The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

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Over 2 million copies sold! Used by thousands of companies and hundreds of business schools! Required reading for anyone in the Theory of Constraints. This book, which introduces the Theory of Constraints, is changing how America does business. The Goal is a gripping, fast-paced business novel about overcoming the barriers to making money. You will learn the fundamentals of identifying and solving the problems created by constraints. From the moment you finish the book you will be able to start successfully ...
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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

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Over 2 million copies sold! Used by thousands of companies and hundreds of business schools! Required reading for anyone in the Theory of Constraints. This book, which introduces the Theory of Constraints, is changing how America does business. The Goal is a gripping, fast-paced business novel about overcoming the barriers to making money. You will learn the fundamentals of identifying and solving the problems created by constraints. From the moment you finish the book you will be able to start successfully addressing chronic productivity and quality problems.

This book, which introduces the Theory of Constraints, is changing how America does business. The Goal is a gripping, fast-paced business novel about overcoming the barriers to making money.

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Editorial Reviews

A survey of the reading habits of managers found that though they buy books by the likes of Tom Peters for display purposes, the one management book they have actually read from cover to cover is The Goal.
Business Week
Goldratt’s system, in essence, forces production managers and workers alike to coordinate their work-with an underlying principle in mind: that ‘bottlenecks’…are what ultimately constrain the manufacturing environment.
Harvard Business Review
This theory provided a persuasive solution for factories struggling with production delays and low revenues.
Fortune Magazine
Like Mrs. Fields and her cookies, The Goal was too tasty to remain obscure. Companies began buying big batches and management schools included it in their curriculums.
Punch Magazine
Anybody who considers himself a manager should rush out, buy and devour this book immediately. If you are the only one in your place to have read it, your progress along the path to the top may suddenly accelerate…one of the most outstanding business books I have ever encountered.
Success Magazine
Goal readers are now doing the best work of their lives.
Library Journal
Alex Rogo manages a failing manufacturing plant, and his marriage is on shaky ground due to his long work hours. When his district manager tells him that profits must increase or the plant will be closed, Alex realizes he needs help. He turns to Jonah, a former professor, whom Alex discovers is now a management consultant (although Jonah's field is physics). With the help of the enigmatic Jonah and the plant staff, Alex turns the plant around while at the same time abandoning many management principles he previously thought were ironclad. This multivoiced presentation is lively and interesting and offers food for thought for managers in any field. The performances are natural and unaffected, with sound effects to enhance the illusion of reality. Although it is a novel, this title is more appropriate for business collections.-- Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, N.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780884271789
  • Publisher: North River Press Publishing Corporation, The
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Eli Goldratt's ten-year-old crusade to change manufacturing from an art to a science is bearing fruit. Eli's reputation as a slaughterer of sacred cows began in 1979 when the introduction of his computerized scheduling system disproved the myth that finite scheduling doesn't work.

This work led to the realization that the current measurements used on the shop floor are a major stumbling block to improvement and led to the almost unavoidable next development step. But when he attacked "Cost Accounting as enemy number one of productivity," he should have generated great resistance. Instead, Eli was warmly welcomed by both manufacturing and financial people. Many companies are now abandoning efficiencies and questioning other uses of cost accounting for making decisions. Today Eli's process of ongoing improvement is increasingly recognized as a powerful, viable holistic approach in which other methods -- such as MRP, Just in Time, Statistical Process Control -- are synergistically matched.

It seems appropriate that a man characterized as unconventional but also full of common sense should disguise The Goal, a manufacturing text book, as a novel or, as some say, a love story. It's also fitting that it should become an underground best seller in board rooms, universities and on the factory floor. However, it was not anticipated that The Goal would be passed along to and avidly read by spouses. Nor was it anticipated that people in more than a dozen different countries would claim that the book was written about their plants and their families.

Eli's second book (co-authored with Robert Fox) expands on the technical aspects of shop floor management. He is alsothe author of The Haystack Syndrome: Sifting Information Out of the Data Ocean and The Theory of Constraints.

Today Eli devotes all his time to the Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute (named after his late father) to enhance the rate at which knowledge is generated and disseminated.

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First Chapter

Chapter 1

I come through the gate this morning at 7:30 and I can see it from across the lot: the crimson Mercedes. It's parked beside the plant, next to the offices. And it's in my space. Who else would do that except Bill Peach? Never mind that the whole lot is practically empty at that hour. Never mind that there are spaces marked "Visitor." No, Bill's got to park in the space with my title on it. Bill likes to make subtle statements. So, okay, he's the division vice-president, and I'm just a mere plant manager. I guess he can park his damn Mercedes wherever he wants.

I put my Buick next to it (in the space marked "Controller"). A glance at the license as I walk around it assures me it has to be Bill's car because the plate says "NUMBER l." And, as we all know, that's absolutely correct in terms of who Bill always looks out for. He wants his shot at CEO. But so do 1. Too bad that I may never get the chance now.

Anyway, I'm walking up to the office doors. Already the adrenalin is pumping. I'm wondering what the hell Bill is doing here. I've lost any hope of getting any work done this morning. I usually go in early to catch up on all the stuff I'm too busy to do during the day, because I can really get a lot done before the phone rings and the meetings start, before the fires break out. But not today.

"Mr. Rogo!" I hear someone calling.

