Bookbinge: The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt & Jeff Cox

220px-The-goal-bookcoverThis weekend, I completed, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox.

The Five Focusing Steps:

  1. IDENTIFY the system’s constraint.
  2. Decide how to EXPLOIT the system’s constraint.
  3. SUBORDINATE everything else to the above decisions.
  4. ELEVATE the system’s constraint.
  5. If in the previous steps a constraint has been broken. Go back to step 1, but do not allow inertia to cause a system constraint.

This book probably has the worst cover I’ve ever seen. My wife pointed it out right after I started reading it a few week’s ago. It is a bad cover and makes the book look incredibly boring, and that’s sad because with the right cover I would have probably heard about this book earlier because of the great content. I know I do judge a book by it’s cover. Anyway, there is a reason why it’s required reading in most MBA programs and Jeff Bezos hands it out to everyone on his management team.

The main reason I read it and found out about the book was through the Personal MBA Reading List. It’s was an excellent book that has a story which is nothing like it’s cover. When looking at the cover I felt like I was about to be bombarded with a load of boring non-fiction style facts and processes to run the modern manufacturing facility. Instead the ideas are told through a story about a failing manufacturing plant from the plant managers perspective which was brilliant. It deals not only with the plant but also with the managers life that is falling apart from the level of stress he’s being subjected to at work with the fear of the plant being shut down and how all this stress almost destroys his family. This book show you how to work smarter and how those lessons when implemented properly also affect all aspects of your life.

Above I’ve listed the five main focusing steps plant manager finally creates. It is the process to focus your business on the constraints that are holding your business back and not contributing to the GOAL of making money. There is a ton of wisdom in this book plus it’s a treat to read them pull off something that’s incredibly hard. That is to create a compelling fictional story to teach these steps. This is a far better learning tool because now I associate those steps with plot parts of the story. If I simply read the above list, I would now know the five focusing steps, but I doubt I’d remember them for long. Instead this book tricked me into spending hours drilling those key points into my mind.

In a later blog post I’ll to write an expanded outline on each of the Five Focusing Steps.

Until then, if you’re currently working in a management position or you ever hope to hold a management position then you need to go read this book.  It’s required reading on how to work smarter instead of harder.

  1. Inventory – is all the money that the system has invested in purchasing things which it intends to sell.
  2. Operational expense – is all the money the system spends in order to turn inventory into throughput.