The Goal - by Eli Goldratt - A new way of looking at productivity


Ravi Khare

The Goal

Has 'The Goal' by Eli Goldratt been discussed on this forum before? If it was, it must have been some time ago.

I like the book, and believe that it puts age old holy cows like 'Machine Utilization' in their right perspective. The new way of looking at productivity (the book has been around for some time now) certainly sets you thinking.


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Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!

We have discussed aspects of The Goal in several discussions over the year and I think that their may be a book review on it. It is a book worthy of a deeper discussion. Admittedly, the book is fading in my mind (Jonas and Herbie, etc.) But here is something to get things started.

Here is what I liked about the book:

The storyline helps to make the reading/learning process more enjoyable. For me, this is not a critical need (I read plenty of ‘dry’ topics) but for the majority, I think that it may be important.

The exposure to Optimization vs. Maximization.

The exposure to Flow (removing the Herbie’s)

What I didn’t like about the book:

The ‘goal’ is not money, at least, not IMO.

The limited exposure to ‘Systems Thinking’. Several key System Components are not considered but are relevant to the System’s existence.

Back to the group…


NYHawkeye - 2005

Having spent the last five or so years implementing Drum, Buffer, Rope and several other of Goldratt's concepts, I believe that "The Goal" is an important book that helps lay the foundation for a new way of thinking in manufacturing operations and beyond.

While I found "The Goal" to be an easy, entertaining read that got me interested in the Theory of Constraints, it wasn't until I read other TOC material that I got a much better idea of the power the concepts have to offer.

Two good books that I would recommend as a second step are as follows:

1. If you are interested in the accounting aspects of TOC then "The Theory of Constraints and Its Implications for Management Accounting" by Noreen, Smith, and Mackey is a great start.

2. If you are interested in how to apply TOC to continuous improvement then "Goldratt's Theory of Constraints - A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement" by Dettmer is the place to start. This is a somewhat dry book that dives into the logic behind TOC but if you have the time and energy to get through it the book has some great tools that can be used for improvement projects.

Hope you find these references useful.


I have also found that the books by Dettmer have been excellent. I began utilizing TOC tools in problem solving and found these to be indispensable in eliminating root causes of some situations that I have been involved in resolving with customers. I facilitated a team of people who worked to resolve a 'nagging' problem, and began utilizing the five tools - - - the result was '0' defects for a three month period (the one defect that occured after the first three months was identified as a operator error and was promptly corrected). The CPK of that parameter was improved from 0.51 to 2.06. Mr. Dettmer even included our brief story in his second book "Breaking the Constraints to World-Class Performance".


The book is good for introductions to TOC but for further knowledge one would have to seek out other sources.

The 45 minute movie version is great to show to your folks that have had no exposure to TOC before. :agree1:
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