I stop as four people come bursting out of a door on the side of the plant. I see Dempsey, the shift supervisor; Martinez, the union steward; some hourly guy; and a machining center foreman named Ray. And they're all talking at the same time. Dempsey is telling me we've got a problem. Martinez is shouting about how there is going to be a walkout. The hourly guy is saying something about harassment. Ray is yelling that we can't finish some damn thing because we don't have all the parts. Suddenly I'm in the middle of all this. I'm looking at them; they're looking at me. And I haven't even had a cup of coffee yet.

When I finally get everyone calmed down enough to ask what's going on, I learn that Mr. Peach arrived about an hour before, walked into my plant, and demanded to be shown the Status of Customer Order Number 41427.

Well, as fate would have it, nobody happened to know about Customer Order 41427. So Peach had everybody stepping and fetching to chase down the story on it. And it turns out to be a fairly big order. Also a late one. So what else is new? Everything in this plant is late. Based on observation. I'd say this plant has four ranks of priority for orders: Hot . . . Very Hot . . . Red Hot . . . and Do It NOW! We just can't keep ahead of anything.

As soon as he discovers 41427 is nowhere close to being shipped, Peach starts playing expeditor. He's storming around, yelling orders at Dempsey. Finally it's determined almost all the parts needed are ready and waiting-stacks of them. But they can't be assembled. One part of some sub-assembly is missing; it still has to be run through some other operation yet. If the guys don't have the part, they can't assemble, and if they can't assemble, naturally, they can't ship.

They find out the pieces for the missing subassembly are sitting over by one of the n/c machines, where they're waiting their turn to be run. But when they go to that department, they find the machinists are not setting up to run the part in question, but instead some other do-it-now job which somebody imposed upon them for some other product.

Peach doesn't give a damn about the other do-it-now job. All he cares about is getting 41427 out the door. So he tells Dempsey to direct his foreman, Ray, to instruct his master machinist to forget about the other super-hot gizmo and get ready to run the missing part for 41427. Whereupon the master machinist looks from Ray to Dempsey to Peach, throws down his wrench, and tells them they're all crazy. It just took him and his helper an hour and a half to set up for the other part that everyone needed so desperately. Now they want to forget about it and set up for something else instead? The hell with it! So Peach, always the diplomat, walks past my supervisor and my foreman, and tells the master machinist that if he doesn't do what he's told, he's fired. More words are exchanged. The machinist threatens to walk off the job. The union steward shows up. Everybody is mad. Nobody is working. And now I've got four upset people greeting me bright and early in front of an idle plant.

"So where is Bill Peach now?" I ask.

"He's in your office," says Dempsey.

"Okay, would you go tell him I'll be in to talk to him in a minute," I ask.

Dempsey gratefully hurries toward the office doors. I turn to Martinez and the hourly guy, who I discover is the machinist. I tell them that as far as I'm concerned there aren't going to be any firings or suspensions-that the whole thing is just a misunderstanding. Martinez isn't entirely satisfied with that at first, and the machinist sounds as if he wants an apology from Peach. I'm not about to step into that one. I also happen to know that Martinez can't call a walkout on his own authority. So I say if the union wants to file a grievance, okay; I'll be glad to talk to the local president, Mike O'Donnell, later today, and we'll handle everything in due course. Realizing he can't do anything more before talking to O'Donnell anyway, Martinez finally accepts that, and he and the hourly guy start walking back to the plant.

"So let's get them back to work," I tell Ray.

"Sure, but uh, what should we be working on?" asks Ray. "The job we're set up to run or the one Peach wants?"

"Do the one Peach wants," I tell him.

"Okay, but we'll be wasting a set-up," says Ray.

"So we waste it!" I tell him. "Ray, I don't even know what the situation is. But for Bill to be here, there must be some kind of emergency. Doesn't that seem logical?"

"Yeah, sure," says Ray. "Hey, I just want to know what to do.

"Okay, I know you were just caught in the middle of all this," I say to try to make him feel better. "Let's just get that setup done as quick as we can and start running that part."

"Right," he says.

Inside, Dempsey passes me on his way back to the plant. He's just come from my office and he looks like he's in a hurry to get out of there. He shakes his head at me.

"Good luck," he says out of the corner of his mouth.

The door to my office is wide open. I walk in, and there he is. Bill Peach is sitting behind my desk. He's a stocky, barrel-chested guy with thick, steely-gray hair and eyes that almost match. As I put my briefcase down, the eyes are locked onto me with a look that says This is your neck, Rogo.

"Okay, Bill, what's going on?" I ask.

He says, "We've got things to talk about. Sit down."

I say, "I'd like to, but you're in my seat."

It may have been the wrong thing to say.

"You want to know why I'm here?" he says. "I'm here to save your lousy skin."

I tell him, "Judging from the reception I just got, I'd say you're here to ruin my labor relations."

He looks straight at me and says, "If you can't make some things happen around here, you're not going to have any labor to worry about. Because you're not going to-have this plant to worry about. In fact, you may not have a job to worry about, Rogo."

"Okay, wait a minute, take it easy," I say. "Let's just talk about it. What's the problem with this order?"

