Just finished reading Eliyahu Goldratt’s The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. I liked it fairly well, found it actually pretty inspiring about 2/3 of the way through, but he lost me at the end when he seemed to imply that his Theory of Constraints could solve every problem known to business, education or human endeavor. Its the be-all-end-all syndrome that is so prevalent with consultants and trainers, because the success of consultancy is dependent on being The One with the answers.
The thing is, its ok to have a fairly good and somewhat original idea, that is sometimes helpful. That’s better than average and its a good thing. Nothing in this book is earth-shaking, but it does show some effective sounding approaches for optimizing messy, dependent chains of operations. It has enough concrete details that it convinces me that the author knows at least something about manufacturing. And the idea of searching for bottlenecks, constraints and maximum leverage is a good one to keep in mind. Its an easy read and worth an afternoon, just skip over the puffery stuff at the end.