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The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel

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Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager who has been given 90 days to save his failing factory. If he doesn't improve the plant's performance, corporate headquarters will close it down and hundreds of workers will lose their jobs. It takes a chance meeting with Jonah, a former professor, to help him break out of his conventional thinking and figure out what needs to be done. Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager who has been given 90 days to save his failing factory. If he doesn't improve the plant's performance, corporate headquarters will close it down and hundreds of workers will lose their jobs. It takes a chance meeting with Jonah, a former professor, to help him break out of his conventional thinking and figure out what needs to be done. As Alex identifies the plant's problems and works with his team to find solutions, the reader gains an understanding of the fundamental concepts behind the Theory of Constraints. Visual and fun to read, "The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel" offers an accessible introduction to the Theory of Constraints concepts presented in "The Goal," the business novel on which it was based. "The Goal" is widely considered to be one of the most influential business books of all time. A bestseller since it was first published in 1984, the business novel has sold over 7 million copies, been translated into 32 languages.


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Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager who has been given 90 days to save his failing factory. If he doesn't improve the plant's performance, corporate headquarters will close it down and hundreds of workers will lose their jobs. It takes a chance meeting with Jonah, a former professor, to help him break out of his conventional thinking and figure out what needs to be done. Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager who has been given 90 days to save his failing factory. If he doesn't improve the plant's performance, corporate headquarters will close it down and hundreds of workers will lose their jobs. It takes a chance meeting with Jonah, a former professor, to help him break out of his conventional thinking and figure out what needs to be done. As Alex identifies the plant's problems and works with his team to find solutions, the reader gains an understanding of the fundamental concepts behind the Theory of Constraints. Visual and fun to read, "The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel" offers an accessible introduction to the Theory of Constraints concepts presented in "The Goal," the business novel on which it was based. "The Goal" is widely considered to be one of the most influential business books of all time. A bestseller since it was first published in 1984, the business novel has sold over 7 million copies, been translated into 32 languages.

30 review for The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Noble

    I originally read The Goal as it was the book that the brilliant "The Phoenix Project" was based on. Before that, I had never read anything about manufacturing or process optimization, but it was very easy to see how this had become such a popular business book. As accessible as the original was, this new graphic novel makes it even more so, and is even faster to consume. The well-done illustrations set the scene brilliantly, and literally illustrate the lessons that Alex Rogo learns throughout I originally read The Goal as it was the book that the brilliant "The Phoenix Project" was based on. Before that, I had never read anything about manufacturing or process optimization, but it was very easy to see how this had become such a popular business book. As accessible as the original was, this new graphic novel makes it even more so, and is even faster to consume. The well-done illustrations set the scene brilliantly, and literally illustrate the lessons that Alex Rogo learns throughout the story. This book is nothing short of excellent.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joseph R.

    Based on the business novel of the same name, The Goal tells the story of a manufacturing plant that is behind on its deliveries and under threat from upper management. The bosses will close the plant if things don't improve in three months. Al Rogo, the plant manager, was brought in six months ago to solve the problems and now is under the gun. A chance run-in with a former mathematics teacher opens Rogo's eyes to new ways of thinking about business and organizing work flow at the factory to ma Based on the business novel of the same name, The Goal tells the story of a manufacturing plant that is behind on its deliveries and under threat from upper management. The bosses will close the plant if things don't improve in three months. Al Rogo, the plant manager, was brought in six months ago to solve the problems and now is under the gun. A chance run-in with a former mathematics teacher opens Rogo's eyes to new ways of thinking about business and organizing work flow at the factory to make the needed improvements. Rogo analyzes the plant's processes, identifies bottlenecks in the production line, and develops systems to maximize productivity. Since this is a "business novel," clearly the plans will work out with a happy ending for everyone. The point of the story is to introduce the Theory of Constraints. The original novel was published in 1984 and started a revolution in the manufacturing industry. According to the theory, the purpose of a system needs to be properly identified. For example, the factory's purpose is not to build things but to deliver goods to customers, i.e. make money. Anything in the system process that is a constraint (an area with a set level of production or capacity) is identified. Then, the rest of the system is modified to use the constraint to its maximum level. In the novel, one constraint is a robotic machine that process 25 parts in an hour. The production point directly before it averaged 25 parts an hour but fluctuates from 19 to 32 parts. If the previous production point only delivers 19 parts for processing, then the robot that could process 25 an hour only processes 19 for that specific hour. The workers reorganized their work flow to guarantee the maximum flow to the robot, thus generating maximum output. Once the system's flow is improved, workers can look for ways to elevate the constraint. In the novel, the old machinery used before the robot is put back in service in order to supplement the robot. The final step is to identify any new constraints and refine the system. The story part of this book is interesting. Plant manager Rogo has a home life that is effected by his work but also helps him to solve problems. He takes his son's scouts on a hike but has a hard time keeping the group together on the long trek because of one slow kid. After dividing up the slow kid's overloaded pack among other boys and putting the slow kid in the lead, the hike makes it to its destination on time and in good spirits. So the theory applies not just to manufacturing plants but also in many other areas. The story, while it is used as a framework within which to explain the Theory of Constraints, is interesting enough to make good reading while learning. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Santhosh Guru