First of all, Bill tells me that he got a phone call last night at home around ten o'clock from good old Bucky Burnside, president of one of UniCo's biggest customers. Seems that Bucky was having a fit over the fact that this order of his (41427) is seven weeks late. He proceeded to rake Peach over the coals for about an hour. Bucky apparently had gone out on a limb to sway the order over to us when everybody was telling him to give the business to one of our competitors. He had just had dinner with several of his customers, and they had dumped all over him because their orders were late-which, as it happens, was because of us. So Bucky was mad (and probably a little drunk). Peach was able to pacify him only by promising to deal with the matter personally and by guaranteeing that the order would be shipped by the end of today, no matter what mountains had to be moved.

I try to tell Bill that, yes, we were clearly wrong to have let this order slide, and I'll give it my personal attention, but did he have to come in here this morning and disrupt my whole plant?

So where was I last night, he asks, when he tried to call me at home? Under the circumstances, I can't tell him I have a personal life. I can't tell him that the first two times the phone rang, I let it ring because I was in the middle of a fight with my wife, which, oddly enough, was about how little attention I've been giving her. And the third time, I didn't answer it because we were making up.

I decide to tell Peach I was just late getting home. He doesn't press the issue. Instead, he asks how come I don't know what's going on inside my own plant. He's sick and tired of hearing complaints about late shipments. Why can't I stay on top of things?

"One thing I do know," I tell him, "is that after the second round of layoffs you forced on us three months ago, along with the order for a twenty percent cutback, we're lucky to get anything out the door on time."

"Al," he says quietly, "just build the damn products. You hear me?"

"Then give me the people I need!" I tell him.

"You've got enough people! Look at your efficiencies, for god's sake! You've got room for improvement, Al," he says. "Don't come crying to me about not enough people until you show me you can effectively use what you've got."

I'm about to say something when Peach holds up his hand for me to shut my mouth. He stands up and goes over to close the door. Oh shit, I'm thinking.

He turns by the door and tells me, "Sit down."

I've been standing all this time. I take a seat in one of the chairs in front of the desk, where a visitor would sit. Peach returns behind the desk.

"Look, Al, it's a waste of time to argue about this. Your last operations report tells the story," says Peach.

I say, "Okay, you're right. The issue is getting Burnside's order shipped"

Peach explodes. "Dammit, the issue is not Burnside's order! Burnside's order is just a symptom of the problem around here. Do you think I'd come down here just to expedite a late order? Do you think I don't have enough to do? I came down here to light a fire under you and everybody else in this plant. This isn't just a matter of customer service. Your plant is losing money."

He pauses for a moment, as if he had to let that sink in. Then bam-he pounds his fist on the desk top and points his finger at me.

"And if you can't get the orders out the door," he continues, "then I'll show you how to do it. And if you still can't do it, then I've got no use for you or this plant."

"Now wait a minute, Bill-"

"Dammit, I don't have a minute!" he roars. "I don't have time for excuses anymore. And I don't need explanations. I need performance. I need shipments. I need income!"

"Yes, I know that, Bill."

"What you may not know is that this division is facing the worst losses in its history. We're falling into a hole so deep we may never get out, and your plant is the anchor pulling us in."

I feel exhausted already. Tiredly I ask him, "Okay, what do you want from me? I've been here six months. I admit it's gotten worse instead of better since I've been here. But I'm doing the best I can."

"If you want the bottom line, Al, this is it: You've got three months to turn this plant around," Peach says.

"And suppose it can't be done in that time?" I ask.

"Then I'm going to go to the management committee with a recommendation to close the plant," he says.

I sit there speechless. This is definitely worse than anything I expected to hear this morning. And, yet, it's not really that surprising. I glance out the window. The parking lot is filling with the cars of the people coming to work first shift. When I look back, Peach has stood up and is coming around the desk. He sits down in the chair next to me and leans forward. Now comes the reassurance, the pep talk.

"Al, I know that the situation you inherited here wasn't the best. I gave you this job because I thought you were the one who could change this plant from a loser to . . . well, a small winner at least. And I still think that. But if you want to go places in this company, you've got to deliver results."

"But I need time, Bill."

"Sorry, you've got three months. And if things get much worse, I may not even be able to give you that."

I sit there as Bill glances at his watch and stands up, discussion ended.

He says, "If I leave now, I'll only miss my first meeting."

I stand up. He walks to the door.

Hand on the knob, he turns and says with a grin, "Now that I've helped you kick some ass around here, you won't have any trouble getting Bucky's order shipped for me today, will you?"

"We'll ship it, Bill," I say.

"Good," he says with wink as he opens the door.

A minute later, I watch from the window as he gets into his Mercedes and drives toward the gate.

Three months. That's all I can think about.

I don't remember turning away from the window. I don't know how much time has passed. All of a sudden, I'm aware that I'm sitting at my desk and I'm staring into space. I decide I'd better go see for myself what's happening out in the plant. From the shelf by the door, I get my hard hat and safety glasses and head out. I pass my secretary.

"Fran, I'll be out on the floor for a little while," I tell her as I go by.

Fran looks up from a letter she's typing and smiles.

"Okey-dokey," she says. "By the way, was that Peach's car I saw in your space this morning?"

"Yes, it was."

"Nice car," she says and she laughs. "I thought it might be yours when I first saw it."

Then I laugh. She leans forward across the desk.

"Say, how much would a car like that cost?" she asks.

