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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

The Goal was a fun book to read. The strange thing is – I purchased the book about five years ago based on a recommendation of Verne Harnish and then proceeded to only read half the first chapter. The book was written as a fiction telling a business story and I don’t love this style. After Verne insisting that it is a great book, I picked it back up a few months ago and read it. I really enjoyed the book and I list it as one of my three favorites now!

The Goal‘s protagonist is a manufacturing plant manager. The plant is not profitable so the plant manager is given 3 months to turn it around or upper management is shutting it down.

The plant is a mess with delays on orders, causing very angry customers. There are battles over what projects should be prioritized. The changes in the production plan create problems because management is switching out projects just when hours have been spent setting up everything for a different project. Management is arguing about everything, and the Union is filing grievances – a real mess.

The Plant manager meets a “wise man” who agrees to give consulting as a mentor. The story than walks you through the challenges, the changes and the impact as the plant manager makes dramatic changes to drive profitability in the plant. The message is to align everyone around the goal of making the plant profitable, and implement common sense to attain the goal!

Although the book has very little to do with technology, it is a great book. I think it is a must read for anyone in management. It really helped me look at business challenges from a different perspective.