Millions of readers and listeners remember The Goal, the landmark business novel that sets forth the essential principles of Eliyahu Goldratt's innovative methods of production. Now, from the AGI-Goldratt Institute and Jeff Cox, the same creative writer who co-authored The Goal, comes Velocity the book that reveals how to achieve outstanding bottom-line results by integrating the world's three most powerful continuous improvement disciplines: Lean, Six Sigma, and Goldratt's Theory of Constraints.
Dee Jacob and Suzan Bergland, two principals of AGI, show you how to apply their insights and methods to your organization in order to shorten lead times, slash inventories, reduce production variability, and increase sales. Writer Jeff Cox returns with the vivid, realistic style that made The Goal so entertaining yet so edifying. Thrust into the presidency of the subsidiary company where she has managed sales and marketing, Amy Cieolara is mandated by her corporate superiors to implement Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in order to appease a key customer. But as time goes on, and corporate pressure mounts, Amy arrives at the series of steps that form the core of the Velocity Approach.
Velocity offers keen insight into the human and organizational factors that so often derail growth while teaching you proven, practical techniques for restarting and revving up the internal engines of your company to reach new levels of success.
©2010 The Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute and Jeff Cox; (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
I bought this audio book in the company of 2 others, “The Peter Drucker Lectures” and “The McKinsey Mind.” I was not aware it was a novel at that time. I am not un-happy with the result.
I got a light exposition of the classical big business Lean Six Sigma implementation in comparison and contrast to “The Theory of Constraints” set in a mostly manufacturing context. This novel is another example of that long history of novels that were written by the likes of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley that explore and/or expound on a particular philosophical point of view. It also has the advantage of being that apparently rare sub-genre the “business novel.”
If you have no exposure to either Lean Six Sigma or the Theory of Constraints this is probably the most painless way to get an introduction to either. You will need to do significant additional reading on both topics before you will be able to appreciate all the details that are both included and left out of any of the 3 methodologies.
While Lean and Six Sigma are often lumped together and do “get along” with each other pretty decently as I understand it, Lean has its own quality control methods that are not the same as Six Sigma. So if the improvement in quality that comes directly out of the manufacturing re-design of Lean are not sufficient then the quality improvement methods of Six Sigma can be applied.
As far as I can understand it, it is the Lean manufacturing re-design towards a “balanced” production line/system and the Theory of Constraints aimed towards a designed Constrained production line/system are where the two theories part in their goals to improve production. I will leave you to decide which one is supported by “the evidence.”
I will note that a WSJ article I just googled says that LSS is currently failing 60% of the time. I am going to assume they are talking about the classic top-down big business implementation that has huge up front costs and the results that take years. The version of LSS described in the novel is the classic top-down big business implementation. There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent article for the TOC available under “TOC failure rates” so I can’t compare. So let me offer principles: “You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own data” Senator/Professor Patrick Moynihan and “Speak truth to Power” (lots of researchers to lots of decision-makers).
If you're looking to learn about LSS, or Six Sigma, don't waste your time. In fact, there's very little usable business content in this book at all. The points they make are valid and there are one, or two highlights, but mostly, it's just a thin story, told in a business setting.
Actually, the narration was very good and made a very mediocre work fairly interesting.
Disappointment. I was expecting more meat on the bone.
A 6 Sigma book with a plot, an underdog main character, a few villains, romance, and a happy ending. While you may not learn every 6 Sigma or Lean or TOC methodology from this book, you will have found new respect for them.
This book was a great illustration of the application of the principles of Lean, Six Sigma, and the Theory of Constraints together. It really helped me understand how the three can be combined to work together in a positive way.
if you're looking for meat and potatoes about lean/six sigma do not listen to this book. Too much fiction plot development
This is my first “business novel” and while I am not sure this will be the next fad. This is a very interesting way to help you think about the topics at hand. The storyline keeps the content from becoming too dense, and at times keeps it from becoming dense enough. This was a great listen during work outs. The content I wanted to hear; delivered slowly overtime as if I was having a conversation over a dink with a friend.
I am afraid the authors fancy themselves as some kind of novelists rather than business writers. Ken Blanchard is a master at this approach; this bunch....not so much. I enjoyed the story, but really did not learn anything about LSS and very little about the TOC of constraints; certainly nothing that was applicable to my field. Well I guess I did learn that LSS is short for Lean Six Sigma and TOC is the abbreviation for the Theory of Constraints.
Once I understood that this book is not a formal course on Lean/Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints, but a fictional novel, I found it very entertaining, while also educating to a certain extent. The book is obviously not intended to make the reader a black belt, but the simulated fictional story provides some interesting insights as to what those systems are, what they can achieve and which obstacles we can be faced with when trying to implement them in real life.
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