Thursday, August 13, 2015

Interview with Rajeev Athavale Part 3.....

In this posting we will finish our interview with Rajeev Athavale about a new series of E-books he has recently published.  I want to say again that, if you are just beginning to learn about TOC, these books are just right for you.  But even if you are totally familiar with TOC, you will totally enjoy what Rajeev has put together.  And now on to the interview.
Bob: Tell my readers what else you have published?

Rajeev:  I have published a collection of articles authored by respected and well-known TOC Experts from all over the world.  The authors list (in alphabetical order) is as follows:

Adail Retamal, Alejandro Cespedes, Bill Dettmer, Daniel Walsh, David Burch, Dr. Alan Barnard, Dr. James R. Holt, E. R. “Tuck” McConnell, Eli Schragenheim, Etienne Du Plooy, Frank Patrick, Gary Bartlett, Henrik Martensson, Henry Camp, Jake Dell, Jerry Hahn, Joseph Pangilinan, Justin Roff-Marsh, Kevin Fox, Kevin Kohls, Martin Powell, Oded Cohen, Orion Avidan, Ravi Gilani, Robert Newbold, Rudolf Burkhard, Stefan Van Aalst, Ted Hutchin and Tony Rizzo.

Bob:  Tell us more about these articles.

Rajeev: These articles have been divided in two volumes, each volume containing 40 articles.  We’ve all found seams and traces of TOC gold scattered all over the web – echoes and extensions of the magnificently simple and profound concept so well-articulated and conveyed by Eli Goldratt.

Bob: Tell us more Rajeev.

Rajeev: “Echoes of TOC” gathers some of the best of these echoes together into a single easily accessible resource that you can refer to when you want to be reminded of an insight or to browse occasionally to refresh and extend your own mastery. It will also help to grow your clients’ insights into TOC, making it easier for you to help them capitalize on those insights even further.  It’s ideal for the TOC enthusiast, whether new to TOC or an expert in TOC practice.

Bob:  What have you written about how readers can implement what you're writing about Rajeev?

Rajeev: TOC Applications: Implementation Guidance (TOCDIY).  I have written three eBooks to help easy implementation of TOC applications for Manufacturing, Distribution and Projects.  They are small eBooks and give a very systematic path for implementing TOC.

Bob:  Are these small ebooks written for just consultants and what specifically will they explain to you? 

Rajeev:  If you are a business owner or a consultant or a manager in manufacturing business and you have problems in delivering orders on time, your lead time is increasing over a period of time and you have high inventory on the shop floor, the eBook for Manufacturing can certainly help you.

Bob: How about when you have distribution issues?
Rajeev: If you are a business owner or a consultant or a manager in Distribution business, and you have frequent shortages and surpluses and are carrying high inventory, the eBook for Distribution can certainly help you.

Bob:  How about people who are having trouble delivering projects on time, on scope and on budget? 

Rajeev:  If you are a business owner or a consultant or a manager engaged in Projects, and you are struggling to deliver the projects on time, within Budget and with full scope, and your project lead time is increasing over a period of time, the eBook for Projects can certainly help you.

Bob: So it looks like you've covered the most important topics and you've pretty much defined who these books are for?

Rajeev: If you are a consultant or an implementer implementing one or more of these applications, these eBooks will serve as a handy guide or checklist for the steps to be followed.  These eBooks are meant for Business Owners, Managers, Consultants and Implementers. These eBooks are Instruction Manuals for the three business applications and provide step by step guidance for implementing TOC applications.

Bob:  What else do you want to tell my readers Rajeev?

Rajeev:  If you find these reviews helpful, please acquire them and use them for your business and recommend them to others.  Here are the titles:

  1. Theory of Constraints – Do It Yourself Kit for Small & Medium size Enterprises for Manufacturing.
  2. Theory of Constraints – Do It Yourself Kit for Small & Medium size Enterprises for Distribution.
  3. Theory of Constraints – Do It Yourself Kit for Small & Medium size Enterprises for Projects.
Bob:  Sometimes I get questions from people where English is not their first language.  Have these ebooks been translated into other languages?    

