The first ten chapters of The Goal, follow four days in the life of Alex Rogo, who runs a manufacturing plant for UniCo somewhere in a small town in the US.
Alex’s wife Julie is upset with him because he’s always focused on work and rarely at home.
Alex is focused on work because his plant is underperforming, and his boss, Bill Peach, has told him it will get shut down in 90 days if he doesn’t show improvements.
Alex reconnects with his mentor, Jonah, now an operations science professor in a flashback set 2 weeks earlier in Chicago O’hare.
Jonah has two main points for Alex:
- His team must have a goal – Alex determines that the correct goal is to make money.
- Jonah also tells Alex that work that doesn’t lead to the goal is a waste of time.
Alex spends a lot of time with his team talking through principles which will later be shown to be part of the Author – Eli Goldratt’s – Theory of Constraints, which the team uses to improve their performance.
The first action they take is realizing that a robot they have doesn’t actually improve performance.