We begin the First Friday of this month, December 2015, with a final post, in an end to the monthly series of another of my Favorite Gurus, with Eli Goldratt.
I never met Eli, but I read two of his books, including The Goal, which I read twice and then listened to it on tape twice (back in the 1990s when vehicles had cassette tape players) while driving back and forth between my home in the suburbs of Chicago and my client’s offices in the suburbs of Detroit.
Goldratt’s Drum-Buffer-Rope (the Theory of Constraints) is an important concept for Performance Improvement professionals of all stripes IMO.
About Eli Goldratt
Eliyahu Moshe Goldratt (March 31, 1947 – June 11, 2011) was an Israeli physicist who became a business management guru. He was the originator of the Optimized Production Technique, the Theory of Constraints (TOC), the Thinking Processes, Drum-Buffer-Rope, Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) and other TOC derived tools.
The processes are typically modeled as resource flows, the constraints typically represent limits on flows. In his book The Goal, the protagonist is a manager in charge of a troubled manufacturing operation. At any point in time, one particular constraint (such as inadequate capacity at a machine tool) limits total system throughput, and when the constraint is resolved, another constraint becomes the critical one. The plot of Goldratt’s stories revolve around identifying the current limiting constraint and raising it, which is followed by finding out which is the next limiting constraint. Another common theme is that the system being analyzed has excess capacity at a number of non-critical points, which, contrary to conventional wisdom, is absolutely essential to ensure constant operation of the constrained resource.
For more from Wikipedia please go – here.
Eli Goldratt is an educator, author, scientist, philosopher, and business leader. But he is, first and foremost, a thinker who provokes others to think. Often characterized as unconventional, stimulating, and “a slayer of sacred cows,” Dr. Goldratt exhorts his audience to examine and reassess their business practices with a fresh, new vision.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Tel Aviv University and his Masters of Science, and Doctorate of Philosophy from Bar-Ilan University. In addition to his pioneering work in Business Management and education, he holds patents in a number of areas ranging from medical devices to drip irrigation to temperature sensors.
Books By Eli Goldratt
Dr. Goldratt has published over 20 books.
Again, I personally have read The Goal and The Race.
The Goal (1984) introduces the Theory of Constraints – TOC – and its process for improving organizational performance. Set in a manufacturing company the book provides the setting for an approach to continuous improvement.
From Time –
Eliyahu Goldratt’s The Goal is unusual among business management books for at least two reasons. First, Goldratt wasn’t a titan of industry, a b-school professor, or even a consultant, but rather a physicist. Second, The Goal is a novel. Centered on a production manager named Alex Rogo who has three months to turn around a deficient, unprofitable manufacturing plant, The Goal explains the “Theory of Constraints,” which among other points incorporates the idiom, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link;” and focuses on bottlenecks, the great hindrances to productivity. Rogo uses the Socratic method to help fix his marriage, then applies it to his plant crew, coming up with steps to solve the plant’s problems. The Goal has been in print since 1984, and a revised third edition was released on the book’s 20th anniversary. So does Rogo achieve his goal? You’ll have to read it to find out.
Articles By Eli Goldratt
Go to Wikipedia – here – for this long list.
Videos of Eli Goldratt
Many videos exist online. I like this one…
What is TOC?
Goldratt’s Impact On Me
As an ISD – Instructional Systems Design – professional with an eye toward performance improvement via any means, I felt it important to understand the concept of The Theory of Constraints – which is commonly known as Drum-Buffer-Rope – which is contrary to the JIT – Just In Time – approach to process flow design – and to my ability to conduct valuable process PIP assessment – where PIP is the Performance Improvement Potential. PIP can be stated as ROI or RONA or one of many of the same types of cost/benefits metrics.
That is what The Goal gave to me.
As someone who supported manufacturing engineers and staff, I needed to understand this so that I might understand them and their approaches to their business. And it allowed me to speak in their language. Which was most critical to building credibility early in the client-consultant relationship.
Share Your Stories
If the work of Eli Goldratt has been a valuable influence and/or resource for you – please share your stories about that in the comments section below.
Or simply share a URL there that is relevant.
And – thank you – for sharing!
The My First Friday Favorite Guru Series
We each have many influencers, mentors, both active and passive, knowingly and unknowingly in their respective roles in our development.
This monthly series has my attempt to acknowledge all of them… one by one… in no particular order… as I attempt to consciously reflect on what I have learned and whom I have learned it from, regarding all things “Performance Improvement” – my first focus.
I had a long list. See below.
Next month: I take a break. I may add to the series in the future – but no longer on a monthly basis.
Links to All of the Past Posts in the MFFF Guru Series
- Eliyahu M. Goldratt – December 2015
- Brenda Sugrue – November 2015
- Karen Brethower – October 2015
- Jim Pershing – September 2015
- Timm Esque – August 2015
- Ryan Watkins – July 2015
- Ken Silber – June 2015
- Roger Chevalier – May 2015
- Darryl Sink – April 2015
- Jeanne Farrington – March 2015
- Don Clark – February 2015
- Frank T. Wydra – January 2015
- Philip B. Crosby – December 2014
- Donald L. Dewar – November 2014
- Joseph M. Juran – October 2014
- W. Edwards Deming – September 2014
- Bonnie B. Small – August 2014
- Walter A. Shewhart – July 2014
- Carl Binder – June 2014
- Ruth Clark – May 2014
- Rob Foshay – April 2014
- John Carlisle – March 2014
- Miki Lane – February 2014
- Harold Stolovitch – January 2014
- Bill Wiggenhorn – December 2013
- Will Thalheimer – November 2013
- Roger Kaufman – October 2013
- Roger Addison – September 2013
- Ray Svenson – August 2013
- Dick (Richard E.) Clark – July 2013
- Allison Rossett – June 2013
- Carol Panza – May 2013
- Jane Bozarth – April 2013
- Judy Hale – March 2013
- Margo Murray – February 2013
- Neil Rackham – January 2013
- Robert (Bob) F. Mager – December 2012
- Joe H. Harless – November 2012
- Thomas F. Gilbert – October 2012
- Sivasailam Thiagarajan (Thiagi) – September 2012
- Geary A. Rummler – August 2012
- Dale Brethower – July 2012
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