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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eureka
Everyone can spot a myriad of problems within any business and in too many cases people try tackling all of them. This amounts to a huge game of 'whack a rat', that circus game where plastic rodents appear out of holes and you bash them with a big rubber hammer to make them go away. Only each time you get rid of one rat, or problem, another appears from a different hole...
Published on 5 Mar 2010 by G. Fraser

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor printing issues
Actually This is a good book many ppl recommended but I can't understand why it had the poor printing issues...
Published 23 months ago by Jiaying Xu


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eureka, 5 Mar 2010
By 
G. Fraser (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
Everyone can spot a myriad of problems within any business and in too many cases people try tackling all of them. This amounts to a huge game of 'whack a rat', that circus game where plastic rodents appear out of holes and you bash them with a big rubber hammer to make them go away. Only each time you get rid of one rat, or problem, another appears from a different hole and before long there are loads of problems springing up all over the place. You end up running round in circles trying to fix a never ending growing list of problems. Sound familiar?

The Goal is a business novel set at a manufacturing plant. Don't let this put you off if you're in a business or department that doesn't manufacturing! The physical nature of the problems described in the book helps you to visualise the core message that Goldratt's putting across: The Theory of Constraints (TOC) in which any system can be viewed as a 'chain' and somewhere in that chain is a weak link that limits the throughput of the entire system. Using TOC to correctly identify the weak link, or 'constraint', is a vital first step to solving a multitude of problems. The book goes on to explain how to work with the constraint from a holistic perspective enabling you to focus your activities where they will have the highest possible beneficial impact on your business for the least amount of effort. In other words, TOC tells you which rat to whack!

I've now encountered a few people who've read this book and somehow come away with the impression that it's telling you to focus on local optima -this is certainly not the case. If, after reading the book, you have this view then I'd highly recommend reading The Logical Thinking Process by Dettmer.

TOC in itself is obvious - once you understand it. You'll wonder how you managed to get anything done in the past and recount countless unnecessary endeavours that you would have avoided had you known about TOC sooner.

Other highly recommended books include:

* Goldratt - It's Not Luck (sequel to The Goal)
* Goldratt - The Choice - the simple reasoning that underpins both TOC and also The Logical Thinking Process
* Dettmer - The Logical Thinking Process - one of the greatest works on TOC and TLTP in my opinion
* Various authors - Velocity - great explanation of how to make Lean and Six Sigma deliver results by focussing them with TOC
* Klarman - Release the Hostages - one of the few service orientated TOC books I've found

But before reading any of those, start with The Goal - it's a great introduction to TOC.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkably Effective Novel for Learning Management, 23 Aug 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
This novel succeeds in being outstanding at so many levels that it could receive a multiple of five stars. It is hard to imagine a management book in novel form ever approaching this one in usefulness. Most people will learn more that they can apply from this book about management than many people learn to apply from an M.B.A.

The basic story is built around the dilemmas facing Alex Rogo, a newly-appointed plant manager. The plant can't seem to ship, it's losing money, and bad things can happen to good people if all this doesn't change soon. Alex is at a loss for what to do until he pulls out a cigar that Jonah, a physicist from Israel, had recently given him. That cigar reminds him to contact Jonah for possible help. From there, the path to recovery begins.

Let me describe some of the many levels on which this novel is valuable.

First, the book explains how to see businesses as systems as well as any other book on this subject. It compares favorably in this area to such important works as The Fifth Discipline and the Fifth Discipline Handbook. The metaphor of how to speed up a slow-moving group of boy scouts will be visceral to anyone who has done any hiking with a group.

Second, the book helps you learn how to improve the performance of a system by providing you with a replicable process that you can apply to analyzing any human or engineering system. The primary metaphor is improving a manufacturing process, but the same principles apply more broadly to other circumstances.

Third, you will experience the power of the Socratic method as a way to stimulate your mind to learn, and to use Socratic questions to stimulate the minds of others to become better thinkers and doers.

Fourth, the authors also use problem simulation as a practical way to help you experience the learning process they are advocating.

Fifth, the book is unusually good in bringing home the consequences of letting your business process run in a vicious cycle: Your family life may also.

The pacing of the book is especially good. You are given time to stew with issues and come up with your own ideas before sample answers are provided by Alex and his staff in the novel.

Unlike many books that take complicated ideas and oversimplify them so the ideas lose their meaning, this book simplifies ideas in ways that enhance their meaning by making the ideas easier to see and employ.

If you do not understand all of the ins and outs of typical factory accounting, you may get a little lost from time to time. But that's not a problem. That accounting just distorts common perceptions of what needs to be done. You can safely skip anything you don't understand if you don't have to deal with such issues.

While I did not observe any overt errors in the book, companies that do not put an asset charge on operational assets could make the mistake from this book of seeking too little profit. You need to earn on-going returns that exceed your cost of capital, too.

You will get the most from this book if you read The Fifth Discipline following it (if you have not read that book already). The discussion of the beer game simulation in The Fifth Discipline will add to your understanding of system dynamics.

Following that book, I suggest that you then read The Balanced Scorecard and The Strategy-Focused Organization for ideas about how to use goals, measurements, and rewards to concentrate attention onto the highest leverage areas for your system.

After you have finished employing what you have learned and helping others around you to learn more also, I suggest that you think about how to optimize the full upside potential more rapidly through the use of irresistible forces and 2,000 percent solutions to speed your progress. That should leave you with even more success and more time to enjoy it.

