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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  48,022 ratings  ·  1,878 reviews
Written in a fast-paced thriller style, 'The Goal' contains a serious message for all managers in industry and explains the ideas which underline the Theory of Constraints developed by the author.
Paperback, 362 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by North River Press (first published 1984)
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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…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.

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4.02  · 
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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 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 consistently applying this in
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Noble Aide
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
د. إلياهو قولدرات ، فيزيائي تحول إلى عالم إدارة الأعمال ، حصل على بكالوريوس العلوم من جامعة تل أبيب ، وعلى ماجستيرالعلوم و الدكتوراة في الفلسفة من جامعة بارإيلان ، و الجامعتان في إسرائيل. ويتضح من اعتماره الطاقية اليهودية دائما أنه متعصب ، و هو صاحب نظرية القيود التي سيأتي شرحها.

طبعا لا تنخرشون ، صورته في الكتاب قبل خمسة و عشرين عاما! :^).

قصة الكتاب:

بطل القصة هو Alex Rogo ، وهو مدير مصنع للإنتاج ضمن شركة ضخمة تسمى UniCo ، و يدفعك قولدرات في روايته هذه إلى التعاطف الشديد مع بطلها إل روقو ، و الذي
Bjoern Rochel
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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)
Автор в данной книге показывает отличный пример распространённых ошибок в бизнесе и в жизни человека. Он пытается донести до каждого, что готовые решения не всегда верны, что к желаемому результату человек должен прийти путём собственных умозаключений.
Автор также даёт понять, что в гонке за эффективностью и за снижением затрат компании часто приносят себе вред и в итоге начинают меньше зарабатывать. Показывает, что таким образом возможно сделать бизнес убыточным, а следовательно даёт понимание
Rohit Salgaonkar
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
Sergey Shishkin
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Eric Shamow
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jens Mayer
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Eduards Sizovs
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Robert Postill
If there's one thing I'm clear on, it's that I'm very dubious about business novels, in the same way that I am about musical theatre. However you hear The Goal bandied about seemingly endlessly so eventually I caved and got the book. Initially I devoured the book in a mighty rush, then I hit the two additional pieces of material in this edition and struggled through to the end over the course of some two weeks.

The novel that forms the core of the book is very well done. It's crisp and simple pro
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Now, this has to be interesting" I said to myself, when I was first introduced to this book, "An IT guy recommending a book on manufacturing, which is authored by a physicist!!" How the hell am I gonna miss this?

The recommendation to read this book came along in a lecture from a prof, who himself is an IT guy. I got hooked up to this book from the word go.

How many business books makes you think, learn & enjoy at the same time? In the vast sea of management books out there, there are only a
Pin Zhou
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What are we asking for? For the ability to answer three simple questions: ‘what to change?’, 'what to change to?', and 'how to cause the changes?' Basically what we are asking for is the most fundamental abilities one would expect from a manager. Think about it. If a manager does not know how to answer those three questions, is he or she entitled to be called manager?" (Page 337)

"Would we have had the courage to try to implement them if it weren't for the fact that we'd had to sweat to constru
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A seminal work credited for inspiring the genre of "leadership novels", including some of my fav's "The Phoenix Project" (IT flavor) and "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team". Goldratt demonstrates that even fictional storytelling proves a powerful platform for describing the human dimension of leadership as well as the scientific processes and critical thinking models often dryly outlined in organizational psychology texts. The story focused on manufacturing with long descriptions of productivity, ...more
Bob Wallner
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, toc
Part of my annual read/listen to list. By far the best business improvement book on the market. I was pleased to see it on my new boss's desk! I know people who really poo-poo "business fiction" and many poorly written ones may be out there, but with The Goal, the story is so real and the critical thinking skills are so prevalent that you cannot help but get pulled into the story. The whole time you are learning the scientific method behind Theory Of Constraints and are being taught the Socratic ...more
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Motivational readers
This was a very unique, interesting little book. The author has developed "The Theory of Constraints" (which is a factory that can produce a product only as fast as its slowest bottleneck) and put it in novel form in order to explain it to the average worker. Lots of food for thought.

I see that bottlenecks exist all around us, not just in manufacturing. We move forward in finances, careers, projects, etc. only as fast as our weakest link will allow.

The key is to be able to identify constraints,
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book explained how a plant manager, Alex almost fail his company. Instead he turned it around with help from a colleague Jonah. It explained what is needed and steps that are taken in order to keep the company going. So, hopefully I pass my test tomorrow. ;)
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Долго и упорно внедряют канбан на заводе, не понимаю зачем я вообще это читал. Художественная ценность -5 из 7; практическая - лучше прочитать статью вики про канбан. Сюжетная линия про брак главного героя очень cringeworthy.
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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
“So this is the goal: To make money by increasing net profit, while simultaneously increasing return on investment, and simultaneously increasing cash flow.” 16 likes
“STEP 1. Identify the system’s bottlenecks. (After all it wasn’t too difficult to identify the oven and the NCX10 as the bottlenecks of the plant.)
STEP 2. Decide how to exploit the bottlenecks. (That was fun. Realizing that those machines should not take a lunch break, etc.)
STEP 3. Subordinate everything else to the above decision. (Making sure that everything marches to the tune of the constraints. The red and green tags.)
STEP 4. Elevate the system’s bottlenecks. (Bringing back the old Zmegma, switching back to old, less “effective” routings. . . .)
STEP 5. If, in a previous step, a bottleneck has been broken go back to step 1.”
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