Final DestinationOn my way to Kochi, I finally finished The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. It’s a great book that I think anyone who cares about improvements should read. Here’s my interesting take-aways from the book.

  • Common sense is very different from common practice. It’s easy, in retrospect, to see how obvious something is, yet people are terrible at following it.
  • Courage is needed to break common practice to implement common sense.
  • Telling stories is an effective way at helping other people understand the reasoning. Stating theories and proof isn’t a great way of gaining a common understanding. Dialogues talking through the thinking is much more effective. Even the characters in his book use the same technique.
  • Apply the scientific method. Propose a theory and then collect data. Avoid collecting data and then trying to draw conclusions.
  • Understand the problem you’re trying to solve, and put everything into that context. Here’s a hint – it’s rarely the one someone asks you to solve.

Some open questions for me to continue thinking about:

  • What does exploiting the constraint mean to software development?
  • Is the coding activity of software development always be the constraint?

Photo take from James Jordan’s Flickr stream under the Creative Commons licence.