The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement


Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement Quotes

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.
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Chapter 1 Quotes

So where was I last night, [Peach] asks, when he tried to call me at home? Under the circumstances, I can’t tell him I have a personal life. I can’t tell him that the first two times the phone rang, I let it ring because I was in the middle of a fight with my wife, which, oddly enough, was about how little attention I’ve been giving her. And the third time, I didn’t answer it because we were making up.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bill Peach, Julie Rogo
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

When I came back to manage this plant, the Bearington Herald did a story on me. I know, big deal. But I was kind of a minor celebrity for a while. The local boy had made it big. It was sort of a high-school fantasy come true. I hate to think that the next time my name is in the paper, the story might be about the plant closing. I’m starting to feel like a traitor to everybody.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker)
Page Number: 13-14
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Halfway to the city, the sun rises. By then, I’m too busy thinking to notice it at first. I glance to the side and it’s floating out there beyond the trees. What makes me mad sometimes is that I’m always running so hard that—like most other people, I guess—I don’t have time to pay attention to all the daily miracles going on around me. Instead of letting my eyes drink in the dawn, I’m watching the road and worrying about Peach.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bill Peach
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

“…consistent parameters…essential to gain…matrix of advantage…extensive pre-profit recovery…operational indices…provide tangential proof…”

I have no idea what’s going on. Their words sound like a different language to me—not a foreign language, exactly, but a language I once knew and only vaguely now recall. The terms seem familiar to me, but now I’m not sure what they really mean. They’re just words.

You’re just playing a lot of games with numbers and words.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bill Peach, Ethan Frost, Jonah, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Can I assume that making people work and making money are the same thing? We’ve tended to do that in the past. The basic rule has just been to keep everybody and everything out here working all the time; keep pushing that product out the door. And when there isn’t any work to do, make some. And when we can’t make them work, lay them off.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker)
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

“Everything is for your job,” she says. “It’s all you think about. I can’t even count on you for dinner. And the kids are asking me why you’re like this—”

There is a tear forming in the corner of her eye. I reach to wipe it away, but she brushes my hand aside.

“No!” she says. Just go catch your plane to wherever it is you’re going.”


She walks past me.

“Julie, this is not fair!” I yell at her.

She turns to me.

“That’s right. You are not being fair. To me or to your children.”

Related Characters: Julie Rogo (speaker), Alex Rogo (speaker), Jonah
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

“A plant in which everyone is working all the time is very inefficient.”

Related Characters: Jonah (speaker), Alex Rogo
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

Our hike is a set of dependent events…in combination with statistical fluctuations. Each of us is fluctuating in speed, faster and slower. But the ability to go faster than average is restricted. It depends upon all the others ahead of me in line. So even if I could walk five miles per hour, I couldn’t do it if the boy in front of me could only walk two miles per hour. And even if the kid directly in front of me could walk that fast, neither of us could do it unless all the boys in the line were moving at five miles per hour at the same time.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Dave Rogo , Jonah
Related Symbols: The Hikers
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

“This much is clear to me. We have to change the way we think about production capacity. We cannot measure the capacity of a resource in isolation. Its true productive capacity depends upon where it is in the plant. And trying to level capacity with demand to minimize expenses has really screwed us up. We shouldn’t be trying to do that at all.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Jonah
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

“A bottleneck […] is any resource whose capacity is qual to or less than the demand placed upon it. And a non-bottleneck is any resource whose capacity is greater than the demand placed upon it.”

Related Characters: Jonah (speaker), Alex Rogo , Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

“Alex, tell your children what’s bothering you,” my mother says, “It affects them too.”

I look at the kids and realize my mother’s right.

Related Characters: Alex’s Mother (speaker), Alex Rogo (speaker), Dave Rogo , Sharon Rogo
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
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

“I’m working.” I tell her.

“Can I help?” [Sharon] asks.

“Well…I don’t know,” I say. “It’s kind of technical. I think you’ll probably be bored by it.”

“Oh,” she says. “does that mean you want me to leave?”

Guilt strikes.

“No, not if you want to stay,” I tell her. “Do you want to try to solve a problem?”

“Okay,” she says, brightening.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Sharon Rogo (speaker), Julie Rogo
Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:

“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 30 Quotes

Living and breathing within range of my sight are 30,000 people who have no idea that one small but important part of the town’s economic future will be decided tomorrow. Most of them haven’t the slightest interest in the plant or what we’ve done here—except if UniWare closes us, they’ll be mad and scared. And if we stay open? Nobody will care. Nobody will even know what we went through.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker)
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 31 Quotes

I start to speak, but Hilton Smyth raises his voice and talks over me.

“The fact of the matter is that your cost-of-products measurements increased,” says Hilton. “And when costs go up, profits have to go down. It’s that simple. And that’s the basis of what I’ll be putting into my report to Bill Peach.”

Related Characters: Hilton Smyth (speaker), Alex Rogo , Bill Peach
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:

“Hilton, this morning I asked you to sit in for me because we were meeting with Granby. Two months from now the three of us are moving up the ladder, to head the group. Granby left it to us to decide who will be the next manager of the division. I think that the three of us have decided. Congratulations Alex; you will be the one to replace me.”

Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

A chill goes down my back as I remember it. I was in deep trouble. My plant was under a real threat of being closed down; over 600 people were about to join the already long unemployment lines; my career was one inch from being kissed by limbo; and on top of all that, the unbelievable hours I was putting in at work had pushed our marriage to the brink of going down the tube. In short, I was about to change from a bright, rising star to an ordinary bum.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Julie Rogo, Jonah, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:

“[Jonah’s] solutions look trivial, but the fact is that for years we’ve done the exact opposite. Moreover, the other plants insist on sticking to the old, devastating ways. Probably Mark Twain was right saying that ‘common sense is not common at all’ or something similar.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Jonah, Julie Rogo, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 267
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:
Chapter 38 Quotes

“Things start to be connected to each other. Things that we never thought were related start to be strongly connected to each other. One single common cause is the reason for a very large spectrum of different effects. You know Julie, it’s like order is built out of chaos. What can be more beautiful than that?”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Julie Rogo, Jonah, Hilton Smyth, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 318
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.