Rajeev:  These three eBooks have been translated in the following languages:

French – Joel-Henry Grossard

German – Juergen Kanz

Italian – Carlo Buora

Spanish – Alejandro Fernendez

Portuguese – Luis Cristovao
Bob: So where are these eBooks available for my readers?

Rajeev:  These eBooks are available on and considering the need, I would like all my eBooks to get translated in other languages. Currently, translations are happening in Chinese and Catalan language. I will be happy to have these eBooks in languages like Russian, Japanese etc.
If TOC people on your blog are interested in translating, they may reach me at

Bob: What prompted you to write these eBooks?  What was your objective? 

Rajeev: Over the years, there are several videos, books, training programs, websites, blogs, articles etc. have been developed by various experts starting with Dr. Goldratt. It is a great source for learning TOC.  I felt that if anybody wants to learn TOC systematically, there should be an easy and systematic way to do so. Even those who know TOC may need some material to check their knowledge and polish it.

There are universities, colleges, Business Schools that teach or at least desire to teach TOC. What basic materials do the professors and students have? If more and more educational institutions want to teach TOC, they will certainly need textbook kind of material. But is that really available?  The desire to create such material led me to create TOC Learner’s Guide series of eBooks.

Bob:  What's next after gaining the basic knowledge? 

Rajeev: There are people who are Gurus in TOC; many of them have learned directly from Dr. Goldratt and worked with him. As a take away from their vast experience, from time to time, they have published several articles, papers etc.   It would really be great if after gaining basic knowledge of TOC, one gets an easy access to such material. It will not only polish the knowledge gained but also give greater insight into TOC.

Bob:  Is this material available under one roof? Or does one needs to go on searching for them over the net? What are the chances that one will find them? Isn’t there a danger that such valuable resource may get lost over a period of time? Can someone not collect such pearls from these Gurus and make it available?

Rajeev: The desire to collect such material and make it available led to the creation of “Echoes of TOC (eTOC)” series of eBooks.

Bob: So, what next? Is that all?

Rajeev: Gaining knowledge about TOC and its applications is good, but not good enough!  One needs to know how to implement it. Implementation is a different ball game. The sequence of steps is very important. What should be done first? When and what should be done next? How does one know about it? How can we make it easy, simple and systematic to implement? There should be some material that gives step by step guidance for implementing TOC applications.  The desire to create such material led me to create TOC Do It Yourself (TOC DIY) kit.

Today, there are people who learned and worked with Dr. Goldratt. Unfortunately, Dr. Goldratt is no more. Imagine the situation after say two decades. It may so happen that most of these Gurus may not be available to teach us and clarify and polish our knowledge. The young generation then needs something to fall back on.  Hopefully, these eBooks may provide a jumpstart for them. And they can rely on them for the core knowledge about TOC.

Bob: Is this all the knowledge about TOC?

Rajeev: Not really. I have touched upon some important aspects of TOC. I have not yet dwelled upon topics like Sales and Marketing, Thinking Processes etc.  Also the fact is, TOC got developed and evolved over the years. I am sure it will continue to develop further. May be many years later, somebody will write a sequel to these eBooks. And that must happen to keep the latest knowledge well documented.

Bob: Before we end this interview, I have one last question Rajeev. When and how did you start your TOC journey?

Rajeev: It was year 2000 when my daughter was doing her MBA. Her professor asked the students to read the book "The Goal." I bought this book for my daughter. I found the title to be attractive. So I decided to read it. And it changed my life.

I went on reading Goldratt’s next book “It’s Not Luck” and thereafter I read all his books (and then by the books some other authors too). Fortunately, the internet is a great source of information and it opened up the wealth of knowledge for me.
I implemented the “Critical Chain” in a small way for few projects in my company and got a feel of the power of this approach. I always looked for the opportunity to use Goldratt’s Five Focusing Steps in whatever I did.
And then a big opportunity came my way.

Bob: And what was that Rajeev?

I had the opportunity to work on a large Viable Vision project executed by Goldratt Consulting.  As a part of the project, I was trained by various experts like Oded Cohen, Mickey Granot, Philip Wiljoen, Eli Schragenheim, Humberto Baptista, Kiran Kothekar and Martin Powell.

