The Goal – Chapter 02

Chapter 2 picks up with the same style that we found in Chapter 1.

  • The reader meets Rogo’s spouse, Julie, and learns more about their situation.
  • The backdrop of Rogo’s plant, its location in his home town, and how he came to work there are developed.
  • The setting moves from Rogo’s home, back to the plant, and then a diner.
  • Order 41427 ships – but the context is laid for Alex’s concerns about the big picture problems he faces.

Operations Highlight

“Why can’t we consistently get a quality product out the door on time at the cost that can beat the competition?”

There are steps to teach a team how to finish a process:

  1. Write out the process.
  2. Execute process, once, slowly. No other activities are allowed.
  3. Repeat the process for speed.
  • The same methods are used in drilling athletic motions.
  • Writing Highlight:

    “It was the silence that really got to me.”

    Silence at a production site is usually a bad sign – for an active site, most money producing operations create noise. A silent, shut down site calls back history and the overconfidence of others.

    Page by page highlights:

    P010 – “That’s your idea of a night on the town?” Says Julie to Alex. If you’ve got a commitment – honor the full commitment. If you don’t have the resources to make the commitment – don’t make it in the first place. A 1 hour allocation of time doesn’t meet his wife’s needs, so Alex’s partial attempt to meet it leaves them both unhappy. Goldratt takes personal application of the Theory of Constraints and puts them in the middle of the story.

    P011 – “There’s nobody except you to talk to, and you’re not home most of the time.” Julie’s personal goal, which enables her happiness, is to have someone she can relate to.

    P012 – “The neighborhood where we live looks like any other American suburb.” The author has written in a way to appeal to anyone who has dealt with a North American production site.

    P013 – “It was the silence that really got to me.” Rogo is describing his trip to an abandoned plant also in his home town. The shuttered site is silent – and his comment resonates with anyone who has heard the echoes ripple through a similar location.

    Rogo’s concerns and ambition pull in the reader – Rogo wants to keep that plant open and is afraid of what happens if he fails. “I hate to think that the next time my name is in the paper, the story might be about the plant closing. I’m starting to feel like a traitor to everybody.”

    P014 – “Donovan has stolen every body he could grab and put them all to work on this order.” Peach’s demands for 41427 will be met, but at the cost of every other order in the plant. No other work will get done.

    P015 – “Thanks, but don’t ask me how we did it,” he says. Is Donovan telling Rogo that he can’t explain how it was done, or that the costs were so high it wasn’t worth it?

    P016 – “I’m all for shipping orders, Bob, but not the way we did it tonight,” I tell him. Rogo knows that the 41427 shipped in a way that isn’t sustainable and with high opportunity cost.

    P017 – “Every six months it seems like some group from corporate is coming out with some new program that’s the latest panacea to all our problems.” Rogo is looking for a high level system to address his issues. It took the plant a long time to get into this current situation – and it will take the plant a long time to get out. Changing approach every six months won’t let any process get done. These six month changes are similar to Peach’s reorganization of plant priorities to 41427. To measure the output of a process, the process must be allowed to complete.

    P018 – “Why can’t we consistently get a quality product out the door on time at the cost that can beat the competition?” Rogo is starting out with good, simple questions. If this were continued in a “5 Whys?” Type approach, the team could start to untangle their situation. It takes a mature team to have this kind of discussion.

    There are steps to teach a team how to finish a process quickly:

    1. Write out the process.
    2. Execute process, once, slowly. No other activities are allowed.
    3. Repeat the process for speed.
  • The same methods are used in drilling athletic motions.
  • P019 – “If we could just get our backlog out the door.” Rogo’s plant has a backlog – and every item of backlog can be converted into $s. Helping an organization convert backlog into cash is one of the quickest ways to improve profitability.

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