OM QuestionReading Guide – Discussion Questions for The Goal – Summer 2018Some questions have quick answers, some have longer answers. Most (not all) of the questions are in the order in which they

OM Question
Reading Guide – Discussion Questions for
The Goal –
Summer 2018
Some questions have quick answers, some have longer answers. Most (not all) of the questions are in the order in which they are discussed in the book. These are learning objectives, you’re responsible for the answers on homework and exams. Additional learning objectives related to The Goal will also appear in lecture slides.
1. Describe the problem Alex Rogo needs to address, according to his early morning visitor from Corporate.
2. What roles do Stacey, Alex, Lou, Bill Peach, Hilton Smyth, Jonah, Ralph, Julie, Herbie, Bob, Tony, Johnny Jons, and Bucky Burnside play in helping us understand the situation at UniCo in
The Goal
3. What is the goal of any organization?
4. Define and give examples of the three operational measures that measure progress toward the goal, according to Jonah. Specify in what direction each measure should move for a firm to achieve the goal.
5. Explain why inventory is a liability in Theory of Constraints (TOC) thinking, according to Jonah.
6. How does Jonah define productivity? How does this compare with the more “traditional” definition of productivity? Give an example from the book of how the factory was being unproductive, but thought it was being productive.
7. Alex went on the Boy Scout hike and had a realization about how his factory floor is like the boys hiking through the woods. Which machine(s) are Herbies? Why should Herbie be at the front of the line?
8. Explain the concepts of statistical fluctuation and dependent events using the Boy Scout hike, and the 100 piece order for Hilton Smyth.
9. Give an example of a
, a
, and a
in Alex’s plant. How did Alex’s team figure out where the bottlenecks were located in the factory? How does a bottleneck impact system effectiveness? Tip: describe BN’s effect on capacity and throughput.
10. Jonah toured the Bearington plant and asked about a pile of inventory. Why did he value it at $1 million?
11. How did Alex change effective capacity (and thus, actual output) for bottlenecks after Jonah’s visit?
12. Why would/did the UniCo corporate office have a problem with decreasing inventory from Alex’s plant?
13. Briefly explain the red and green tag system, and why it was implemented in the plant.
14. Why did the bottleneck move around? How did the drum-buffer-rope system help alleviate the problem?
15. What did Alex’s plant do, to earn a personal visit from Bucky Burnside?
16. What are the five steps of the Theory of Constraints thinking process? Illustrate the 5 steps using the example of how Alex’s team broke the bottleneck with the NCX-10.
17. What is the key to Alex being able to guarantee shorter lead times, to win his bet with Johnny Jons?
18. Why did Goldratt include the storyline about Alex’s family? How does it add to our understanding of TOC?

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