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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt & Jeff Cox

My Rating of “The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement” by Eliyahu Goldratt & Jeff Cox: 7 / 10

Normally I spend time researching about a book before reading it. I’ll look-up the author, what he / she has done and then read reviews in order to remove author bias. In this instance I just bought the book after receiving a personal recommendation.

The Goal was very different to what I expected. It was a story about a plant manager who goes through the journey of developing and improving the operations of his plant; including motivations to keep his job and his wife. This journey provides the reader with many metaphorical learnings that are applicable even to this day on how to plan, be efficient and productive in what you do. At times I felt the book frustrating as the characters were perceived as very dumb in their knowledge of running a plant. Simple things such as excess inventory, bottle needs, matching demand / supply are table-stakes knowledge in the world of manufacturing and operations. Perhaps I’m a little naïve?

This book is certainly a different approach to teaching someone the ins and outs of operations management. I did appreciate the freshness of the story instead of the typical do this and do that. Plus it was a page turner at times too. That said, it is an older book therefore some of the aspects are outdated these days.

Three key takeaways from the book:

  1. Fixing one aspect of the value chain can introduce other complications. Continue to measure, adjust, review and continue measuring.
  2. Consider the assistance of someone externally. That said, they need to coach and let you to water and let you do the drinking.
  3. Although this is how-to turned novel, the lesson here is that in times of crisis we let those things which are the most important to us slip to a lesser priority. Always put family first.

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