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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement Paperback – May 1, 1992
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"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 accelerate...one of the most outstanding business books I have ever encountered." -- Punch Magazine
"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
"This theory provided a persuasive solution for factories struggling with production delays and low revenues." -- Harvard Business Review
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P.S. The goal is to make money.
It's a novel. There's even a romantic interest and some office personality intrigues. The story involves the hero straightening out a manufacturing process by doing things that are contrary to standard measures. It's a bit like Moneyball in that regard, and you remember what a great read that was. If you love manufacturing (I do) you'll get a special chill from this but if you only produce documents and code there's value for you here too, if you're dealing with organizations and procedures. You need to get your stuff out, and if it isn't getting out like it should, there might be some ideas for you here.
But even if you just like a good insightful but undemanding read, this is well worth it for only just that.
If you already know the basic definitions for the terms such as bottle necks, efficiency, inventory, and productivity; The Goal has Alex Rogo, the plant manager, discovering these terms and more with a deeper meaning and how they actually relate to manufacturing. For example, at the beginning of the book, Alex was extremely proud of increasing his efficiency and believed it created a positive effect on their overall productivity. After running into an old friend Jonah, which questions his increased efficiency and if they actually increased productivity, Alex soon discovers his misconception of efficiency. Throughout the book, he looks to Jonah like a mentor because Jonah guilds Alex to a deeper understanding of processing product improvement. His long hours and sleepless nights finally lead Alex to understanding the true meaning of efficiency. However, this is only the beginning of the story and Alex has the rest of the book to grasp the full picture of process improvement.
I personal do not read often because I have never found reading as a form of entertainment or enjoyment. With that being said, I surprisingly took a liking to this book and found myself dying to read the next chapter. These lessons that Alex discovered are something that should be learned by anybody studying management, production, process flow, operations, or industrial and manufacturing side or along those lines. I believe these lessons will be extremely useful to me in the future and I know you will feel the same way.
You can guess that the protagonist learns / discovers Goldratt's Theory of Constraints and everything in his life turns around. Even though all this is obvious, it is a decent read and although much of it has aged (smoking and drinking at work, not many women in the workplace, no cell phones, etc), and even though other ideas have come along developing or moving past TOC, it still is an important source text. If you are interested in manufacturing and the ideas that have affected manufacturing for the past decade and a half, this book is a must read.
The basic notion is that traditional cost accounting measures can distort and therefore misrepresent costs and therefore cause behavior to work against firm profitability. The TOC basically treats all costs as fixed (in the short term) and forces managers to think through and re-design their system for maximum throughput.
This is a good book, a good text, and an important historical document of the mid-eighties that still has influence today. If you haven't read it, hey, it's still new, right? You'll be glad you read it even if you adopt some other manufacturing point of view. At least you will be better prepared to discuss TOC when it comes up in conversation with other manufacturing / cost accounting types.
Top international reviews
Der Trainer empfahl das Buch - auch wenn es aus der Produktion kommt - um die "Lean" Prinzipien zu verstehen.
Der Roman lässt sich in einem Zug durchlesen - eine echt klasse Urlaubslektüre.
Besonders gefallen die Abschnitte, in der der Held zeitgleich sein Privatleben in den Griff bekommt.
Auf einer Pfadfinder-Wanderung seines Sohnes lernt er dieselben Zusammenhänge und Abhängigkeiten, wie sie in seiner - bisher nicht funktionierenden - Produktion. Und er leitet aus dieser Wanderung weitere Schritte zur Produktionssteigerung ab.
Super geschrieben - echte Empfehlung.
Der Autor bringt Wissenschaft und Unterhaltung zusammen.
Ein muss für jeden Studenten der etwas mit Produktionstechnik zu tun hat.