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“The Goal: An Ongoing Improvement” by Goldratt Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Nov 27th, 2020


The book The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement focuses centers on the life of Alex Rogo, a plant manager working for Uniware, a filial of Unico Company. As soon as Bill Peach, the head of the department, faces the complaints of a dissatisfied customer, he gives Mr. Rogo an ultimatum to change the situation at the plant in three months. Due to the time limit, the plant manager has a limited number of tools at his disposal, including consultants and surveys.

Nevertheless, Alex confronts the inevitable and consults Jonah, his physicist that he addressed while working at the previous job. During his conversations with Johan, Alex focuses on several questions related to his company’s deplorable situation. However, all the interrogations lead to one important question, “What is the veritable goal of any business?” (Goldratt & Cox, 2012). As soon as Alex approaches the question, he rethinks the situation and realizes that any business seeks to gain profit.

Main discussion

Certainly, Alex’s decisions have been successful and practical in solving the problem. However, the rapid development of technologically advanced can accelerate the production process and contribute to greater profits and quality of the produced goods. Therefore, the availability of newer tools is always a chance for the managers to increase the competitiveness and balance the production line by removing the least productive bottlenecks, as it occurred to robot NCX-10 (Goldratt & Cox, 2012).

In this respect, Alex Rogo should keep abreast of the recent changes in innovative technologies. Sometimes, it is better to replace the entire machine equipment than repair parts of it because it can have greater expenditures. Certainly, ongoing use of older machines minimizes costs on inventory, but it can have a potent impact on the speed and the quality of production. Therefore, greater specification and constant innovation should be the priority of the modern operations management.

New tools of equipment management can also be advanced through data center modernization. For instance, it is possible to upgrade the system of communication within an organization that can promote cooperation and collaboration between the departments. Advancing information exchange system is always an advantage, although it does not relate directly to the production process.

The external business environment is constantly changing and, therefore, shifts in goals formation and strategic management are natural phenomena as well. The scope of efficient strategies consists in achieving superior alignment between an organization and its external environment. In case with Alex Rogo, the goals focus on discovery of bottlenecks and development of new strategies that can remove those constraints.

Such a strategy is relevant, but it should still be constantly changing to adapt to the newly emerged environment. Readiness to constant changes, therefore, is the key to successful strategic management. According to Griffin (2012), “a well-conceived strategy addresses three areas: distinctive competence, scope and resource deployment” (p. 206). The first aspect – distinctive competence – is successfully considered by Alex Rogo because it implies production of items that are in high demand among consumers. However, another two aspects are not sufficiently represented.

For instance, there is no specific scope of a strategy that would define the variety of markets in which a business organization operates. For instance, narrow specialization can prevent the plant from meeting the demand of the newly emerged markets. Therefore, Alex Rogo should have paid much more attention to the research and development department to predict the customer’s preferences and tastes.

Additionally, broader specialization can help Rogo minimize the risk of low customer demand, as well as define which range of production line is the most profitable one. Finally, the resource deployment is an indispensible condition for distributing resources across competitive areas. At this point, the main strategic objective of an organization is to invest into other ventures and analyze whether other suppliers could contribute more the profitability of an organization.

It should be stressed that operations management is a sophisticated and challenges process that requires in-depth consideration of all its constituents. At this point, a step-by-step instruction and simplified process should be the best solution to the problem. Therefore, challenges in technology and operations management should also be resolved through this simplified mechanism. Additionally, previous considerations of the theory of constraints is still relevant in the light of the modernization and globalization processes and, therefore, this method could still be employed for facing possible changes of strategic management (Griffin, 2012).

In fact, technological advancements do not always contribute to the making money because of their costs spent on their maintenance. In fact, disoriented approach to profit making is determined by excess focus on inventory and employees’ performance. In fact, addressing the bottlenecks is the right decision because they often hamper other chains of production. At the same time, orientation on defective parts disseminates attention to the most efficient aspects of productions.

Thus, Mr. Rogo should keep attached to the change management and goals accomplishment, which contributions to productivity. It is also essential to remove the bottlenecks and constrains to improve the production. Hence, using a five-step process for eliminating gaps seems to be a powerful tool for remaining competitive in a current environment.

Finally, transformational leadership is the current approach to managing a business organization successfully. It also concerns the change management because of the necessity to adjust to the constantly emerging trends in production. Hence, triggering breakthrough ideas is a priority for a leader who is aware of what should be changed and how it should be changed. The process of ongoing improvement, therefore, should stand at the core of all production lines irrespective of specialization and constraints.

Despite the fact that the underpinning for the production process consists in filling in the gaps due to interdependence of various stages of manufacturing, certain shifts in ideas should be implemented in case several production lines are launched simultaneously. At this point, much concern should given to the analysis of recently emerged trends in technology use, such as adoption of environmental friendly devices that can enhance the reputation of the plant, which in turn can lead to customer’s higher demand for the products.


In conclusion, the book The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement focuses on the solutions implemented to increase the plant’s profitability and remove the constraints of the production process. Reliance on three major aspects – throughout, inventory, and operations exchange has provided the main protagonists with the recommendations for eliminating the major challenges of the manufacturing process.

However, attention to one strategy is not always the case because meeting the external competition requires constant and ongoing improvements to all spheres of production, including research and development, employees’ culture, and technological innovation. The latter is of special importance because it influences greatly the overall performance in terms of operations and costs.


Goldratt, E. M., & Cox, J. (2012). The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. US: North River Press.

Griffin, R. W. (2012). Management. US: Cengage Learning.

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