Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement” as Want to Read:
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  62,264 ratings  ·  2,468 reviews
Written in a fast-paced thriller style, The Goal is the gripping novel which is transforming management thinking throughout the Western world.

Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager working ever more desperately to try and improve performance. His factory is rapidly heading for disaster. So is his marriage. He has ninety days to save his plant—or it will be closed by corporat
Paperback, 384 pages
Published 2004 by North River Press (first published 1984)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Goal, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jason Convince management at your company that everyone should read it, assuming that they will then buy several copies to share.
Malik S The primary reason for It was written at a point of time when manufacturers were taken by the competitive priorities of Cost- providing low-cost produ…moreThe primary reason for It was written at a point of time when manufacturers were taken by the competitive priorities of Cost- providing low-cost products , Quality - providing high-quality products, Delivery - providing products quickly, Flexibility - wide range of product/customization and Services - Delivery of product and how it is supported. This book was written before lean came into picture as a concept that can be applied and reaped by larger audience and TOC was established in mid 60's but it was not put up in easy to understand perspective and was in form of journals and papers but this book made it common sense for common man and was pushed by American Manufacturers to their employees, which helped them to define new way of cost measuring and defining the competitive priorities in context to their strategic goals. Secondly the advancement of SPC (Statically Process Control) and Lean puts greater emphasis on TOC, and till now this book has been prescribed by many academia to students for understanding of Lean, Six Sigma, Agile etc.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  62,264 ratings  ·  2,468 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
It is hard for me to find the right tone to review this book, perhaps I'll open by saying that of all the business books I've read this remains the most approachable, and possibly also the best value for money once the case studies in the interview with the author at the end of the book (in this edition) are taken into account.

Really it is built around a very simple insight - that the speed of a convoy is determined by the slowest ship, what the book does is demonstrate the effect of consistentl
Otis Chandler
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Otis by: Russ
Great explanation of the theory of constraints and operations management. It's a business classic- first published in 1984 - but still relevant as it gets at the fundamentals. I almost removed a star for trying to create a fictional story to tell the book in that was badly told/edited. Did we really need the side story about the protagonists marital issues?

One of the biggest takeaways from this book is that it's incredibly important to set the right goals to manage a complex operation. This soun
Aug 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all industrial engineers and process managers
Shelves: engineering
The best process improvement novel I've seen, this classic work explains the all-important Theory of Constraints through real life examples and a surprisingly good story. Most books of this nature are exceptionally unrealistic, but this one manages to keep the reader engaged, which is key for an instructional text like this.

The book's lessons have some practicality in normal, everyday life, but its greatest utility is for those involved in process improvement in industries such as manufacturing,
Simon Eskildsen
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Simon by: Luca Pette
Shelves: reread
This is to Systems Thinking what The Five Dysfunctions is to management: A peachy piece of fiction, packed with applicable lessons in the most enjoyable format you can imagine. While other systems thinking books are somewhat dry, this one is filled with life, even romance, and well-grounded in reality. While five stars normally for me would mean 'life-changing,' in this case I can't resist because of a rare and wonderful balance between enjoyment, levity, and insight. This type of book, to me, i ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have never been so excited to finish a book in my entire life. This book is like subpar fan-fic for operations enthusiasts.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Productivity: to accomplish something in terms of a goal

“The future of our business depends upon our ability to increase productivity”. -Peach

What is the Goal?
Original thoughts
Increase producitivity
Produce products
Market share / Sales
Cost-effective purchasing
Supplying jobs
Quality & Efficiency
Technology / R&D
Customer satisfaction
Make Money
Three measurements essential to knowing whether company is making money
Net Profit
Cash flow
Make money by increasing net profit,
Bjoern Rochel
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, 2017, eng-mgmt
2nd read-through: I still love this book. Primarily because of its collaborative solution finding process and its vocalness against local optima. Also from a didactic perspective I think this is something we (as people leading teams) should strive for: Enabling peers to make better decisions by themselves via good process.