"I don't know exactly, but I think it's around thirty thousand dollars," I tell her.

Fran catches her breath. "You're kidding me! That much? I had no idea a car could cost that much. Wow. Guess I won't be trading in my Chevette on one of those very soon."

She laughs and turns back to her typing.

Fran is an "okey-dokey" lady. How old is she? Early forties I'd guess, with two teen-aged kids she's trying to support. Her ex-husband is"an alcoholic. They got divorced a long time ago . . . since then, she's wanted nothing to do with a man. Well, almost nothing. Fran told me all this herself on my second day at the plant. I like her. I like her work, too. We pay her a good wage . . . at least we do now. Anyway, she's still got three months.

Going into the plant is like entering a place where satans and angels have married to make kind of a gray magic. That's what it always feels like to me. All around are things that are mundane and miraculous. I've always found manufacturing plants to be fascinating places-even on just a visual level. But most people don't see them the way I do.

Past a set of double doors separating the office from the plant, the world changes. Overhead is a grid of lamps suspended from the roof trusses, and everything is cast in the warm, orange hues of sodium-iodine light. There is a huge chain-link cage which has row after row of floor-to-roof racks loaded with bins and cartons filled with parts and materials for everything we make. In a skinny. aisle between two racks rides a man in the basket of a forklift crane that runs along a track on the ceiling. Out on the floor, a reel of shiny steel slowly unrolls into the machine that every few seconds says "Ca-chunk."

Machines. The plant is really just one vast room, acres of space, filled with machines. They are organized in blocks and the blocks are separated by aisles. Most of the machines are painted n solid Mardi Gras colors-orange, purple, yellow, blue. From some of the newer machines, ruby numbers shine from digital displays. Robotic arms perform programs of mechanical dance.

Here and there, often almost hidden among the machines, ire the people. They look over as I walk by. Some of them wave; I ,nave back. An electric cart whines past, an enormous fat guy driving it. Women at long tables work with rainbows of wire. A grimy guy in amorphous coveralls adjusts his face mask and finites a welding torch. Behind glass, a buxom, red-haired woman pecks the keys on a computer terminal with an amber display.

Mixed with the sights is the noise, a din with a continuous underlying chord made by the whirr of fans, motors, the air in :he ventilators-it all sounds like an endless breath. At random -omes a BOOM of something inexplicable. Behind me ring the harm bells of an overhead crane rumbling up its track. Relays -lick. The siren sounds. From the P.A. system, a disembodied voice talks like God, intermittently and incomprehensibly, over everything.

Even with all that noise, I hear the whistle. Turning, I see the unmistakable shape of Bob Donovan walking up the aisle. He's some distance away. Bob is what you might call a mountain of a man, standing as he does at six-foot-four. He weighs in at about 250 pounds, a hefty portion of which is beer gut. He isn't the prettiest guy in the world . . . I think his barber was trained by the Marines. And he doesn't talk real fancy; I suspect it's a point of pride with him. But despite a few rough edges, which he guards closely, Bob is a good guy. He's been production manager here for nine years. If you need something to happen, all you do is talk to Bob and if it can be done, it will be by the next time you mention it.

It takes a minute or so for us to reach each other. As we get closer, I can see he isn't very cheerful. I suppose it's mutual.

"Good morning," says Bob.

"I'm not sure what's good about it," I say. "Did you hear about our visitor?"

"Yeah, it's all over the plant," says Bob.

"So I guess you know about the urgency for shipping a certain order number 41427?" 1 ask him.

He starts to turn red. "That's what I need to talk to you about."

"Why? What's up?"

"I don't know if word reached you yet, but Tony, that master machinist Peach yelled at, quit this morning," says Bob.

"Aw, shit," I mutter.

"I don't think I have to tell you that guys like that are not a dime a dozen. We're going to have a tough time finding a replacement," says Bob.

"Can we get him back?"

"Well, we may not want him back," says Bob. "Before he quit, he did the set-up that Ray told him to do, and put the machine on automatic to do its run. The thing is, he didn't tighten two of the adjusting nuts. We got little bits of machine tool all over the floor now."

"How many parts do we have to scrap?"

"Well, not that many. It only ran for a little while."

"Will we have enough to fill that order?" I ask him.

"I'll have to check," he says. "But, see, the problem is that the machine itself is down and it may stay down for some time."

"Which one is it?" I ask.

"The NCX-10," he says.

I shut my eyes. It's like a cold hand just reached inside me and grabbed the bottom of my stomach. That machine is the only one of its type in the plant. I ask Bob how bad the damage is. He says, "I don't know. They've got the thing half torn apart out there. We're on the phone with the manufacturer right now."

I start walking fast. I want to see it for myself. God, are we in trouble. I glance over at Bob, who is keeping pace with me.

"Do you think it was sabotage?" I ask.

Bob seems surprised. "Well, I can't say. I think the guy was just so upset he couldn't think straight. So he screwed it up."

I can feel my face getting hot. The cold hand is gone. Now I'm so pissed off at Bill Peach that I'm fantasizing about calling him on the phone and screaming in his ear. It's his fault! And in my head I see him. I see him behind my desk and hear him telling me how he's going to show me how to get the orders out the door. Right, Bill. You really showed me how to do it.

