The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt examines the life of an American plant manger in hisquest to find out what exactly the goal of a plant manager is and how to go about reachingthis goal. Along the way towards realizing the goal, the plant manager is forced defineand understand the theory of constraints.
It is important to understand the theory ofconstraints for the manager to be able to identify what restrictions are being opposed ontohis various operations and to know how to reverse their affects.
In this particular case ittakes the manager having to continually deal with orders being finished late and thereforeunsatisfied customers and an irate employer in order to realize that serious problems areoccurring within his plant.Once the goal, which inevitably turns out to be money, isfound, it is imperative to figure out how to express the goal in the form of a measurement. Three measurements are able to not only express the goal of making money, but alsomake it possible for the manager to develop operational rules for running his plant.
Thesemeasurements are: throughput, inventory, and operational expense, and everything thatthe manager manages in his plant is covered by them. Still, the manager must do muchthinking and research in order to figure out just how to express his goal in terms of thesemeasurement.In addition to expressing the goal, the manager is troubled by whetheremployees, robots, and machinery actuall need to be running at all times. At first glancemany managers seem to think that an idle worker is an unproductive worker, but Goldrattshows us that in reality a plant in which everyone is working all the time is veryinefficient.
The manager in the book soon comes to realize that machines don’t runthemselves — it takes people to create excess inventory, so sometimes when a worker istaking a break, thereby leaving a machine idle, it’s actually a good thing.One hugeproblem that often arises in a plant such as the one Goldratt has lead us through isdistinguishing between two resources. One is the bottleneck which is when manyoperations are feeding their output into one operation whose capacity is less than thecombined capacities of the operations that provide input, leaving units to queue up whilewaiting to be processed. If bottlenecks can be improved then productivity will increaseuntil the output rate of the bottleneck is equal to that of the output rate of the operationsfeeding it.
The second resource is the non-bottleneck which is any resource whosecapacity is greater than the demand placed on it. In the Goal it can be seen that the mainproblem for the plant manager is the bottleneck and how to make the flow through thebottleneck only slightly less than demand.First and foremost, every manager and futuremanager should definately sit down and read this book. Even if it does not ofcharacteristics of a particular plant, the basic concepts that The Goal discusses can be ofhelp to nearly every manager of any kind of business.
Learning to deal with such thingshas bottlenecks, excess inventories, and the theory of constraints is something that manymanagers struggle with. Also, Goldratt teaches that, contrary to the belief of nearly everymanager in the world, capacity should never be completely balancе them the quickest and and the lowest cost. The engineering departmentis in charge of such things as approving which parts go through heat treatment andmaking sure that everything is performed up to code for top qualtiy andperformance.Though The Goal is more or less directed toward managers, and even morespecifically plant managers, it can basically be read and enjoyed by anyone.
Not onlydoes it show how to manage a plant, but it also show how to manage ones’ life. Thoughfor many, a successful career signifies a successful life, we have to remember that familyand friends are also a sign of success and that they can be just as big contributors to acareer-person’s rise to the top as his co-workers.In order to deal with such a problem theplant manager consults a mentor who keeps him constantly thinking and researchingpossible remedies to the many problems that are occurring within his plant.The Goal isn’tjust a book, it’s a novel.
Goldratt takes his reader through an enjoyable narrative throughboth the work life and the personal life of an American plant manager. Through thiseasy-to-read story I was able to better understand how inventory and how it goes throughboth bottlenecks and non-bottlenecks has such a huge impact on all aspects of a plant. And just like the plant manager in the book, I was always under the impression that idleworkers meant trouble for the business. I never considered its impact on inventories andtherefore on productivity.
This book really opened my eyes to things such as this and theinner-workings of a manufacturing plant something that I had little exposure to before.
One thing that I did not find easy to understand was the theory of constraints, though Iknow this is probably a huge part of the novel. I realize that there are many restrictionson a plant’s operations, but I’m still unclear about how the theory of constraints wasinvolved in this particular situation. The Goal shows that there is an answer to allquestions – it’s just a matter of asking yourself the right questions and then going throughthe logical thinking processes in order to come up with those answers. In addition TheGoal is about not just one manager finding the answer to one goal, but about a group ofpeople, rather a team, both on the job and at home, working together and brainstorming inorder to meet a series of common goals.
And, finally, Goldratt teaches that things are notalways as they seem and sometimes we have to forgoe traditional methods and take achance with new ideas, thinking, and innovations.
Cite this “The Goal”
“The Goal”. (2018, Jun 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-goal-by-eliyahu-m-goldratt/