Velocity: Combining Lean, Six Sigma and the Theory of Constraints to Achieve Breakthrough Performance - A Business Novel

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Simon and Schuster, Dec 29, 2009 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
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Millions of readers remember The Goal, the landmark business novel that sets forth by way of story the essential principles of Eliyahu Goldratt's innovative methods of production. Now, from the AGI-Goldratt Institute and Jeff Cox, the same creative writer who co-authored The Goal, comes VELOCITY, the book that reveals how to achieve outstanding bottom-line results by integrating the world's three most powerful continuous improvement disciplines: Lean, Six Sigma, and Goldratt's Theory of Constraints.

Used by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps to dramatically improve some of the most complex, logistically vast supply chains in the world, the VELOCITY APPROACH draws on the strengths of all three disciplines to deliver breakthrough performance gains. In physics, speed with direction is velocity; in business, the application of VELOCITY means your organization can achieve operational speed with strategic direction to outmaneuver competitors, gain loyalty with customers, and rapidly build sustainable earnings growth -- in as little as one or two business quarters.

Dee Jacob and Suzan Bergland, two princi-pals of AGI, have been teaching the concepts, techniques, and tools of VELOCITY to major corporations, including Procter & Gamble, ITT, and Northrop Grumman, for years. Now they unlock the door for you to see how to apply their insights and methods to your organization -- be it business, not-for-profit, manufacturing, or service based -- in order to shorten lead times, slash inventories, reduce production variability, and increase sales.

Writer Jeff Cox returns with the vivid, realistic style that made The Goal so readable yet so edifying. Thrust into the presidency of the subsidiary company where she has managed sales and marketing, Amy Cieolara is mandated by her corporate superiors to implement Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in order to appease a key customer. Assigned to help her is LSS Master Black Belt Wayne Reese, installed as her operations manager. But as time goes on and corporate pressure mounts, Amy finds she has to start thinking for herself -- and learning from everyone around her -- and she arrives at the series of steps that form the core of the VELOCITY APPROACH.

VELOCITY offers keen insight into the human and organizational factors that so often derail growth while teaching you proven, practical techniques for restarting and revving up the internal engines of your company to reach new levels of success. Colorful characters, believable situations, and everything from dice games to AGI's "reality tree" techniques make this business novel a vital resource for everyone seeking to deliver business improvement in these challenging economic times -- and far into the future.
 

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Velocity claims to combine Lean, Six Sigma, and TOC, but is written by those that develop and sell the philosophy on TOC. As one would expect, the main outcome of this book is to apply TOC, but also eliminate waste (Lean) and variation (Six Sigma). This is a very shallow integration in my opinion.
While they definitely have a grasp on TOC, they say very little about Six Sigma, only that it was used here or there to solve an issue. Most significant, however, is the downright wrong interpretation of Lean that is offered. There is an abundant amount of literature on Lean published, some of which contains incomplete or misleading information. It is understandable that some people have misconceptions of Lean. Unfortunately, sometimes these people author books. The authors of velocity seem to have completely missed the boat on understanding lean or perhaps construed its claims to sell TOC. If they were to look into cell design they might find that line balancing, what they claim as a negative of lean, is virtually eliminated through redesign of the manufacturing system.
Velocity is an entertaining read, especially for those in business, but be prepared to be frustrated if you have a firm understanding of lean. It is like hearing about a republican platform from a democrat or vise-versa.
 

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
12
Section 3
27
Section 4
42
Section 5
56
Section 6
72
Section 7
81
Section 8
92
Section 13
195
Section 14
215
Section 15
237
Section 16
245
Section 17
272
Section 18
278
Section 19
283
Section 20
292

Section 9
112
Section 10
126
Section 11
151
Section 12
169
Section 21
309
Section 22
311
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Dee Jacob is the president of AGI—Goldratt Institute, which is based in New Haven, CT. She is a key innovator in the development of the Theory of Constraints and of the velocity approach.  Jacob teaches at the AGI Jonah Program and Thinking Process courses. Before joining AGI, Jacob was a manager with Procter & Gamble where she integrated TOC and LSS techniques.

Suzan Bergland is a partner of AGI and president of its North American Group. She is an expert in the velocity approach integrating TOC and LSS. She is a founder and member of The Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization (TOCICO), and also holds membership to the Association for Operations Management and the American Society for Quality.

Jeff Cox is the co-author or author of seven works of business fiction, which include The Goal, Zapp, The Quadrant Solution, Heroz, The Venture, Selling the Wheel and The Cure. Both Zapp and The Goal ranked first and second, respectively, on a list of bestselling business books from the 1990s. Jeff and his family live near Pittsburgh, PA.

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