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The Goal is about science and education. I believe that these two words have been abused to the extent that their original meanings have been lost in a fog of too much respect and mystery. Science for me, and for the vast majority of respectable scientists, is not about the secrets of nature or even about truths. Science is simply the method we use to try and postulate a minimum set of assumptions that can explain, through a straightforward logical derivation, the existence of many phenomena of nature.

The Law of Conservation of Energy of physics is not truth. It is just an assumption that is valid in explaining a tremendous amount of natural phenomena. Such an assumption can never be proven since even an infinite number of phenomena that can be explained by it does not prove its universal application. On the other hand, it can be disproved by just a single phenomenon that cannot be explained by the assumption. This disproving does not detract from the validity of the assumption. It just highlights the need or even the existence of another assumption that is more valid. This is the case with the assumption of the conservation of energy which was replaced by Einstein's more global-more valid -postulation of the conservation of energy and mass. Einstein's assumption is not true to the same extent that the previous one was not "true".

Somehow we have restricted the connotation of science to a very selective, limited assemblage of natural phenomena. We refer to science when we deal with physics, chemistry or biology. We should also realize that there are many more phenomena of nature that do not fall into these categories, for instance those phenomena we see inorganizations, particularly those in industrial organizations. If these phenomena are not phenomena of nature, what are they? Do we want to place what we see in organizations to the arena of fiction rather than into reality?

This book is an attempt to show that we can postulate a very small number of assumptions and utilize them to explain a very large spectrum of industrial phenomena. You the reader can judge whether or not the logic of the book's derivation from its assumptions to the phenomena we see daily in our plants is so flawless that you call it common sense. Incidentally, common sense is not so common and is the highest praise we give to a chain of logical conclusions. If you do, you basically have taken science from the ivory tower of academia and put it where it belongs, within the reach of every one of us and made it applicable to what we see around us.

What I have attempted to show with this book is that no exceptional brain power is needed to construct a new science or to expand on an existing one. What is needed is just the courage to face inconsistencies and to avoid running away from them just because "that's the way it was always done". I dared to interweave into the book a family life struggle, which I assume is quite familiar to any manager who is to some extent obsessed with his work. This was not done just to make the book more popular, but to highlight the fact that we tend to disqualify many phenomena of nature as irrelevent as far as science is concerned.

I have also attempted to show in the book the meaning of education. I sincerely believe that the only way we can learn is through our deductive process. Presenting us with final conclusions is not a way that we learn. At best it is a way that we are trained. That's why I tried to deliver the message contained in the book in the Socratic way. Jonah, in spite of his knowledge of the solutions, provoked Alex to derive them by supplying the question marks instead of the exclamation marks. I believe that because of this method, you the reader will deduce the answers well before Alex Rogo succeeds in doing so. If you find the book entertaining maybe you will agree with me that this is the way to educate, this is the way we should attempt to write our textbooks. Our textbooks should not present us with a series of end results but rather a plot that enables the reader to go through the deduction process himself. If I succeed by this book to change somewhat your perception of science and education, this is my true reward.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 5, 2010

    Educational but Easy Read

    Eliyahu Goldratt's "The Goal" introduces and explains Goldratt's Theory of Constraints a way that is easy to understand and relate to. The intention of this book is to make his Theory of Constraints more widely accepted by the manufacturing industry and he does this by explaining his Theory of Constraints in a fictional novel. Goldratt tactfully interweaves his thoery into an interesting story where the reader wants to continue reading to see how the story unfolds about Alex Rogo, the main character, and the problems that he encounters in his manufacturing plant.

    Mr. Rogo is the manager of a plant is having problems meeting their demands and quarterly financial goals. If changes are not made and productivity of the plant is not improved, the plant is in danger of being shut down. Mr. Rogo is faced with the almost impossible task of making these changes and in a very short time frame.

    In desperate need of help Mr. Rogo turns to his old college physics professor who he had recently run into for help. Johan, the physics professor, now business consultant meets with Alex and gives Alex some guidance, but does not give Alex the direct answers to his problems. In doing this Alex learns how to solve the problems himself with Johan's help and this is how the reader is introduced to the Theory of Constraints.

    Through out the book the reader sees how the problems in the plant are solved with Johan's help and how new problems are developed and dealt with accordingly. The main point of the book is how to meet the "Goal" and the book does a great job of using analogies and examples of things that will help make the "Goal" more achievable.

    This book is a great read for anyone that is looking to learn about manufacturing process optimization or how to make a manufacturing company more profitable. It introduces and explains how do this in a practical was that is easily understandable and enjoyable unlike may textbooks or manuals that may teach the same information. Overall I was able to learn a lot of useful knowledge from this book and I think that many manufacturing companies and schools could benefit greatly by having employees and students read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    Intriguing, informative read

    Although this was a required reading for me, it was a surprisingly enjoyable read. The author does a very good job to intertwine the concepts of Goldratt's Theory of Constraints while keeping the reader entertained through the novel's story. The back story was so well done that I barely realized this was an educational book. I highly recommend it for not only anyone that will be going into a manufacturing environment, but anyone going into a process improvement job that could utilize the Theory of Constraints. This book follows the journey of the main character, Alex Rogo, as he figures out what "The Goal" is and how to go about achieving it. He finds a mentor, Jonah (a representation of Goldratt), who helps him through his journey of fixing his manufacturing plant. However, while being consumed with trying to fix his plant, Alex Rogo's time is consumed in this and the book follows how this affects his marriage and family life. This was the most intriguing part of the book for myself since this aspect of the book made it seem most realistic and easy to connect to.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009


