THE GOAL:. It challenges the established management principles and structure.REVIEW The Goal is an intense and challenging management concepts book to read. The author introduces us to the normal ways of doing things which in this case did not work and then show us how to solve the issue at hand using unconventional methods of managing and problem solving. .

and to use Socratic questions to stimulate the minds of others to become better thinkers and doers. the book helps us learn how to improve the performance of a system by providing us with a replicable process that we can apply to analyzing any human or engineering system.First. You are given time to stew with issues and come up with your own ideas before sample answers are provided by Alex and his staff in the novel. The metaphor of how to speed up a slow-moving group of boy scouts will be visceral to anyone who has done any hiking with a group. The primary metaphor is improving a manufacturing process. ‡ Fourth. the book explains how to see businesses as systems as well as any other book on this subject. The pacing of the book is especially good. ‡ . we will experience the power of the Socratic method as a way to stimulate our mind to learn. the authors also use problem simulation as a practical way to help us experience the learning process they are advocating. It compares favorably in this area to such important works as The Fifth Discipline and the Fifth Discipline Handbook. ‡ Fifth. ‡ Second. the book is unusually good in bringing home the consequences of letting your business process run in a vicious cycle: Your family life may also. but the same principles apply more broadly to other circumstances. ‡ Third.

the purpose of this book is to answer two major questions: "What are the thinking processes that enable people to invent simple solutions to seemingly complicated situations?" and How can we use the psychological aspects of individuals and organizations to implement those solutions. Part I: What is this thing called the Theory of Constraints and Part II: How Should it be implemented? . The book includes two main parts and two appendices.According to Goldratt.

and how to overcome the resistance to change. . He discusses the process of change. resistance to change. ‡ In Chapter 4 The Evaporating Cloud method of inventing simple solutions is explained. ‡ In Chapter 1. ‡ In Chapter 2.Part I: What is this thing called the Theory of Constraints Part I includes four chapters. Goldratt builds on the two major questions above by describing the five focusing steps listed below. These ideas are sketched out in the table below and discussed more fully following the table. ‡ In Chapter 3 The Effect-Cause-Effect method for identifying constraints is discussed.

2. If a constraint has been broken. go back to step 1. Decide how to exploit the system's constraints. solutions. Elevate the system's constraints.but do not allow inertia to cause a . 3. What to change to? Use the Evaporating Cloud method Construct simple practical to invent simple solutions. 5. Steps Expressed in Terms of Continuous Improvement What to change? How To Implement Use the Effect-Cause-Effect method to identify constraints. The Socratic approach reduces or eliminates the emotional resistance to change and allows the inventor to take ownership of the idea. Use the Socratic method to induce people to invent solutions. How to change? How to overcome the emotional resistance to change. Identify the system's constraints.1. The Five Steps of Focusing Five Focusing Steps 1. 4. Subordinate everything else to the above decision.

Using this approach involves asking questions that help a person invent their own solutions. Alex struggles with the questions but eventually discovers the answers and internalizes the whole concept of TOC in the process. Jonah (the consultant who appears to have all the answers) asks Alex (the plant manager with the problems) a series of questions. The Socratic method is discussed as a way to overcome resistance to change. so a method is needed to overcome the emotional resistance to change with a stronger emotion. In The Goal. Alex and his employees take ownership of the concepts. According to Goldratt. when you provide a person with the answers.2. By inventing their own solutions. you block them from the opportunity of inventing the answers for themselves and create emotional resistance to acceptance and implementation. The Process of Change The Socratic Method Any change is perceived by some as a threat. . but does not provide the answers.

