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Forget the Urgent! by Matías Birrell and Javier Arévalo – 5 Stars

The full title of this book by Matías Birrell and Javier Arévalo is

Forget the Urgent!: Rather focus on the important: A business dialogue based on the best seller ‘The Goal’ by Eliyahu M Goldratt“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of FIVE Stars. That means I think it is excellent.

Who Should Read This Book?

  • Anyone interested in the Theory of Constraints.
  • Small business owners who want to improve.

The Big Idea

Every business faces constraints unless it is able to generate an infinite amount of money.

The constraint may be:

  • In the business. The classic example is a bottleneck machine in a factory that can’t process everything needed.
  • Outside the business but in the market. In this situation, the constraint to making more money and building a more sustainable business lies in the marketplace.
  • It can also be the business owner.

Here is my book review.

A great summary of TOC told in a story form that’s like listening in on their coaching sessions.

I’ve renewed my interest in TOC recently and started to read some of the more recent and smaller books. This one was a really nice surprise.

Like “The Goal“, it is a business novel where a general manager of a manufacturing business meets an expert in the Theory of Constraints. This time the business is not threatened by closure but the general manager is frustrated by how little progress both he and the business are making because so much time is spent on urgent activities.

The book starts by introducing the conflict clouds as a way to highlight issues that contradict with each other. The first looks at responsibility and authority and the second at the issue of managing for the current and the future. The book later explains the current reality tree and future reality tree for seeing what to change and how to change it.

It then goes on to look at improving order completions and stock control by introducing the drum-buffer-rope policies. The business also had two distribution depots and they looked at the replenishment policy and how it could be linked to actual demand.

These actions increased the capacity of the business so the next constraint was out in the market where customers were overstocked because product had been pushed out through short term promotions. The book looks at how improved reliability can be turned into a blue ocean offer to customers and how it can be presented to customers as a way to improve their business.

Unlike “The Goal” the story element of the book isn’t strong and there’s no suspense. What it does do is explain the Theory Of Constraints very well because the reader is effectively listening in on their coaching sessions.

If you’re new to TOC, I believe you should start with The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement but the concepts have developed significantly in the 30 plus years since they were first introduced. This makes a very good second book to read which goes well beyond Eli Goldratt’s original.

Very highly recommended. I originally read it through my Kindle Unlimited subscription but I bought it to make sure I didn’t ignore it in future.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


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