The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

by

Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

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Bob Donovan Character Analysis

Bob is Alex’s production manager at the plant. Although Bob has decades of production experience, he feels loyal to their traditional manufacturing practices. When Jonah proposes changing how the plant measures its productivity, advocates for letting some workers stand idle, and challenges Bob’s current understanding of expenses and profits, Bob puts up more resistance to the changes than anyone else. However, as Alex and his staff reform the plant and make it profitable again, Bob sees the wisdom in Jonah’s principles and cooperates with the new measures. When Alex is promoted to division manager, he offers Bob the chance to oversee production for the entire division. However, Bob decides that he wants to master plant-level production instead and chooses to take over Alex’s old job as manager of the Bearington plant.

Bob Donovan Quotes in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement quotes below are all either spoken by Bob Donovan or refer to Bob Donovan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The North River Press edition of The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement published in 1984.
Chapter 21 Quotes

“Look, I’m convinced you did the right thing back there. Aren’t you?”

“Maybe I did the right thing,” [Bob] says, “but I had to break all the rules to do it.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bob Donovan (speaker), Jonah
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

“I’m going to have Bob Donovan put together an I.E. to write up [your new] procedures formally, so we can start using them round the clock. […] You keep that mind of yours working. We need it.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Mike Haley, Bob Donovan
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

“But what are we supposed to do?” asks Bob. “If we don’t keep our people working, we’ll have idle time, and idle time will lower our efficiencies.”

So what?” asks Jonah. […] “Take a look at the monster you’ve made. It did not create itself. You have created this mountain of inventory with your own decisions. And why? Because of the wrong assumption that you must make the workers produce 100 percent of the time, or else get rid of them to ‘save’ money.”

Related Characters: Bob Donovan (speaker), Jonah (speaker)
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

“If we don’t go ahead with a system to withhold inventory and release it according to the bottlenecks, we’ll be missing a major opportunity to improve performance and save the plant. And I’m not about to stand by and let that happen just to maintain a standard that obviously has more impact on middle management politics than it does on the bottom line. I say we go ahead with this. And if efficiencies drop, let them.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bob Donovan
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

“It’s perfectly okay to have more setups on non-bottlenecks, because all we’re doing is cutting into time the machines would spend being idle. Saving setups at a non-bottleneck doesn’t make the system one bit more productive.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Jonah, Bob Donovan
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 36 Quotes

“Everywhere, improvement was interpreted as almost synonymous to cost savings. People are concentrating on reducing operating expenses as if it’s the most important measurement.”

“Not even that,” Bob interrupts. “We were busy reducing costs that didn’t have any impact on reducing operating expenses.”

“Correct,” Lou continues. “But the important thing is that we, in our plant, have switched to regard throughput as the most important measurement. Improvement for us is not so much to reduce costs but to increase throughput.”

Related Characters: Lou (speaker), Bob Donovan (speaker), Alex Rogo , Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 297-298
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement PDF

