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*A Book Review*

The Goal

By Eliyahu M. Goldratt

by Michael C. Gray

May 29, 1998

The Goal is a different type of management book.

Eliyahu Goldratt uses the approach of Socratic inductive reasoning to teach his Theory of Constraints. He does this by presenting ideas in the form of a fascinating novel about people dealing with the problems managers face at home and at work every day.

Alex Rogo is a plant manager who is continually fighting to meet the output requirements of his business. There are ongoing conflicts between marketing, accounting and production in the organization.

Through some suggestions from Jonah, a friendly management guru, Rogo learns to identify and manage the problem areas in the operation.

Specifically, Rogo identifies production bottlenecks that are the critical points determining the rate of production of the operation. Then he develops strategies for overcoming or living with the bottlenecks.

A bottleneck is actually fairly easy to identify. In a manufacturing environment, walk down the line until you meet a big stack of product waiting to continue along the process. In a service environment, look for stacks of files in someone's office.

Goldratt's ideas are surprisingly applicable in manufacturing and service environments.

By studying and applying these ideas, you could improve your organizational effectiveness and productivity, free up capital tied up in excess inventory, reduce customer frustration and reduce organizational anxiety. The Goal should be on the "must read" list for most managers.

For more information on The Goal, visit Eliyahu Goldratt's website at

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