    "The Goal", by Eli Goldratt, follows the life of Alex Rogo, a plant manager who is told that he will lose his job unless he turns his manufacturing plant around and get it to make money. He enlists the help of an old friend in this endeavor, who teaches and guides him toward his goal, using the Theory of Constraints. Through Alex's struggles, failures, and victories, Goldratt is able to present and define his theory in an easy to understand manner. The book reads like a novel and not like a text book. As such, the book, and with it the various aspects of Goldratt's theory, are much easier to follow and understand. This is definitely a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2007

    Great story about process improvement

    This book was read as a class requirement for my statical process control class. The book is written as a novel so it's a very easy read. This is a great way to introduce yourself to Goldratt's Theory of Constraints without having to read a dry boring book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone trying to break into the field of SPC ans SQC.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2015

    The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt tells the story of a man Alex R

    The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt tells the story of a man Alex Rogo, a plant manager for a manufacturing operation’s management called UniCo. Goldratt is recognized as a worldwide mentor to various establishments, as he developed various innovative concepts relative to business management. Written in a prompt and thrilling style, this novel is meant to transform the way managers logically reason and thereby operate. When Alex finds out that his plant is losing money, he contacts his old professor Jonah for guidance, as he only has 3 months to resume the plant’s productivity. This novel is especially intended for individuals who seek a transformation in management thinking and are interested in achieving success by means of critical thinking and maintaining measurements. Jonah’s advice not only relates to the company’s restoration, but also allows Alex to learn important concepts emphasizing the Theory of Constraint, or bottlenecks. In the focus of changing particular components of UniCo, Alex also seeks to improve his marriage by making the changes necessary to restore his relationship. This book is highly recommended to influence business leaders in the industry concerned with the logical and consistent efforts necessary to manage and maintain success.

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  • Posted March 12, 2014

    In this book, Goldratt is able to convey the importance of const

    In this book, Goldratt is able to convey the importance of constraints and bottlenecks through the trials of Alex Rogo. He is able to capture and maintain the reader’s attention by following his journey to save his job, his facility, as well as his marriage. This book was well-written and taught and emphasized important values from a management and engineering point of view. Although this book was entertaining for the most part, I was drifting in and out when reading the book. The elements that the reader had to grasp to truly understand what Alex Rogo was going through and trying to do were scattered throughout the book and difficult to keep track of. However, this may be due to how a facility manager’s life can be hectic and chaotic at times. Whether or not Goldratt’s goal was to scatter important points was a poor choice or a stroke of genius to throw the reader into the life of a facility manager. I would give this book a 4/5 based on the detail that the author portrays in his novel and how he is able to convey his ideals throughout the main character’s journey as well as his writing style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    The goal is a fantastic book! As a college student who's about t

    The goal is a fantastic book! As a college student who's about to graduate, I am glad I read it at the time I did. The book discusses the theory of constrains in such a way that is easy to understand yet detailed enough to make one think. The author explains it in such a way that even if one doesn't have formal training in the field of Industrial Engineering, one could understand it. Goldratt does an exceptional job in not only conveying fundamental principles of the industrial and manufacturing world, but also hooking the reader into a very realistic and probably quite common story of an American corporation. Goldratt introduces Alex Rogo, a seemingly distraught plant manager whose facility is on the verge of being shut down. It's up to Rogo to orchestrate a miracle comeback in productivity while juggling major personal life struggles. The mixture of a juicy story with easy-read but very insightful learning material makes this book hard to put down once it is started.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    We have to read this book for Quality Control by Statistical Met

    We have to read this book for Quality Control by Statistical Methods class.
    First, I thought it was going to be another boring book but after I finished it, I think this book is very easy to read and very informative.
    I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in manufacturing or management but you don’t have to be working in manufacturing production or anything that involved management.
    “The Goal” is for anyone who can read. 

    The book talks about real-life situation that the main character Alex is facing.
    These situations could happen to anybody at anytime. The key to be success in today’s business is to stay competitive.
    The manufacturing plant has to satisfy customers’ wants and needs. In this book, Alex compares real-life situation with manufacturing plant.
    Time is one of the main factors in every problems (at home or work) Alex has limited time to turn his plant around.
    In this book you will learn about bottlenecks, efficiency, inventory, and etc.       -SomsanIME415

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    This is a remarkable novel written by a business management ¿gur

    This is a remarkable novel written by a business management ‘guru’ who developed an effective way of teaching his studies to audience by approaching the audience through easy to understand story. “The Goal” written by Eliyahu Goldratt manages to convey his studies on Theory of Constraints by making the readers to easily follow along. This book is about a plant manager named Al, who encounters several problems at the workplace. With the help of his ‘guru’ Jonah, Al manages to solve the problems and reach the goal. Several topics are revealed throughout the book and they are explained well with detailed examples. Readers will have a chance to see how manufacturing industries process and improve his or her management skills through this novel.