but your thinking is wrong. Jonah continues. says Alex. "With such high efficiencies you must be running your robots constantly?" Yes. ‡ An example is provided from Chapter 4 of The Goal that combines the Socratic and effectcause-effect methods." Jonah keeps building on a constant effect-cause-effect analysis to help Alex discover his plants core problems.3. be honest. Alex comes to the conclusion that productivity is the act of bringing a company closer to its goal. "Did you fire anybody?" No. Alex responds that his companies goal is to increase efficiencies. you can't ship anything on time. your inventories are going through the roof. You can find the answer with your own mind. Alex meets Jonah. Jonah continues. "Come on. Jonah responds." "Because they increased productivity" Alex says. Alex. Jonah tells Alex that productivity is meaningless unless you know what your goal is. Alex tells Jonah that his plant installed some robots that have increased productivity by 36%. How to Prove Effect-Cause-Effect The Effect-Cause-Effect Method ‡ Goldratt defines the effect-cause-effect method as the process of speculating a cause for a given effect (hypothesis) and then predicting other effects from the same cause. just by installing some robots?" Alex says no and thinks Jonah is confused. "What's wrong with my thinking?" Jonah tells Alex that he has accepted so many things without question that he is not really thinking at all." "What is the real goal?" Alex wants Jonah to give him the answer. Verifying each predicted effect builds a logical tree and provides a powerful way to determine core problems. "You think you are running an efficient plant . "Tell me again why you believe your robots are such an improvement. Jonah says. are they not? And everything is late." . Walking towards the gate to board a plane. "Your problem is you don't know what your goal is. by chance in an airport between flights." Alex responds.. but Jonah says "Think about it. "So your company is making 36% more money from your plant. the answer is no. Jonah asks "Was your plant able to ship even one more product per day as a result of what happened in the departments where the robots were installed?" Again. "And what is productivity?" With some more help from Jonah. "Did your inventories go down?" No..

But there is usually a hidden assumption underlying every core problem. have bothered to check the local objectives versus the global goal. according to Goldratt. The cloud evaporates. A compromise solution is not needed. You do not try to solve the problem. "The Evaporating Clouds method does not strive to reach a compromise solution. rather it concentrates on invalidating the problem itself. According to Goldratt.4. 49). most problems are created when we try to satisfy local objectives that do not match the global goal. An underlying assumption in the batch size problem is that setup costs are fixed. . but few. Goldratt says to solve the problem involves a compromise. Goldratt mentions that the word "cost" is a dangerous and confusing multi-meaning word and that the word "product cost" is "an artificial. The idea is to find the minimum number of changes that are needed to create an environment where the core problem (big black cloud) cannot exist. We have learned from the concept of just-in-time that setup costs are not fixed. The evaporating clouds technique involves verbalizing the assumptions underlying the problem and challenging them to find the invalid assumptions." He uses the economic batch size as an illustration. In this section of the book. The idea has been to find the compromise between setup costs and carrying costs. mathematical phantom" (p. How to Invent Simple Solutions Evaporating Clouds ‡ ‡ The Evaporating Clouds Method The evaporating clouds method is described in Chapter 4 and involves examining the foundations of the system. Methods for finding the optimal solution have been taught for more than 50 years in almost every university. but instead cause the problem not to exist. Significantly reducing setup time and effort eliminates the batch size problem.

2) The devastating impact of the organization's psychology.Part II: How Should it be Implemented Part II includes five chapters: 1) How to become a Jonah. and 5) What about existing new projects? . 4) How to reach the top. 3) Reaching the initial consensus and the initial step.

How to Become a Jonah ‡ In this chapter Goldratt provides a discussion of the 10 day Jonah course as it was taught during the time this book was written. . The first day concentrates on terminology.1. The homework is discussed and criticized by other students in the next session. Examples used are the process line. The sessions continue through the second week with various case problems related to the particular group of students in the Jonah course. and on properly focusing on the constraints rather than using a shotgun approach to improvement. The third day involves an assault on policy constraints and their devastating impact on an organization. line design and line balance concepts. The Evaporating Clouds method is introduced next with various homework assignments related to it's use. The second day emphasizes multi-purpose lines and simulations designed to focus on the verbalization process and the Effect-Cause-Effect method.

how many Jonahs an organization should have. it is likely to be resisted and blocked by some other function. Emotional resistance. The message of this chapter is that all parts of an organization need to decide together on how to proceed.2. who should be first. and so on to provide the best way to introduce TOC into the organization. It is a discussion of the psychology and politics that make it difficult to introduce anything new. the defense mechanism. without involvement from the other functions within the organization. Goldratt says that the organization has it's own psychology in addition to the psychology of the individuals within the organization. can block the implementation. The Devastating Impact of the Organization's Psychology ‡ This chapter addresses the questions of who should be Jonahs. . If TOC starts in one function.

