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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement Paperback – July, 2004

725 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'A survey of the reading habits of managers found that though they buy books by the likes of Tom Peters for display purposes, the one management book they have actually read from cover to cover is The Goal.' The Economist 'Goldratt's system, in essence, forces production managers and workers alike to coordinate their work-with an underlying principle in mind: that 'bottlenecks'...are what ultimately constrain the manufacturing environment.' Business Week 'This theory provided a persuasive solution for factories struggling with production delays and low revenues.' Harvard Business Review 'Like Mrs. Fields and her cookies, The Goal was too tasty to remain obscure. Companies began buying big batches and management schools included it in their curriculums.' Fortune Magazine 'Anybody who considers himself a manager should rush out, buy and devour this book immediately. If you are the only one in your place to have read it, your progress along the path to the top may suddenly of the most outstanding business books I have ever encountered.' Punch Magazine 'Goal readers are now doing the best work of their lives.' Success Magazine 'The Goal has always been essential reading for those looking to eliminate bottlenecks from their business. The latest edition also shows how its ideas have been applied in real life.' Works Management ' Written in the style of a novel it treats the subject of ongoing personal development in a unique way. although the scene is set in a US manufacturing company it can easily be transferred to your business. You will learn as you read this story, recognizing the changes you need to make as you progress. Definitely a book to read...' The Hairdresser --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

ELIYAHU M. GOLDRATT is an Israeli physicist, inventor, and philosopher whose unconventional approach to business management has made him one of the most sought-after consultants in the world today. Through his lectures and writings, as well as his work with such corporations as General Motors, Ford, Proctor & Gamble, and AT&T, Dr. Goldratt continues his crusade to teach businesses to re-examine their basic assumptions in order to compete effectively in the new global market place.

Jeff Cox is the author of 17 books on food, wine, and gardening, including From Vines to Wines and Cellaring Wine. He is a contributing editor to The Art of Eating and The Wine News and is a frequent contributor to Decanter. He has been the host of two television series, Your Organic Garden on PBS and Grow It! on HGTV. Cox lives in Kenwood, California.

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: North River Pr; 3rd Revised edition (July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884271781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884271789
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (725 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eli Goldratt is an educator, author, scientist, philosopher, and business leader. But he is, first and foremost, a thinker who provokes others to think. Often characterized as unconventional, stimulating, and "a slayer of sacred cows," Dr. Goldratt exhorts his audience to examine and reassess their business practices with a fresh, new vision.

He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Tel Aviv University and his Masters of Science, and Doctorate of Philosophy from Bar-Ilan University. In addition to his pioneering work in Business Management and education, he holds patents in a number of areas ranging from medical devices to drip irrigation to temperature sensors

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

430 of 441 people found the following review helpful By Avinash Sharma, The Yogic Manager on February 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Eliyahu Goldratt's "The Goal" is an entertaining novel and at the same time a thought provoking business book. The story is about a plant manager, Alex Rogo, whose plant and marriage are going downhill. He finds himself in the unenviable position of having ninety days in which to save his plant. A fortuitous meeting with an old acquaintance, Jonah, introduces him to the Theory of Constrains (TOC). He uses this new way of thinking to ...
TOC postulates that for an organization to have an ongoing process of improvement, it needs to answer three fundamental questions:
1. What to change?
2. To what to change?
3. How to cause the change?
The goal is to make (more) money, which is done by the following:
1. Increase Throughput
2. Reduce Inventory
3. Reduce Operating Expense
Goldratt defines throughput (T) as the rate at which the system generates money through sales. He also defines inventory (I) as everything the system invests in that it intends to sell. Operating expense (OE) is defined as all the money the system spends in order to convert inventory into throughput.
The author does an excellent job explaining his concepts, especially how to work with constraints and bottlenecks (processes in a chain of processes, such that their limited capacity reduces the capacity of the whole chain). He makes the reader empathize with Alex Rogo and his family and team. Don't be surprised if you find yourself cheering for Alex to succeed.
The importance and benefits of focusing on the activities that are constraints are clearly described with several examples in "The Goal". One example from the book is the one in which Alex takes his son and a group of Boy Scouts out on a hiking expedition. Here Alex faces a constraint in the form of the slowest boy, Herbie.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Kent Holland on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I didn't know what to expect when I began reading this novel about a manufacturing plant. As provider of a professional (legal and risk management) services, I initially thought this wouldn't have much application for me. But it certainly does. First, the story itself, told as a novel, is an enjoyable read. This must be the first business book that I didn't want to put down until I had finished reading it from cover to cover!

Key points in the book include the principle of finding and then focusing on the one true goal and not getting caught up on a lot of side issues that others (even others in management) might think are the goal. This requires learning how to stop and really look at the problem. It then requires new ways to look for and try potential solutions. This includes ask penetrating questions of yourself and others who may provide key information and insights. And it requires really listening to what the affected people have to say about different aspects of achieving the goal.

An important point that is made is that every individual within the organization has part of the knowledge needed to reach the goal, and that we need to create a genuine environment where we not only encourage their participation but we also teach everyone how to ask the right questions so they can see for themselves what needs to be done to achieve the goal.

Incidentally, the partnership of communication that ultimately develops between the lead character and his employees and superiors overflows into his relationship with his spouse and naturally changes their relationship as well. There is much to be learned from this book, and I can see why it has been such a huge success for so many years.
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79 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Ted Kantrow on February 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
The author of this business novel thinks he's the Messiah. The gist of the 384-page book could have been expressed in a page, and some of it is obvious. But it may be useful anyway, and it's an entertaining read.

His schtick is that one can achieve great gains by identifying the bottlenecks ('constraints') that are blocking improved performance toward your goal, and then doing anything necessary to unblock those constraints - even if this means inefficiently using other non-bottleneck resources.

He says that one should think of the cost of each resource as including its effect on the whole system. So if a machine costs $1K/month to operate, but its rate of production is preventing the business from accepting or fulfilling extra orders that would represent $10K/month in profits, then the true cost of the machine is $11K.

It follows that anything one can do to remove that bottleneck would be worthwhile, provided it adds less than the amount saved to the cost and doesn't introduce a new bottleneck. It's fine if you have to overpay for other resources or use them inefficiently as long as you accomplish this.

It then becomes a matter of analyzing and brainstorming all the ways that bottleneck can be reduced. For instance:

- Can extra capacity be added, even if it is less efficient or uses antiquated equipment or is outsourced to a vendor?

- Can you prioritize the use of the bottlenecked resource so that high-profit and time-sensitive work comes first?

- Can you divert work that doesn't need to go through the bottleneck, even if it would then go through another more cumbersome process?

- Can you prevent work from reaching the bottleneck if Quality Control will eventually reject it?
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