The references in "The Phoenix Project" pushed me towards reading this one as well. I really enjoyed listening to the audible
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Goldratt introduces the Theory of Constraints via this entertaining novel. I think this book is excellent if you are new to Operations. And I think the approach of telling a story rather reading a traditional text book is a good format.

It demonstrates why many traditional measurements and common intuition is wrong. The book revisits what the goal of a business should be and what is important to measure and control to achieve that goal. Through examples in the main character's personal life and
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Otis Chandler
Shelves: on-kindle
(4.5) more interested in application to project development (vs repeatable manufacturing).

I like the approach of 'discovering' the principles behind theory of constraints and how to optimize throughput through a repeatable manufacturing process. Seems quite practical and valuable in just that application.

Trying to figure how this can apply beyond just manufacturing. The latter portion of the book ((view spoiler)
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Great insights. I found the writing a bit boring. The interviews in the end were the best.
Rohit Salgaonkar
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Goal, authored by Israeli business management guru, Eliyahu Goldratt, is perhaps the first of its kind in the business-fiction genre (if there was ever one). The novel gives the reader basic principles which can not only be used to effectively manage a manufacturing company by striving towards continuous improvement but also to effectively manage one’s life.

According to the author, The Goal, is about science and education, two words that have lost the kernel of their meaning in the plethora
Anastasiia Plishkanovska
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a refreshing format. It's quite impressive considering that it was written in 80s. I enjoyed it even though I never was interested in the processes on the factories. Might try implementing the theory at my work, however, I can't imagine how that would be helpful for other industries. ...more
Glenn Schmelzle
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You always have to count on Murphy's Law showing up! ...more
Wesley Robert Zurovec
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
The Goal introduces the Theory of Constraints in narrative form, following the struggles of the fictitious plant manager, Alex Rogo. Goldratt provides a high level, non-technical overview of constraint management, encourages the reader to challenge the merit of long-standing KPIs as they relate to the overarching goal of the company, and extols the benefits of the Socratic Method. Unfortunately, I found the narrative to be quite distracting. The plot is dry and predictable, and last third of the ...more
Sergey Shishkin
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic. Not only does it introduce the Theory of Constraints, but does it so as if ToC was invented by the main characters themselves: Revealing the reasoning behind the theory, unfolding each step in a logical progression, highlighting the pitfalls and finally crystallizing the method.

Truly genius.
Ameera Hegazy
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is a Fantastic book, full of wisdom and knowledge. For all Industrial Engineers and those who are interested in management trust me and read it :)
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I did a bad thing and didn't realize that this was a library book that was supposed to be sent along to them six months I read it in a weekend and dropped it off on Monday.

It's a good example tale of a problematic plant and how the manager turned it around using what was then different measurements of success (which are now much more standard today). It was mentioned in one of my business classes as a good story example of changing and coming to conclusions about what's working and what
Tomasz Wiśniewski
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked it, from the beginning it was a great surprise how hooked i was on the story and the characters. I almosf felt like I myself, was uncovering the ideas and solutions along with the main character, discovering simple, basic, common sense rules to improve production process and better management
Eric Shamow
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wanted to love this book. I very nearly loved this book. Unfortunately, I read "The Phoenix Project" first.

I keep flipping between 3 and 4 stars for this. The book deserves 5 for its place in business history, and I flip to 4 for it because it will communicate on a general-purpose level far better than a book like "Phoenix."

But having been around people who understood about bottlenecks and the Theory of Constraints (if you don't know what those are, put down this review and go read the book) f
Lance Greenfield
Oct 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is THE book that will improve your business

I have lost count of the number of people to whom I have recommended this book. Whatever area of management you find yourself in, and at every level from business studies student to CEO and CFO, you are bound to pick up something useful from "The Goal."