Unblock the constraints on your progress!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Management Book, 22 Sep 2009
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This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
There aren't too many 'interesting' management books out there. This one is. By creating characters in a manufacturing plant and putting them in a story, that I'm sure we can all relate to, the author has produced a bit of a masterpiece. It is an old book - written before mobile phones and computers ran the world - so some predicaments are no longer valid. Also, it may teach you to suck eggs in places and some of the situations are a little too contrived.

But, on the whole, an excellent management book. A real page-turner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkably Effective Novel for Learning Management, 23 Aug 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This novel succeeds in being outstanding at so many levels that it could receive a multiple of five stars. It is hard to imagine a management book in novel form ever approaching this one in usefulness. Most people will learn more that they can apply from this book about management than many people learn to apply from an M.B.A.

The basic story is built around the dilemmas facing Alex Rogo, a newly-appointed plant manager. The plant can't seem to ship, it's losing money, and bad things can happen to good people if all this doesn't change soon. Alex is at a loss for what to do until he pulls out a cigar that Jonah, a physicist from Israel, had recently given him. That cigar reminds him to contact Jonah for possible help. From there, the path to recovery begins.

Let me describe some of the many levels on which this novel is valuable.

First, the book explains how to see businesses as systems as well as any other book on this subject. It compares favorably in this area to such important works as The Fifth Discipline and the Fifth Discipline Handbook. The metaphor of how to speed up a slow-moving group of boy scouts will be visceral to anyone who has done any hiking with a group.

Second, the book helps you learn how to improve the performance of a system by providing you with a replicable process that you can apply to analyzing any human or engineering system. The primary metaphor is improving a manufacturing process, but the same principles apply more broadly to other circumstances.

Third, you will experience the power of the Socratic method as a way to stimulate your mind to learn, and to use Socratic questions to stimulate the minds of others to become better thinkers and doers.

Fourth, the authors also use problem simulation as a practical way to help you experience the learning process they are advocating.

Fifth, the book is unusually good in bringing home the consequences of letting your business process run in a vicious cycle: Your family life may also.

The pacing of the book is especially good. You are given time to stew with issues and come up with your own ideas before sample answers are provided by Alex and his staff in the novel.

Unlike many books that take complicated ideas and oversimplify them so the ideas lose their meaning, this book simplifies ideas in ways that enhance their meaning by making the ideas easier to see and employ.

If you do not understand all of the ins and outs of typical factory accounting, you may get a little lost from time to time. But that's not a problem. That accounting just distorts common perceptions of what needs to be done. You can safely skip anything you don't understand if you don't have to deal with such issues.

While I did not observe any overt errors in the book, companies that do not put an asset charge on operational assets could make the mistake from this book of seeking too little profit. You need to earn on-going returns that exceed your cost of capital, too.

You will get the most from this book if you read The Fifth Discipline following it (if you have not read that book already). The discussion of the beer game simulation in The Fifth Discipline will add to your understanding of system dynamics.

Following that book, I suggest that you then read The Balanced Scorecard and The Strategy-Focused Organization for ideas about how to use goals, measurements, and rewards to concentrate attention onto the highest leverage areas for your system.

After you have finished employing what you have learned and helping others around you to learn more also, I suggest that you think about how to optimize the full upside potential more rapidly through the use of irresistible forces and 2,000 percent solutions to speed your progress. That should leave you with even more success and more time to enjoy it.

Unblock the constraints on your progress!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than meets the eye, 10 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
I first read this book 10 years ago & have now re-read it.

The story is pleasant enough but also there is a huge amount of thought that has gone into this book. The pschology of targets is relevant to any business, the team nature of the problem solving & the observations of the impact on the personal lives of senior managers are also usefully explored.

If you like the one minute manager you will like this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Management classic, 19 Aug 2009
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This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
Great book. Had previous copies and given them to colleagues. Manufacturing management techniques described in simple terms in a very readable story. If you're in manufacturing management/supervision you need to read this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected pleasure, 14 Oct 2014
By 
jopav (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
Had this book not been recommended to me, I wouldn't have looked at it because of the dull cover and frankly the size of the book, but in terms of business improvement, this book is worth it's weight in GOLD. The lesson is told as a story about a guy who has been given 3 months to turn the success of his manufacturing plant around. Through conversations with his colleagues and life events that happen in his personal life, our hero starts to learn about the true nature of his business, with realisations that fly in the face of traditional business thinking. It's so obvious, you wonder why we are all still barking up the wrong tree. I'm really enjoying the easy way in which the story unfolds and it's comforting to read that the characters 'don't get it' to begin with either, so you feel as if you are learning alongside them. Highly recommended to all business improvers and systems thinkers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A BREAK FROM TRADITIONAL WRITING, 9 Mar 2007
This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
Personally I like his style. Having bought dozens of management books over the years which are very dry and boring, this is a fresh approach to those who do not know his work.

Past students of his must be well sought after people as they must be convinced that the approach to busines probelms has as much to do with business success as anything else. Past autocratic managers succeeded only because their employees were ignorant of better methods. Goldratt approaches with real life stories, which if you are bright enough will ring a bell ('I knew I could do it differently').

It sows a seed of enthusiasm to learn more.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great easy to understand into to the TOC, 21 April 2007
By 
E. McGlynn "E McGlynn" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
Goldratt uses very simple examples to illustrate the various lessons and thus the knowledge is imparted in an easy, understandable manor. The lesson gained are applicaple to any process based environment and not just manufacturing.

However, at times its not a real page turner and as a "novel" it won't win a Pulitzer.

I'd recommend if you're interested in TOC, but not as a bed-time story for the kids.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read if you are into 'performance at work'., 22 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Paperback)
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in tackling performance issues at work. It's a work of fiction and I could really relate to the characters in the book.
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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Jeff Cox (Paperback - 17 Nov 2004)
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