Goldratt takes several approaches to showing how Constraints impact a plant and even personal lives. Several approaches are used to educate the reader;
- Jonah serves as a mentor to Alex Rogo, educating him on what is going on.
- Rogo adopts Jonah’s Socratic method in his dealings with his employees, peers and family.
- Rogo also exists in a world where some fundamental assumptions are never stated but are just true – like a fish not recognizing the water around it.
Rogo has a great team. Bob Donovan can over almost any plant issue. His boss, Bill Peach, is providing him coverage – despite the fact that he chases annoyance. Stacey knows the inventory issues, and his problem solving at the plant level is driven by confidence in the team.
Rogo is not an individual actor. This is not a Lone Ranger engineer providing brilliant insight and fixing problems by themselves. Teamwork is a fundamental part of the success created within The Goal.
One of the most valuable team members at Goldratt’s side is Ralph Nakamura – who is responsible for collecting plant data. At every turn the team gets insight out of Ralph’s analysis. Colleagues who slow down his measurement efforts are corrected. Data is fundamental to unlocking a constraint. If you don’t have data, then that is the first constraint to address.
Goldratt doesn’t build any backstory to how Rogo built his team, or how Ralph came to know Bearington’s plants data systems so well. Teamwork and access to data are necessary conditions to unlocking the value of the Theory of Constraints.
The whole book is very different if Rogo has a bad actor that must be fired. If there was no data, the batch size cutting that dominates the later chapters isn’t possible. Without Ralph, there are no schedules to coordinate.