May 14th, 2013 Teresa Jurgens-Kowal | Comments (0)The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Continuous Improvement, 3rd ed. by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox, North River Press: Great Barrington, MA (2004). 384 pages, $24.95. Process engineers should be familiar with Eli Goldratt’s seminal work The Goal for a number of reasons. First, chemical engineers are often tasked with finding improvements in continuous processes to reduce the manufacturing costs at a plant or facility. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints provides a systematic framework to search for bottlenecks in a manufacturing process and to find ways to improve throughput once the constraint is identified. Next, many chemical engineers are unfamiliar with business terms and financial calculations. Most managers and decision-makers, on the other hand, are greatly concerned about financial metrics. The Goal offers step-by-step insights of the most important business measurements for a manufacturing plant. (You might also want to reference the series “Talking to Your Bo$$” here on ChEnected.) After all, the purpose of business is to make a profit! Further, by addressing continuous improvement from the standpoint of fictional characters in a novel, Goldratt also conveys themes of leadership and teamwork. In The Goal, team members clearly join together to troubleshoot a crisis problem. Yet, they also attain skills and passion to further their individual careers. Reading about their approaches to problem-solving can help professionals hone teamwork capabilities, too. Lastly, most chemical engineers work in environments that stress TQM (total quality management) and/or lean manufacturing. The Goal helps to pull together these sometimes abstract concepts into a simple story about keeping a failing division afloat. Engineers that are familiar with TQM and lean principles will be able to readily adapt Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints introduced in The Goal.
A must-read for all project managersThe Goal is a classic text for all project managers. In its third edition, the original book was first published in 1984. Thus, there are references to activities that you wouldn’t expect to see in any modern manufacturing facility today – smoking and drinking champagne are generally forbidden in most factories! However, the story of a manufacturing facility recovering from the brink of shutdown and transforming it into a stellar showcase of best practices is definitely worth reading. Chemical engineers will find The Goal a quick book to read – even at 384 pages! It is packed with lesson on running a business and common sense financial analyses. As process engineers, we are often the first people called to solve a problem or troubleshoot an operational upset. The Goal will provide additional tools for you to use and to successfully grow in continuous improvement throughout your career. Click on the cover of the book to see a 7-minute YouTube video on the Theory of Constraints. Fluid-flow experts will enjoy the video!
Chair a Process Safety Conference Session or Work on a CCPS Sub-CommitteeChairing a session can be rewarding in that you are working directly with subject matter experts in topics that are at the cutting edge of process safety. Session chairs are part of the conference planning committee. They work with the other chairs to brainstorm session topics that are timely and of importance to the field of process safety. After the abstract submission date arrives, the chairs and co-chairs then review all of the abstracts and choose which to accept to their session. Then they must review the draft papers of the accepted abstracts a few weeks later and give guidance/ask for revisions of the papers a few weeks late. They must then do the same for the PowerPoint presentations of the accepted authors in their session. Download PDFs for more detailed responsibilities on Representation on Projects, Roles and Responsiblities, and Participant Qualifications. If you are interested, contact Jing Chen.
Become a Webinar AuthorAre you interested in getting more exposure by leading a webinar? We’re actively seeking a ChemE to author and lead a webinar on the subject of The Transition from School to Industry. What’s the current economic climate like for ChemE’s? What are companies looking for most? For more information, e-mail Anne with “Transition Webinar” in the subject line.
AIChE Speakers Corner
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