3. The questions become who should be Jonahs. The controller has to be one of the first Jonahs because finance can block any other function. 2. 3. Reaching the Initial Consensus and Initial Step From the discussion in the previous chapter it is clear that all functions in an organization need to be involved in the decision to implement the theory of constraints. 5. The controller has a dotted line outside the division to the top of the company. Start at the division level. in what sequence. The implementation plan should be approved by the entire group before the implementation begins. 4. who should decide. The key ideas in this chapter appear to be the following: 1. This group should send the division head and the controller to the Jonah course. Achieve a group consensus by the top people in each functional area. The division head and controller should prepare the implementation plan and the sequence and timing related to the functional heads becoming Jonahs. and so on. .

Goldratt's advice is to get a top person. in another functional area to work with you to become Jonahs and then through the proper channels (your bosses' knowledge and okay) send a joint letter (signed by you and the other advocate) to the top person in the division. Don't be critical of the current system.4. How to Reach the Top ‡ This chapter is very short and addresses the question of how a lower level manager. or staff person. Use psychology and approach everyone in a positive way. or one on your level. but point out that there appears to be a better approach to managing the organizations resources. can persuade the top people in a division to spend two or more days in a short Jonah course or seminar. .

All three methods adopt the new ranking. reject the traditional ranking that places costs or operating expense first in the ranking. Both inventory (assets) and operating expense are limited by zero. JIT and TQM. Comparing these concepts. JIT and TQM.e. They all attack the same erroneous assumption and use the same new assumption. TOC. i.5.. to increase the ability of the company to make more money. Each of the three concepts is an overall management philosophy. All three concepts. The main potential for improvement is in increasing throughput. 2) decrease inventory or assets. There are only three ways to improve the ability of a company to make money: 1) increase throughput. All three concepts have the same objective. Part of the problem with the traditional approach is that cost accounting disguises part of operating expense as inventory. . and 3) reduce operating expense. with emphasis on the differences helps to blend them into one theory. What About Existing Projects In this chapter Goldratts discusses the relationships between TOC. but the potential to increase throughput is unlimited.

.The answer. They ask Why do we need inventory to protect throughput? Because. TQM and TOC Ranking Throughput Inventory or Assets Operating expense All three methods attack the underlying assumptions that created a problem related to inventory levels. there are statistical fluctuations (variations) and dependent resources. Traditional Ranking Operating expense Throughput Inventory or Assets JIT.

. or functions. Predetermined schedules in TOC reduce both variation and dependent resources. U cell configurations. In the throughput world. constraints become the main tools of management and the previous tool. must be eliminated.. that the organization is composed of independent variables. . Statistical process control is emphasized in the quality area to help identify ways to reduce variation. product cost.All three methods attempt to reduce variation and recognize the interdependencies. can be discarded. Viewing an organization from the operating expense world perspective causes one to believe that almost everything is important. where one worker is moving with the processed piece from one machine to another" (p. But viewing the organization from the throughput world perspective forces the realization that the organization is a collection of dependent variables and that the artificial barriers between these variables. Cells are used to reduce the dependencies ". 120). Managing the parts of an organization as if they were isolated kingdoms is not possible in the throughput world where throughput is the dominant measurement.

floating bottlenecks occur. The point of this game. p. he can only move four to his bowl because there are only four available in the previous bowl (upstream operation) in the process. he can only move four matches from the first bowl to his bowl. Chapter 14.e. Each operation is dependent on the upstream operation for input. then he places six matches in his bowl.. Bowls represent work stations.What is the Dice Game or Match-Bowl Experiment? (The Goal. For example. matches represent product inventory and one die (from a pair of dice) is used to simulate the statistical fluctuations (variation) in performance at each work station or operation. The first scout to roll the four became the bottleneck operation.e. i. or demonstration is to show that where each operation in a sequence of dependent events has the same amount of capacity (a balanced plant). ‡ Each player (scout) rolls the die to determine how many matches to place in his bowl. ‡ The scouts each roll the die several times in sequence to represent several days production and each time the bottleneck nearly always appears at a different operation or scout. If the next scout rolls a five. Managers will not know where the bottleneck will show up next and will not be able to manage the system. i. This represents one day's production for that operation. then he becomes the bottleneck. If the next player rolls a four. If another player down stream rolls less than a four. the variation and dependent events will cause the bottleneck to move from operation to operation. six products per day with a range of variation from one to six.. if the first player rolls a six. . The bowls are set up as a production line representing dependent events where each operation has the same capacity. 104) ‡ At lunch on the hike Alex develops an experiment with bowls and matches to model a balanced plant.

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