clockwise rotation. Each of the approaches has specific strengths. Finally, the last chapter on group dynamics is especially important when applying toc in a group context.

I have surely read this book a little too fast and will probably go back to it in a little while. For anyone interested in TOC this book is, in my opinion, a "must have" companion book.
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