Bob Donovan Character Timeline in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The timeline below shows where the character Bob Donovan appears in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
...of machinery and raw material, and he marvels at the complexity of it. Alex sees Bob Donovan, his production manager, approaching him. Bob tells Alex they have a problem with order... (full context)
Chapter 2
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
After eating a quick dinner, Alex goes back to the plant. Donovan meets him and explains that they fixed the NCX-10, but not until early evening. For... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Alex brings Bob Donovan into the conversation and asks him about the robots. Bob insists the robots are... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
...of the old metrics they traditionally use but simplify them and make them less confusing. Bob, who remains wary of the new system of measurement, bickers with Lou, who sees the... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...be at the plant in a few weeks to shoot his video. Lou, Stacey, and Bob worry about looking good for Granby. However, all Alex cares about is how to change... (full context)
Chapter 17
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Alex expects his staff—Bob, Lou, Stacey, and Ralph Nakamura, his data processor—to be as thrilled as he was about... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
As they are speaking, an expeditor asks to speak with Bob about Smyth’s order of 100 parts—if Pete’s (one of the supervisors) workers maintain their regular... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...up and let her into his house, and when he gets back in the afternoon, Bob meets him exclaiming that Pete’s workers finished their stage of all 100 pieces—in their first... (full context)
Chapter 18
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...tell them where she is. On Tuesday morning, Alex arrives at his office to find Bob, Stacey, Lou, and Ralph there waiting for him. They discuss what happened the day before.... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
...the conference table is covered with charts, data sheets, printouts, and so on as Alex, Bob, Stacey, Lou, and Ralph search for their bottlenecks. Ralph is frustrated—much of their data is... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...limited capacity, and their operations take several hours to complete a single batch of parts. Bob and his people struggle to run either machine with a full batch of parts inside... (full context)
Chapter 19
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...the plant, explaining their new problems on the way. When Jonah arrives at the plant, Bob, Stacey, Ralph, and Lou meet him. Bob states that they still need a way to... (full context)
Chapter 21
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...of the list, since Alex had said not deviate from the priority list. Alex finds Bob and confronts him as well, and Bob explains that although the management staff is trying... (full context)
Chapter 22
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Bob, who has been missing all afternoon, calls and tells Alex that he has something exciting... (full context)
Chapter 23
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Alex meets with Bob to discuss the problem, and Bob tells him that since both the heat-treating machine and... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Bob puts his new plan into practice. Over the next week, Ralph notes that one foreman,... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...since the plant only heat-treats metal parts when they become brittle from cutting and shaping, Bob determines that by slightly adjusting the way they cut some parts, they can eliminate the... (full context)
Chapter 25
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...from the airport once again and brings him to the plant to meet with Stacey, Bob, Ralph, and Lou. Stacey explains that they have new bottlenecks, but Jonah suggests these new... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Although Bob argues for keeping their efficiencies high, Alex thinks about their warehouses of excess inventory and... (full context)
Chapter 26
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
The next morning, Bob raises the point that even if this new plan works, they’ll have lots of people... (full context)
Chapter 28
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...can deliver products faster than their competitors can, leading to more sales and more throughput. Bob worries about increased setup time, but Alex reminds him that since this mostly happens at... (full context)
Chapter 29
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Alex meets with Bob, Ralph, and Stacey to discuss Burnside’s order. Alex wonders if they could cut their batch... (full context)
Chapter 30
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...is away at a meeting. Smyth notices that some machines are idle and starts grilling Bob and the others about their new processes. (full context)
Chapter 33
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Next, Alex offers Bob a job on his new division staff. Bob flatly refuses. He tells Alex that after... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
They call Stacey and Ralph in. Stacey states that she wants to take over Bob’s role as production manager. She recently discovered that, although the bottlenecks are taken care of,... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
...better data system that can help deliver answers to specific questions, like the ones that Bob or Stacey or Lou will have as they design their new ideas. (full context)
Chapter 35
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Although Bob is skeptical of Ralph’s story, everyone else thinks Ralph is on to something. Ralph states... (full context)
Chapter 36
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
The next day, Bob and Stacey spend the morning dealing with new problems in their production line, and Alex... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Bob initially thinks that the phrase sounds like corporate jargon, but Lou points out that they... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Bob still feels that they’re missing something, that the improvements they created were different in more... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...on so many sales that it derails the plant’s natural flow. Julie suggests he let Bob worry about the plant now, since he will soon take charge, and Alex realizes she... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Bob points out that they are shipping so far ahead of schedule now that the market... (full context)
Chapter 39
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Alex’s excitement is tempered when Stacey and Bob approach him with bad news: new bottlenecks are appearing and throwing off the flow. Workers... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Lou and Alex chat in Alex’s office. Lou is impressed with Bob’s new leadership, but Alex is worried. Overtime will go up and they’ll have to break... (full context)
Chapter 40
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
...to get a true idea of how poorly the division is performing and, other than Bob Donovan’s plant, how at-risk every plant is. Alex and Lou bicker. (full context)