The story follows the complex life of Alex Rogo as he works at one problem after another. With the help of his old friend, Jonah, he identifies and solves problem after problem, on the road to saving
Jens Comiotto-Mayer
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At first, I was not sure if this book is my cup of tea, and I got a bit tired of the "here's your all knowing mentor approach" every other author seems to take, maybe reading too many business novels in a row. Nevertheless, Goldratt's Theory of Constraints is one of the most important concepts to grasp if you're thinking about managing flow and throughput in goal oriented production systems. Although this story is set within a manufacturing environment, its vocabulary can be easily abstracted to ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
This is a business book, telling the story of a factory manager, and eliminating bottlenecks, and ultimately helping to make money for your company. I liked the story approach of this book (as, lets be honest, so many business books are boring). No, you shouldn't read it for literature sake. Yes, it will give you some ideas on helping to achieve The Goal.

One quick side-note: the audiobook is great, since it has other voices for different characters, background sounds (for when they're walking ar
Mahmoud Ghoz
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book is very impressive about the way he discuss the problem and the progressive elaboration for solving the problem. The book is mainly talking about theory of constraints and how to deal with it.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Goal sets out to convey management principles through an engaging story of Alex Rogo, a plant manager, whose factory is on the verge of being shut down and whose marriage is virtually in shambles. On the brink of failure, Alex seeks help from his former professor Jonah, who through the Socratic method makes Alex figure out what's amiss in the plant and puts him on the path to discovery.

Eliyahu M. Goldratt is lucid in his style of writing and the book reads like any other story as opposed to
Garima Khandelwal
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There is not much to comment as this is the book from the business legend Eliyahu M. Goldratt. It's not a text book to teach the concepts, it is presented in the form of a story which discuss the basic principles.
"They called it common sense. Nevertheless, they didn't implement it."
The criticism that I liked "A love story about manufacturing!" encapsulates it all. This book was one of the first kind back then.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, fiction
As Bill Cosby, may he RIP (Reputation In Pieces :) always stated in his Saturday morning cartoon Fat Albert, "If you're not careful you may learn something before it's done." 1972-85. This book ingeniously uses fiction to introduce a revolutionary idea that is now taught in every school, and used in every business and factory worldwide. It's like the love child of a Hallmark movie and a textbook, that unbelievably turns out to be the beauty queen rather than the redheaded stepchild. Basically a ...more
Eduards Sizovs
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Goal is a must-read book. It's about a guy who, assisted by a mentor, has saved the production plant from bankruptcy. If you are not in the manufacturing business, you will still learn a lot.

Highly recommended before reading The Phoenix Project.
Vadassery Rakesh
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge
Literally surprised at how original the book is nearly after 30 years of publication. I feel this is the story of my factory, like the millions across the globe have felt. This is one of those revolutionary books that took the manufacturing and mangement world by storm. The book is worth in gold if you consider the costs it must have saved across the manufacturing world.
Having said that, towards the end the book just drags you. It seems the author wanted to increase the page count to make it mo
Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Entertaining for a business book. Easy read.
Ray Aun
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Het Doel 2 3 Nov 26, 2020 01:05PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation
  • Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
  • The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
  • The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
  • The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer
  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
  • Zero to One, Start Now Get Perfect Later, Shoe Dog A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, [Hardcover] Crushing It 4 Books Collection Set
  • The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
  • The Intelligent Investor
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
  • Peter Thiel’s CS183
  • The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
  • Who Moved My Cheese?
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
See top shelves…
Eliyahu M. Goldratt was an educator, author, physicist, philosopher and business leader, but first and foremost, he was a thinker who provoked others to think. Often characterized as unconventional, stimulating, and “a slayer of sacred cows,” he urged his audience to examine and reassess their business practices with a fresh, new vision.

Dr. Goldratt is best known as the father of the Theory of Con

Related Articles

  Luvvie Ajayi Jones—author, cultural critic, digital entrepreneur—might be best described as a professional truthteller. Her crazily popular...
53 likes · 0 comments
“So this is the goal: To make money by increasing net profit, while simultaneously increasing return on investment, and simultaneously increasing cash flow.” 17 likes
“What you have learned is that the capacity of the plant is equal to the capacity of its bottlenecks,” says Jonah.” 13 likes
More quotes…