18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A Novel Presentation of Basic Concepts,
This review is from: Critical Chain (Paperback)Goldratt has been an especially prolific author in recent years. This is the third of three books; the others are The Goal (1992) and It's Not Luck (1994). As in those earlier works, Goldratt presents his ideas in this volume within the structure of a novel. When doing so, I think he is much less effective as a storyteller than he is introducing and then developing his core concepts about project management. I am among those who are convinced that process management and project management are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, I believe that effective project management must be integrated within effective process management inorder to improve, for example, cycle time and first pass yield. Moreover, one of the greatest challenges is to identify root causes of barriers to the process and then eliminate them.
Another formidable challenge to any organization (regardless of size or nature) is to become and then remain performance-driven, rather than culture-driven. Whatever the "critical chain" may be, its weakest "link" is the limiting factor. One of the worst mistakes made, when problems develop, is to respond to symptoms rather than to root causes. As a result, the weakest "link" is seldom strengthened and perhaps not even identified.
In this volume, Goldratt once again examines a fictional context within which there is a cast of characters, a multi-dimensional narrative (or plot), and all manner of disagreements which create conflicts. Never before have executives had more to read and less time for reading. One of this book's most appealing qualities is that it is so easy to read. (The challenge is to make effective applications of TOC in an increasingly more competitive marketplace.) Goldratt is an authority on the business subjects he discusses as well as an excellent teller of tales. That's a rare combination. Once again, he suggests all manner of applications of his Theory of Constraints (TOC). And once again, Goldratt helps the reader to determine how to apply the TOC to her or his own organization.
Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to read his other books, The Goal and It's Not Luck; also, to check out David Maister's Practice What You Preach and David Whyte's The Heart Aroused. With all due respect to the core concepts which Goldratt examines so brilliantly in this volume, they are worthless unless and until embraced by everyone involved. Master and Whyte can help managers to achieve that "buy in."