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The Bottleneck Rules: How To Get More Done at Work, Without Working Harder.

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  46 reviews
As featured in The Spectator magazine and The Guardian newspaper.

- 'It’s a great read' - Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
- '[Part of] a series of wonderful short books' - Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK
- 'Fantastic book, relevant no matter what sector you work in' - Maria Macnamara, MBE, Founder
Kindle Edition, 77 pages
Published June 5th 2018
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Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Old school deep Lean/Agile geeks will be tempted to brush over this. There’s no new concepts in it and really it’s just Goldratt’s 5 focusing steps boiled down with less than a handful of anecdotes to illustrate. You can read it over a single meal or short hop flight.

But that’s its genius. It’s JUST ENOUGH anecdote to strongly convey the ToC heart in an actionable way to its actual target audience: wildly over stretched business leaders with demand far over their capacity.

And deep dyed Lean Ag
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-process
Great little book on identifying and removing bottlenecks. It's a good introduction into Eliyahu M. Goldratt's Theory of Constraints (TOC) and the 5 focusing steps. The goal of the book is to present the 5 focusing steps (rebranded as FOCCCUS in this book) so that anyone can understand them. I think the book achieves this goal through a handful of examples and anecdotes. ...more
Bjoern Rochel
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A fairly quick read explaining basic Theory of Constraints concepts such as bottlenecks and the 5FS but in a much more accessible way using anecdotes from the non manufacturing world. If you haven’t read anything from Goldratt yet, you should give this one a shot.
Jack Vinson
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From my blog:

Clarke Ching has created a new book to try to help people understand what is blocking their work (or life?). The Bottleneck Rules: How to Get More Done (When Working Harder isn't Working) is a quick read and got me thinking more about how I talk about this topic with people. [Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book. And I consider Clarke a friend.]

The book is intended to be a fast read to introduce people to the concept, share a number
Vitor Kneipp
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Toni Tassani
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Very short book explaining Theory of Constraint from a very practical view, with a strong focus on knowledge work (software in particular), even though the content can be applied in all kind of scenarios.
Suggests the FOCCCUS formula as the way to overcome the bottlenecks, instead of the original 5 focusing steps described in the Goal: Find, Optimise, Coordinate, Collaborate, Curate, Upgrade, and Start again (strategically).
The author suggests that his book, being short, is more likely to be read
Linda Mandin
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book – easy to read, easy to understand and therefore easy to apply. We are encouraging all members of our team to read this book to help them better understand how to apply Theory of Constraints within our workplace.

The author promised “To help every-day, ordinary people, find then manage their bottleneck quickly, no matter what industry they happen to work”….and I think this book achieves that.

BTW, I also highly recommend reading Rolling Rocks Downhill.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great short read and practical application of the Theory of Constraints. Love the real story's and examples Clarke gives and its true, once you start seeing flow problems, you really can see them everywhere. Honestly I wanted more. More examples, stories, and problems where this has been applied. Reading "The Goal" and his "Rocks rolling downhill" are very good, I really like seeing how other people have used these simple steps to solve real world problems. ...more
Murray Robinson
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Lean for Dummies. This is a short, simple and easy to read book that explains the basic elements of lean thinking for people who know nothing about it. In summary, your work is slow and wasteful because you have bottlenecks in your system. You can find bottlenecks by looking for queues of work piling up in front of a particular person or team. You can remove bottlenecks by increasing their capacity. If you improve things that are not a bottleneck it won't make any difference to the end result. ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice collection of narratives around TOC and what can be done one you identify a bottleneck. Yet from my point of view, it's not going into the details enought: the FOCCCUS Model (Find, Optimize, Coordinate, Collaborate, Curate, Upgrade, Start-over) looked like being too "obvious" when I read it. While many things seem obvious in hindsight, I expected a bit more depth on the 3C's. ...more
Ryan Dash
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
2.5 stars. I fall outside the target audience (office workers), but it was still a mildly interesting read. Everything made sense, and I can see it possibly being useful in the future. However, for such a short book, there was quite a bit of fluff, mostly in poor theoretical examples. It also could have benefitted from a concise summary.
Craig Nicol
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An easily accessible introduction to theory of constraints, and finding out what's limiting your team's ability to do more, delivered as a set of example stories, so no jargon, just a relatable idea.

I still think Rolling Rocks Downhill is my go-to guide for large projects, but there's some stuff here for smaller projects, and other industries. Lots of great information packed into one short book.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gentle introduction to Theory of Constraints

I recommend reading this book before reading "The Goal." Like the author, I think Dr. Goldratt's use of the terms " exploit" and "elevate" can be confusing.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very good and practical guidelines to implement TOC

This is relatively small book hence possible to read and implement some of the ideas in practice right away. Very good thought process, although obvious.
Some insight on addressing variations in processes would be even better.
Gustav Bertram
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Great distillation of lessons from The Goal

This is a great little book that distills many of the lessons about bottlenecks from The Goal. It even clarifies and expands the steps around using a bottleneck effectively! I highly recommend it.
Hardiansjah Kristanto
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simply well written with simple example of what seems to be ordinary life events to convey the key principles.

I have read many ToC books. This is one of the effective ones as it isn't that long and quick to convey the points across
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short and informative. Read it in a couple of hours. I appreciate that it gives some interesting perspectives on how to tackle (and leverage) bottlenecks in your processes. Makes you think are they where they should be and provides some real-world examples and stories.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bang for the buck

Quick introduction to bottlenecks. Clearly written
. If you are interested in Theory of constraints and The Goal book, this is a short and neat book to help you understand it.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Short and obvious

Easy read, full of simple anecdotes. I don't disagree with the author, but I didn't learn much, either. At least the book is short and can be skimmed very rapidly.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A short, clear, compressed read about Theory of Constrains and bottlenecks.
David Toon
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book

Really good, punchy and to the point. Really good how Clarke explains that the bottleneck needs to be in the correct place. This is something that is often missed.
Joao Cerdeira
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This a book that my wife without knowing nothing about flow and bottlenecks could read and understand almost everything.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quick, easy, thought provoking read.
Adrian Ciocălău
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Nothing new, not worth spending money on it.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great, insightful, enjoyable read.

Great, insightful, enjoyable and quick read for anyone working with processes that might be optimized - so pretty much anyone!
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short, and should be read by absolutely everyone who manages throughput of work. And fun and engaging to boot.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very concise, helpful book that you can read in a few hours. It gives some really good examples and helps you to look with fresh eyes at the processes that go on around us.
Anton Nikolov
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A nice short case study on Bottlenecks and why it's important to manage them. ...more
Monica Andreoli
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Helpful, insightful, and short. Could be shorter & just as productive with fewer silly anecdotes by the author but overall a good management book.
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super interesting! Principles initially applied to manufacturing to optimise the production line can be applied to anything (including software development) to improve throughput.
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