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The Logical Thinking Process: An Executive Summary by H William Dettmer

In my review of the book

The Logical Thinking Process: An Executive Summary by H William Dettmer

posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 4 Stars. This means that it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Very useful overview of Goldratt’s thinking processes

The author has written an excellent book explaining how to use the Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes. However, if you learn a little, you can easily get scared off by the strange terminology in the original thinking like Evaporating Clouds and Current Reality Trees.

This process is based on identifying the logical causes and effects of a situation which sounds obvious until you realise how rarely detailed logical thinking is used in everyday life. Instead, people jump to tentative conclusions, often more based on intuition and a large dose of emotion rather than logic.

This book presents an overview of Goldratt’s thinking processes as amended by the author over the last 20 years or more. It will help you decide whether you want to invest the time and money to learn more about this logical thinking process.

Dettmer introduces the components and has sensibly changed the names of the individual elements, making the purpose easier to understand.He then goes through each of the major elements and explains how they can be used individually or as steps within the entire process.

The book ends with brief case studies explaining how the processes have been used within BHP Billiton to get a group-wide computer project back on track, within the accountants, Deloitte & Touche and by an IT contractor who built a software business.

I imagine its hard to summarise the thinking processes and inevitably, I feel there are gaps where a little more explanation would make things easier to understand.

There are some diagrams showing simple versions of the tools but, as often happens with kindle books, these are poorly presented and have to be “zoomed” to see what’s happening. Another niggle for the kindle book is the failure to use the table of contents as an easy way to navigate around the book.

The book is described as an executive summary and that’s exactly what it is. It is not a simplified guide on how to use the tools but instead describes how they fit together to provide a comprehensive way of thinking about how an organisation can meet its mission, vision and goal.

I’ve given it four stars. I think it’s a very useful summary but I have my doubts on whether its going to reach out enough to broaden the use of the thinking process. It’s many years since Eliyahu Goldratt publicised them in his business novel, It’s Not Luck. This adds meat to that book and provides a bridge to the author’s extensive book, also called The Logical Thinking Process. I’ve deducted a star because I feel it rushes into the techniques themselves rather than developing the needs for the individual elements first.

These are important ideas which deserve to be much better known. Ideally, I’d like to see this type of problem solving/planning technique taught in schools and to undergraduates.

You can buy the book at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister. I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs.

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling, to get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free 60 minutes Business SOS consultation with me to get you unstuck.

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Below is a video where Bill Dettmer explains the differences between the TOC Thinking Processes as created by Eliyahu Goldratt and his own Logical Thinking Process.

The main difference is the importance of the Goal Tree – this is the main goal of the system, the critical success factors to achieve the goal and necessary conditions to achieve the CSFs.

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