Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Retrospective: Rework & The Goal - My vacation books

I read two "non-programming" books during my vacation:

This is an easy read. The book consists of a collection of short essays that aim at giving advice for how to make your work more successful, relevant and effective.
The essays aim at being ground-breaking, shaking the existing practices in the business world, often they also have a provoking undertone.
I liked the essays very much and it is certainly a good thing that the authors, which are very successful in their business, show that there are alternatives to predominant existing practices. But in my opinion the essays mostly stay quite superficial and there is not too much substance behind them. I will remember some flashy quotes, the rest will not really stick.
This book is ideal for a read in-between, reading one of the essays is quick and does not require a long attention-span.

The Goal:
This is definitely an interesting read. This is very good introduction into the theory of constraints and the lean mindset in the form of a fascinating story of a manager that is struggling to save his plant.
I liked how the book shows that there is a lot of theory behind lean thinking and complex scientific principles that must be understood. Lean is much more that just stating "limit work in progress ... let's use a task board!".
What amazed me is that the book is originally from 1984 and still is very insightful and facinating. Also it is interesting how a story of a plant manager can really be told so interestingly that you want to keep reading.
The book broadened my horizon in that it shows a concrete example of how continuous improvement should work and how constraints should be seen as an opportunity and are actually a good thing.

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