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book review: the goal

26 Apr 2019 - mrtn

Just finished reading (or rather listening The Goal by by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox. I had it on my list for quite some time, after I heard the recommendation got tossed around for people who liked The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim. As I very much enjouyed the latter, I decided to listen to that recommendation.

The Goal is a fast-paced thriller-style novel, that follows Alex Rogo around on his quest, to safe his production plant. He gets help from one of his old professors, Jonah, that nudges him in the right directions while asking questions. The questions get not only Alex thinking about the workflow on a factory floor, but also the reader gets pulled in the Theory of Constraints, that Jonah presents - as a proxy for Eli Goldratt. Step by step, Alex discovers where the (totally un-intuitive) problems are located and works with his team, to resolve it.

Apart from the core message - the theory of constraints explained in-depth with the factory as an examle - the book is very well written. The story that evolves around Alex’s private life is quite classic and offers nothing new or unexpected, but it offers a nice personal touch to the work-related story. The factory-plot on the other hand is very intense and (especially nearing the end) was a real page-turner.

As I have literally no experience running or even working at a factory floor, I’m curious how well the learnings from the Theory of Constraints work there. I guess, there will be some reading in order…

If you are only interested in the cold, hard facts, the wikipedia article gets you started. But skipping the book will make you miss a pretty interesting and well written story ;)