    A quick primer into Theory of Constraints. Non fiction books driving one single point in reams of pages is sometimes tiresome. In a graphic novel like this I could easily understand the core concept even though manufacturing is an alien domain. I love this book specially in this format.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Michael

    Fun and easy intro to the theory of constraints.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Though it was slightly more readable than I expected, this graphic novel about business management was still pretty darn dull.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    A very good, if a bit cheesy, way to learn about the Theory of Constraints. The graphic novel introduction to the business concept is well done, and a quick read. I'm not interested in the nuts and bolts of running a factory, but the theory of constraints has fed into some concepts I am interested in (kanban, in particular) and this was an effective and easy introduction to the concept. Also, I realize this is a fictionalized story intended solely to teach a business concept, but I have to ask: i A very good, if a bit cheesy, way to learn about the Theory of Constraints. The graphic novel introduction to the business concept is well done, and a quick read. I'm not interested in the nuts and bolts of running a factory, but the theory of constraints has fed into some concepts I am interested in (kanban, in particular) and this was an effective and easy introduction to the concept. Also, I realize this is a fictionalized story intended solely to teach a business concept, but I have to ask: is Alex's marriage going to make it? There was a lot of strain there. I really feel like Alex needs to step it up and be a better husband and father and not just continue to spend hardly any time at home after he masters the Theory of Constraints and gets the inevitable promotion at the end of the book. For real: work life balance, man. Maybe that should be the next business lesson he learns. I can only assume this book is absolutely a must-read if you're the harried plant manager of a failing and inefficient factory, as sometimes happens. Three stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andres

    I gave it a 5 because: - It is an IIE classic - The graphics are great - It brought me a great deal of memories - The concepts are still valid after these many years

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edward Dahllöf

    Condensed version of the goal, left out most of the fictional stories and boiled down to the important stuff.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

    Great ideas, but the graphic novel form didn't really convey the theory of constraints as much as some recent simulations and videos you can find on YouTube . . .

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    The graphic move is faster to read than the novel, but I missed the depth of character that the novel provided. This version is missing the characterization, and thus it's missing some of the soul of the original work.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Adilson Carvalho

    It's a great book to begin understanding the pull model system. Some elements don't get explained in-depth, but it is a fantastic start. I'll now begin to read The Goal, the original book that inspired this version.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Seth Watson

    Fun and Educational I never read the original book, so I will not try to compare the two. While I can't say which is better,I can say that I learned a lot and can see how this applies to many if not every area in life. Being in tech I am going to keep an eye out to apply the lessons from this book. Hopefully it'll make a positive difference for my coworkers in our everyday work.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Boyd

    Confession: I thought I was buying the original version so I was surprised to find that I bought a business comic book. That being said, it was a quick, enjoyable read and I am confident I got the points of the book and finished it quicker. I have a better understanding of the theory of constraints. It has motivated me to think differently about problem solving.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Noah

    This is exactly the type of adaptation that Goldratt is looking for. He should be extremely proud of his son Efrat for bringing the knowledge of The Goal to a our attention lacking generation. Actually, I wouldn't call us attention defect, we're more attention optimizing. We don't like to be told superfluous information, just like the graphic medium does so well. As for Goldratt's content, the most inspiring bit is that Jonah's jargon turns into commonplace terminology for operations experts at t This is exactly the type of adaptation that Goldratt is looking for. He should be extremely proud of his son Efrat for bringing the knowledge of The Goal to a our attention lacking generation. Actually, I wouldn't call us attention defect, we're more attention optimizing. We don't like to be told superfluous information, just like the graphic medium does so well. As for Goldratt's content, the most inspiring bit is that Jonah's jargon turns into commonplace terminology for operations experts at the plant. It is simple to see complexity turning into common sense after many epiphanies over "the goal". I am in my senior year of an Industrial Engineering B.S.E., and I can hear my professors as Jonah. I can also picture the situation as Al due from my experience as an intern at a machine shop. If this were a Spider-Man comic, Julie is Al's MJ, Al of course being Peter, and Jonah is Uncle Ben, Aunt May, and Yuri rolled into one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I hadn't read a business graphic novel before, so wasn't sure what to expect. I think the format worked well for getting the main points across in a semi-entertaining way. I haven't read the novel that this is based on, so don't have that to compare it to. Noteworthy quotes: "Productivity is meaningless unless you know what your goal is." "There are three of them (measurements): throughput, inventory, and operational expense." (explained in more detail on p. 27-29) "At first it looked like Herbie w I hadn't read a business graphic novel before, so wasn't sure what to expect. I think the format worked well for getting the main points across in a semi-entertaining way. I haven't read the novel that this is based on, so don't have that to compare it to. Noteworthy quotes: "Productivity is meaningless unless you know what your goal is." "There are three of them (measurements): throughput, inventory, and operational expense." (explained in more detail on p. 27-29) "At first it looked like Herbie was the problem. But by redistributing his load and letting him set the pace, he became the solution." "Here's what happened when the non-bottlenecks did more than the (machine) did: excess inventory, which is against the goal.... This monster of excess inventory didn't create itself. You did. And why? Because of the wrong assumption that workers must produce 100 percent of the time or you should get rid of them to "save" money."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Beckham

