Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Goal - Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox

 It is a book about plant management told through a story. Though I know little about plant management I could see the wisdom of the author seeping through the narrative, his rich experience telling it like it is. 

The book is told in a story format where a plant manager who is running a plant in a conventional manner is given three months to ship up or close. The manager runs into a scientist at an airport who gives him insights mainly in the form of questions he poses. The manager benefits from these insights - the first among which is - what is your goal in running the plant. After giving some words and figures which don't mean anything, the manager realises that the goal is to make money. And that anything which is not making money is not helping them achieve the goal.

The manager runs into all kinds of problems - inventory, scheduling, people management - and goes to his mentor each time. The mentor helps him slowly but surely turnaround the plant. While doing so, the manager also salvages his own failing family life.

It's a book not only for plant managers or operations people and has many common sense insights into how to reorganise our lives with what we already have and turn them around. We don't need anything more - we just need to reorganise what we have, be clear about what we want and voila, things change.

I borrowed the book from Amar who generously offered me the sequel to it, Goal 2 as well which I propose to read in 2021. This one reaffirmed my faith in common sense, in what we have and how by giving it the right focus, we find our answers to turn our lives around. 

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