Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
on 5 March 2010
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.