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THE GOAL A SUMMARY

Isnt it strange to feel your own world is falling apart while those of people close to you are rock
steady? And you cant figure out why they are not affected the way you are. This feeling is very
common with people related to daily operations, and this explains the life of Alex, the Plant Manager
who turns around his company from shutting down to the most profitable plant in whole division.

UniCos plant was on the verge of shutdown on account of accumulating backlogs leading to order
cancellations, increasing costs, increasing customer dissatisfaction. On his quest to find the solution
to his problem, Alex met a physicist named Jonah. It was on interaction with Jonah, Alex discovered
what he was looking for, the REAL GOAL! Alex discovers that goal of an organization is to make
money and anything that gets it closer to it is productive and anything that doesnt isnt.

Keeping the real GOAL in mind, Alex starts working on his problem and discovers three important
measures to achieve the ultimate GOAL viz a viz, throughput, the rate at which the system generates
money through sales, Inventory, all the money that the system has invested in purchasing things
which it intends to sell, Operational expense, all the money the system spends in order to turn
inventory into throughput." So the goal was to increase throughput and decrease inventory and
operational expense, all at the same time. Over a period of three months, Alex and his team
dedicated all efforts to do exactly above and on their way discovered new knowledge like
bottlenecks, their significance and how to deal with them and implemented new techniques like,
prioritizing job work, predicting order dates etc.

The book, through problems at a manufacturing plant also explains the basics of life, how to deal
with problems and work towards a universal solution which could be applied to any problem in life,
not just any manufacturing operation. The book explains in details the analogy and rationale that
went in to take decisions as they were, and they all turned out be very simple solutions based on
common sense, which proved that its not problems that are difficult, its the approach to the
problem that makes the difference.

There have been many instances when Alex and his team have challenged the boundaries, mental
boundaries, in any situation and started looking it from a bigger perspective. They came out of their
individual silos and worked as a team, as managers whose job is to ensure their work is not to
improve individual performance but organizations performance. There have been multiple instances
when learnings from experiences other than office have related well to office problems and
solutions, which strengthen the belief that all problems fall under some subset or have some basic
common framework. Its the understanding of that framework and the common sense to make
decisions as per the goal, helps in solving any problem in life.