Reaching The Goal

How Managers Improve a Services Business Using Goldratt's Theory of Constraints (Adobe Reader)

by John Arthur Ricketts

Series: IBM Press

This is the eBook version of the printed book. If the print book includes a CD-ROM, this content is not included within the eBook version.

“There is no doubt that this is a truly original and groundbreaking work in applying the Theory of Constraints. I run a services company and learned some things about the services business. Anyone involved in large services companies needs to look at what John is proposing. I will definitely quote this material frequently.”

Chad Smith, Managing Partner, Constraints Management Group


“The information presented in this book is badly needed by service providers who struggle to balance supply and demand with their resources.”

Carol A. Ptak, CFPIM, CIRM


“The techniques that John brings to light in this book are the bridge from the vision of Dr. Goldratt’s work to the successful implementation in a range of services firms.”

From the Foreword by Erik Bush, Vice President, IBM Global Services 

  • Discover the powerful Theory of Constraints (TOC), and use it to drive continuous performance improvement in any services organization
  • Identify the hidden constraints that are limiting your organization, and manage or eliminate them
  • Use TOC to improve the way you manage resources, projects, processes, finance, marketing, and sales
  • Determine whether your organization faces an internal or external constraint, manage that constraint accordingly, and anticipate where the next constraint will arise
  • Release latent capacity shrouded by common business practices
  • Simplify processes that have grown unmanageably complex
  • Optimize your enterprise as a whole rather than suboptimizing individual business units
  • Get buy-in to fundamental changes in strategy, tactics, and operations

 Managing services is extremely challenging, and traditional “industrial” management techniques are no longer adequate. In Reaching the Goal, Dr. John Arthur Ricketts presents a breakthrough management approach that embraces what makes services different: their diversity, complexity, and unique distribution methods.


Ricketts draws on Eli Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC), one of this generation’s most successful management methodologies...thoroughly adapting it to the needs of today’s professional, scientific, and technical services businesses. He reveals how to identify the surprising constraints that limit your organization’s performance, execute more effectively within those constraints, and then loosen or even eliminate them.


This book’s relentlessly practical techniques reflect several years of advanced IBM research and consulting with enterprise clients. Step-by-step, Ricketts shows how to apply them throughout your most crucial business functions...from project management to finance, process improvement to sales and marketing.


Whatever your role in improving service delivery, processes, or profitability, this book gives you the tools to reach your goals...and go beyond them 

  • Identify, manage, and overcome your key constraints

    Five steps to uncovering and addressing the real obstacles to improved performance

  • Optimize core business functions, one step at a time

    Improve the way you manage resources, projects, processes, finance, and marketing

  • Implement TOC rapidly and effectively

    Get buy-in, deploy infrastructure, and provide the right IT support?



  • Pearson Education; September 2007
  • ISBN: 9780132359474
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Reaching The Goal
  • Series: IBM Press
  • Author: John Arthur Ricketts
  • Imprint: IBM Press

About The Author

John Arthur Ricketts is a distinguished engineer in IBM Global Services. As a consulting partner and technical executive, he deals with business and technical issues every day. His recent experiences range from Managed Business Process Services to Maintenance and Technical Support Services.


He began his career in manufacturing, where he saw firsthand the problems that Theory of Constraints was created to solve. While in graduate school, he managed a research laboratory studying computer users, and he developed decision support software for the U.S. Department of State. His graduate degrees are in information systems, with supporting fields in computer science and behavioral science.


After graduate school, John became a professor, teaching mostly MBAs and PhDs. He also taught in advanced information systems faculty development institutes. His publications have appeared in MIS Quarterly, Interface, Information & Management, Journal of Software Maintenance, Informatica, and Computer Programming Management. The IEEE Press, Wm. C. Brown, and EDP Auditor’s Foundation have published his monographs.


After a decade in academia, John returned to the business world, where he led research and development of software reengineering products for a large consulting and systems integration firm. He later became director of software engineering at a major telecommunications firm.


Since joining IBM, he has worked in solution development, service delivery, new ventures, professional development, intellectual capital development, and asset development. John has dozens of patents pending. He has received awards from the Decision Sciences Institute and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, as well as IBM.