    A unique and entertaining way to read about business This book uses a comic book framework to explain the theory of constraints. It’s based on a manufacturing plant but it applies to any business. You have to do the translation yourself though, and that’s my only nitpick. Working in marketing for a software company, we aren’t using machines to produce physical goods. But the core ideas still apply — you have to identifty the goal that represents success, pinpoint bottlenecks, and optimize them ab A unique and entertaining way to read about business This book uses a comic book framework to explain the theory of constraints. It’s based on a manufacturing plant but it applies to any business. You have to do the translation yourself though, and that’s my only nitpick. Working in marketing for a software company, we aren’t using machines to produce physical goods. But the core ideas still apply — you have to identifty the goal that represents success, pinpoint bottlenecks, and optimize them above all else. None of the ideas were revolutionary, but it was well worth spending 90 minutes to remind and refocus myself on these foundational ideas.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gustav Bertram

    I think this was an interesting attempt, but I don't think the information to be conveyed is particularly suited to the graphic novel medium. Consider that the graphic novel converts a ~400pg book into a 130pg graphic novel with relatively sparse speech bubbles. It feels like the graphic novel tries to compress too much information into a small space, and as a result skims over (or doesn’t explain at all) most of the concepts it uses. I do think that it has a much more positive portrayal of Julie I think this was an interesting attempt, but I don't think the information to be conveyed is particularly suited to the graphic novel medium. Consider that the graphic novel converts a ~400pg book into a 130pg graphic novel with relatively sparse speech bubbles. It feels like the graphic novel tries to compress too much information into a small space, and as a result skims over (or doesn’t explain at all) most of the concepts it uses. I do think that it has a much more positive portrayal of Julie Rogo than the original material.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luke Gruber

    Graphic novel business book?! To be honest I didn’t even realize until this book delivered (it was a recommendation). This book is presented in a creative medium to illustrate the Theory of Constraints and other lean manufacturing concepts. I read this in one sitting and was really entertained. Good book, but not informative enough if you don’t already understand some of the concepts.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beth Bravo

    Very helpful for learning the concepts, but there was a disturbing lack of women in the book. There were only four women, one of which was a child and one was a secretary. None of the major decision makers or people in power were female. It was distracting and hopefully in future editions they could make the book more inclusive.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jack Vinson

    Very fast read - alternate version of the classic The Goal. They've modified the story thread a little, but all the classic elements are still there: Alex, Jonah, Herbie and the Five Focussing Steps (called out explicitly).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I don't typically read business process book, but I'd say a graphic novel is the right way to present ideas like this. Simple, accessible, memorable... More review here: http://www.bankers-anonymous.com/book... I don't typically read business process book, but I'd say a graphic novel is the right way to present ideas like this. Simple, accessible, memorable... More review here: http://www.bankers-anonymous.com/book...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is a fun and interesting way to present some lean manufacturing ideas. I should have bought the original novel instead, because the novel might have provided better detail regarding the concepts. The information/ideas that were presented were very basic - that’s why this is not 5 stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Sherlock

    TOC concepts explained concisely and clearly Interesting to see TOC in a graphic novel format but it does the job well. TOC explained concisely and clearly. Next step is to delve into more detail in the written word.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristof

    A good and rather detailed book on operational management. But it's starting to show it's age and the insight, although still valid, doesn't bring you to the point where more recent books (e.g. 'Start with why' from Simon Sinek) might take you.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dragan Stepanović

    Great summary of the most important conversations and points in the original book. Would advise to read it only after reading original one, since some points might be too distilled to make sense (yet).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    The writting style reminded me of starship troopers where the author is personified in a sage like character in the book. Overall it's an interesting read and help illustrate the "Theory of Constraints"

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maryanne

    Had to read for MBA project but lots of content in this one. This is a quick read but for better digesting and introspection, I would recommend spacing it out over a few days to let each step mull in your thinking process. A must for any operations manager or MBA student.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Good narrative look at the law of constraints while telling a story about a manufacturing plant at risk of shut down. Clearly communicating the ideas painlessly. The inspiration for “The Phoenix Project” which does a similar thing for software.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fullfaun Faun

    I really like learning about stuff that is usually boring while someone put it into a fiction novel and then someone else decided to turn it into a graphic novel that has really good graphics.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Filipe

    A very pleasant reading and also very enlightning. As someone who is giving his first steps business and organizations this was a very good introduction to the theory of constraints.

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