    Review written by y_CHOI

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    The Goal highlights the importance of 'flow'

    I love introduction 'If you are like nearly everyone else in this world, you have accepted so many things without question that you’re not thinking at all.' Nice little story portraying how a system is no faster than its slowest process, that any effort or resource applied to anything other than what adds to the 'goal' is waste and we all need to become good 'flow' managers. Healthcare could gain greatly from applying this.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    Goldratt does an exceptional job in not only conveying fundament

    Goldratt does an exceptional job in not only conveying fundamental principles of the industrial and manufacturing world, but also hooking the reader into a very realistic and probably quite common story of an American corporation. Goldratt introduces Alex Rogo, a seemingly distraught plant manager whose facility is on the verge of being shut down. It's up to Rogo to orchestrate a miracle comeback in productivity while juggling major personal life struggles. The mixture of a juicy story with easy-read but very insightful learning material makes this book hard to put down once it is started.
    From an industrial and manufacturing standpoint, Goldratt's book allows for progress to a higher level of understanding the workings and interactions within a production plant (or even service.) It introduces basic concepts of manufacturing while integrating more complex ideas, such as the Theory of Constraints. The book progresses in such a way that it is easy for the reader to follow along with the concepts. So what is "The Goal?" It's actually simpler than one might think. Read for yourself and discover the road to a successful business.

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  • Posted May 28, 2012

    A great read! The Goal presents the idea and effect of bottlenec

    A great read! The Goal presents the idea and effect of bottlenecks in a manufacturing process in a simple, understandable, and relatable manner that allows readers to easily follow along. Readers with a technical background in engineering and management will appreciate the book's focus on throughput, inventory, and operational expense as viable solutions to balancing the plant with the demand from the market. Essentially, the Goal walks readers through a manufacturing facility, pointing out problems such as late product delivery, large cycle times, idle machinery, unproductive workers, huge inventory, large work in process, etc… Possible solutions and their effects are presented which are great at answering what worked, what didn’t work, and why it didn’t work... which are common thoughts circling management's heads. When the Goal is finally adapted, the plant feels new and smooth while readers are left feeling refreshed, much like they were the ones running the plant in the first place!

    5 stars for a great way of explaining a concept and for teaching me many things including where to focus when faced with this situation!

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  • Posted June 3, 2011

    Learn how to reach "The Goal"

    "The Goal" written by Eliyahu Goldratt was a very interesting and intelligent book. This book has excellent topics that are directed towards engineers and engineers in management positions. The topics in this book seem easy and make you think why you didn't come up with them first. Or it could just be how the book is written and how the examples are written, to get the topic through to the audience. The main topic in the book is to learn how to reach their company's goal: to make money. On that journey to their goal the main character in the book, Al, meets a 'guru', Jonah, and learns ways to reach that goal through theory of constraints and bottlenecks. These topics are explained well and he gives good examples to understand them. I thought that this book was well written and easy to read. It was a book based on giving philosophies to the reader and to pass on the Goldratts knowledge. But, it was written like a novel instead of being like a textbook. I thought this was an effective way to get through to the audience. The story was a bit in depth but made you connect and want to read the book. I would definitely recommend this book to people in the engineering profession; and anyone that wants to learn how to improve their manufacturing process and management skills.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    A Unique Blend of Knowledge and Fiction

    The novel, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, written by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, manages to convey valuable knowledge regarding production processes while at the same time telling a fictional story. The unusual blend of applicable knowledge and a fictional story work surprisingly well together; not only was the novel an interesting read, but it also relayed the lessons about production processes in an interesting manner.

    The main character of the novel, Alex Rogo, is the plant manager of a local production warehouse. The orders that he is responsible for are often delivered later than promised. During this time setting, many domestic companies have decided to start ordering parts from foreign companies due to the fact that they can get better deals and quicker response times. Realizing that his entire warehouse is in danger of being shut down, Rogo knows that he must find a way produce items much faster.

    Throughout the novel, Rogo systematically re-evaluates what he (and many others in the production process industry) believes to be true, sometimes finding the answers in unlikely places. For example, during his son's hiking trip, he had to determine a method for keeping all of the Scouts traveling in a timely manner despite the fact that some of them move faster than others. He was then able to apply what he did on the hike to his job and was able to fix one problem at his facility.

    Overall, this is a fairly good book. I feel that the personal matters that Rogo goes through were not necessary for the novel, but I can understand why they were added. Despite my dislike of those scenes (and there were quite a few of them), I feel that the book was extremely valuable. Anyone that is interested in the production process should read this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2010

    An interesting educational book!

    This book was a requirement for students who were taking Quality control at Cal Poly Pomona. It's an interesting educational book especially for people who just graduated from college and want to start working in the real world at a manufacturing system. The author will use simple stories as examples, so that readers can easily comprehend the techniques and methods and also the concepts to utilize them in any industries.
    This book will teach some fundamental concepts that any engineer will need to understand to analyze the problems which might occur at any manufacturing plants. The point is that it teaches how to achieve high efficiency and how to make the manufacturing process more profitable.
    I highly recommend this book to anyone who is going to have a career in manufacturing industries and wants to learn more from a person who has had hands-on experience and real-world stories to share.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    must read for business people

    a good business book. it gets fairly technical at times but he does an amazing job of explaining things simply & in plain english. and just when you think you can't handle anymore talk about bottlenecks and operations management, he reverts back to the personal storyline of the guy & his family. every business person should read this book.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Goal! a continuous process improvement mentality

    "The goal" has a narrative technique to explain how to deal with constraints in a production plant emphasizing the bottlenecks. Goldratt describes not only how identify a bottleneck but also how to improve productivity in terms of making money in a system.
    In addition, this book describes some psychological aspects from the manager's point of view dealing with people, and life problems.

