Posted: November 27th, 2015

Shared Practice: The Goal, Part 2


Through the lens of the business novel The Goal , you have been following many characters, complex business issues, and various management methodologies proposed for correcting problems. In choosing to write a novel, the authors are able to explore abstract concepts in an informative and accessible format. In effect, they are comparing and contrasting strategies in a realistic setting, rather than presenting their argument in an article.

This week, the Shared Practice is a continuation from Week 5, in which you used critical thinking skills to analyze and evaluate the concepts and decisions concepts presented in The Goal . This Shared Practice will focus on Part 2 of the readings in The Goal.

To prepare for this Shared Practice, select one of the following options, based on the two course level outcomes below, which you will use to frame and analyze this week’s reading assignment in The Goal:

  • Create a plan for ongoing improvement and increased capability based on an evaluation of an organization’s systemic constraints.


  • Analyze a complex value creation system using management concepts.

Then, using Part 2 of your The Goal readings, research and select three short passages that contain one or two essential concepts pertaining to management that you found to be compelling. Analyze each using the Course Outcome you selected as a framework. Note: A theme this week you can focus on is to explain why the techniques that the team are implementing working, and how “breaking the rules” in this case makes sense from a systems performance perspective).

For this Shared Practice, write a 3- to 4-paragraph essay. Identify the Course Outcome you selected and the passages from Part 2 of The Goal. Explain why each passage you chose is relevant and important in effective business management. Justify your response, and include citations for each passage. As you move on to next week, reflect on this statement, “If I had only known this, back when…”

Consider the following as an aid

Shared Practice: The Goal, Part 1

Eliane L Barbosa

Shared Practice: The Goal, Part 1

The course outcome selected is the systems thinking to address challenges and opportunities managers encounter.

One of the passages is, “While they go get the others, I figure out the details. The system I’ve set up is intended to “process’’ matches. It does this by moving a quantity of match sticks out of their box, and through each of the bowls in succession. The dice determine how many matches can be moved from one bowl to the next. The dice represent the capacity of each resource, each bowl; the set of bowls are my dependent events, my stages of production. Each has exactly the same capacity as the others, but its actual yield will fluctuate somewhat.” (Goldratt & Cox, 1986, p.104).

The second passage is, “utilizing” a resource means making use of the resource in a way that moves the system toward the goal. “Activating” a resource is like pressing the ON switch of a machine; it runs whether or not there is any benefit to be derived from the work it’s doing.” (Goldratt  & Cox, 1986, p.208).

The third passage is, “What we know now,” I tell him, “is that we shouldn’t be looking at each local area and trying to trim it. We should be trying to optimize the whole system. Some resources have to have more capacity than others. The ones at the end of the line should have more than the ones at the beginning—sometimes a lot more. Am I right?” (Goldratt & Cox, 1986, p.37).

Relevance and Importance

The first passage explains the match bowl experiment. The use of match bowl experiment makes it clear the balanced plant, coupled with statistical fluctuations and dependents events, the throughput then goes down and the inventory along with operating expenses then goes up. This is a critical thinking that when resources are balanced with the demand from the market, and because of the stages of production, there will be higher yield. This is an explanation of effective business management that there is a need to reduce the use of resources through maximizing returns.

The second passage states that there is the need to use resources in a way that moves the system towards the goal. In this passage, activating a resource and also utilizing a resource are non-synonymous. In essence, business resources can be used effectively to realize a successful business management. In this case, the management should plan, keep employees happy, and use technology among others. This will help realize effective business management. Activating a resource involve turning it on, which implies making use o it to aid in realizing the goal.

The third passage talks about identifying the system’s constraints. It is quite vital to determine where they contain in the system lies. The management should be able to know the constraint, which can either be external or internal. For instance, if there is more demand than the system capacity, there is the internal capacity constraint. The system can have an external market constraint if there is more capacity but the orders are available to process. Rules and policies should be used to plan and also manage the resources that constraint operations and not there capacity (Lomborg, 2009).


Lomborg, B. (2009). Global crises, global solutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Goldratt, E. M., & Cox, J. (1986). The goal: A process of ongoing improvement. New York:         North River Press.

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