    Goldratt defines three important concepts which are "throughput", "inventory" and "operational expenses". Having understood these three concepts, Goldratt makes the reader apply common knowledge to solve problems using cause and effect logic incorporating these three concepts. For instance, what would happen to throughput and operational expenses if inventory decreases? So the interactions between those three concepts are essential. Moreover, it gives the idea of just in time by reducing the batch's size. Some of the effects of this idea are the reduction of inventory cost (WIP), lead time, queue time, and waiting time for part to assemble. Thus, reducing batch's size increases production flow rate.

    "The Goal" is a great book to read. It is essential to understand how important bottleneck affects the system's throughput. In addition, while reading the book, one can become mentally stimulated to come up with solutions.

    In the reading, it describes how managers have to have a positive attitude and team work mentality towards solving problems and improving processes. At the end of the chapter, it explains that the mentality for a successful company is that one has to understand that (in order to be competitive) it takes continuous process improvement and not to wait for a crisis to happen (for instance closing a manufacturing plant) to work as a team and solve problems.

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Bookreview of The Goal written by Eli M. Goldratt

    As a third year Industrial Engineering student, efficiency in the workplace, bottlenecks of a system, and breakthrough to improve production methods were familiar topics. The work of Eliyahu M. Goldratt, entitled The Goal was pragmatic in its approach to addressing manufacturing problems.

    After providing the understanding of the need for change, the author raised the question of how to achieve a goal? Ofcourse, the answer to this question was within the pages of the book - right? Yes, however, the book was not about achieving quotas, providing numbers, or changing headcount. The book was about understanding the reasoning or forces behind the need for change. Understanding the relationship of the forces to define the constraints of a system at work and home provided the basis for the structure of the book.

    The main character of the novel was Al Rogo. Al faced the challenge of a new position that required him to bring his plant back on track. If he could not make profits for his plant, then the future of the plaint was doomed. Working late at work, neglecting time spent with his family and worrying about the fate of the plant; Al Rogo had to consider the sacrifices that challenged him with dire consequences.

    All in all, Goldratt provided an insightful lecture within his narration that was worthy of note taking because the novel expressed concepts of teamwork and effective communication to address problems in both business and personal life.

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  • Posted May 31, 2009

    A great book to learn Theory of Constraints

    The goal is a novel book that explains on how to manage a production system. The main character of the book is Alex Rogo; a plant manager who struggle to save his plant and his marriage life. Alex has ninety days to save his plant. His plant is not producing money since it could not send orders on time. He does not know what to do, and decided to call Jonah, an old acquaintance, for help. Jonah then introduces the Theory of Constraints to him.
    The book introduces Theory of Constrain by asking three questions that are important for an ongoing process improvement:
    1.What to change?
    2.What to change to?
    3.How to cause the change?
    Jonah helps Alex to understand that the goal of a plant is not to increase efficiency, reduce wage, or other measurements that people normally thinks but it is simply to make money. Jonah introduces three measurements:
    .Operational Expense
    The book has unique definitions for the three measurements. It defines throughput as the rate at which the system generates money through sales, inventory as all the money that the system has invested in purchasing things which it intends to sell, and operational expense as all the money the system spends in order to turn inventory into throughput. Alex learns that in order to make money, he has to increase throughput while reducing inventory and operational expense.
    Jonah also teaches Alex how to deal with bottleneck, dependent event, and statistical fluctuation. The book has a nicely written example about these topics. Alex went hiking with his son and few other kids. He experiences problem with the pace of the line where one is walking faster than the other and creating gap between each person. He implements what Jonah taught him, and able to understand what dependent event and statistical fluctuation are.
    The book introduces five steps on how to deal with constraints:
    1. Identify the constraint
    2. Decide how to exploit the constraint
    3. Subordinate and synchronize everything else to the above decisions
    4. Elevate the performance of the constraint
    5. If, in any of the above steps the constraint has shifted, go back to Step 1
    This book is a well written management book that explains readers about production system and how to deal with the constraints. The book is very interesting and easy to understand. I would recommend this book to everyone who are involved or will involve in a production system.

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very good entry level book on Theory of Constraints

    The Goal is a business novel on the Theory of Constraints (TOC). I read it years ago when my focus was manufacturing systems. It is very well written and the idea of putting business theory into a novel was a unique idea.
    It walks the reader through an assumed literal case of looking at a manufacturing plant with problems and how the characters solved the bottleneck issues in the facility, improved throughput and saved the plant. There are numerous management and trouble shooting techniques in the book that can be applied to any business, even if the senior management team of the facility does not understand or believe in the Theory of Constraints.
    I would recommend reading this book prior to Critical Chain, Goldratt's excellent book on applying the Theory of Constraints to project management.
    The only detractor to the book is the somewhat corny story line and drama of the main characters. I am personally not into that and prefer the facts. But this is a very small negative point.

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