Apart from the training and on the job experience, study of Goldratt’s webcast, Strategy & Tactics Trees, TOC Insights, TOC Simulators, TOC Games and TOC SLPs helped me to enrich my knowledge. Now I am an ardent fan of TOC. Reading about TOC has moved me from “I am impressed” to “I like it” to “I want to know more…”  I did not realize when it became a passion for me. Now, I eat, sleep, breath and walk TOC.
Bob: Thank you Rajeev for sharing your vast knowledge of TOC and I encourage everyone to check out Rajeev's writings.  The website again is:

Rajeev: Thanks Bob.

Bob Sproull



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Interview with Rajeev Athavale Part 2.....

Today I want to continue with my interview with Rajeev Athavale as he discusses more about his new series of books.  I absolutely encourage everyone to get copies of Rajeev's books, especially if you are just learning about TOC.

Bob:  First I want to thank you Rajeev for your contribution to both my blog and for your contribution to the Theory of Constraints learning in general.

Rajeev:  I am very happy to present this set of eBooks. I call it ―TOC Learner‘s Guide‖ i.e. TOCLG series of eBooks.  Perhaps you are aware that I have already published three eBooks giving step by step guidance for implementing TOC‘s applications for Manufacturing, Distribution and Projects. I called it TOC Do It Yourself i.e. TOCDIY series of eBooks.  I have also published ―Echoes of TOC i.e. eTOC series of eBooks. It has two volumes containing 40 articles each authored by famous TOC Gurus.

Bob:  Tell us more about what has motivated you to write these TOCLG series of books Rajeev. 

Rajeev:  After having published TOCDIY and eTOC series of eBooks, I happened to interact with many people and I realized that there is a degree of ignorance about TOC and its applications and therefore there is a need to have small and simple eBooks to explain the basics of TOC and its applications. I felt that the knowledge and understanding of TOC has not spread enough. Although there is a fair amount of awareness, it is far from creating more and more followers of TOC.

Bob:  So you are motivated to create more of an awareness of how TOC applies to a variety of subjects?

Rajeev: Yes, these are the TOCLG series of eBooks that I have published for spreading the basic knowledge about TOC and Its applications:

  1. Theory of Constraints (TOC) Basic Concepts and Decision Making
  2. Theory of Constraints (TOC) Application for Manufacturing
  3. Theory of Constraints (TOC) Application for Projects
  4. Theory of Constraints (TOC) Application for Distribution

I felt that people need this kind of eBooks though there is a lot of knowledge available but scattered around in different place. I felt that bringing it together under one eBook for an application will really be helpful to learn and understand TOC and its applications in a better way.

Bob: I think you are right about these eBooks helping people learn the basics of TOC and to understand how TOC applies to a wide variety of uses.

Rajeev: The purpose of these eBooks is to explain in simple terms the concepts of TOC. The first eBook above gives knowledge about Five Focusing Steps and the Decision making based on the simple measurements defined by TOC. The other eBooks give application specific knowledge describing the problems faced, the causes and the solution offered by TOC.

Bob:  Have you been working on these books for a long time Rajeev?

Rajeev:  Let me be honest. I did not write these books during last few months. I have been writing this book for over a decade! No, I did not think of it then. I have been studying TOC for last 15 years or so.  During this period, I read several books, articles, papers etc. I visited several websites and gained knowledge about TOC. There are some discussion groups on Linkedin and Yahoo that helped me to understand it better.

Bob:  So if it took you this long, you must have a way of collecting information and holding it in a safe place?

Rajeev:  During this period, I had developed a habit of taking notes and since I had a computer, I wrote the notes on computer and saved them in various files. These notes were not summaries, but were something that I wanted to revisit, remember and imbibe on my mind. I felt that it may not be feasible to read these books again and again, so I thought it prudent to save my take away from these books (though later I did read many of these books several times). TOC was something new to me and the thoughts presented were counter-intuitive though very logical. It was possible that due to my day-to-day chores, I could forget these principles. So these thoughts prompted me to write notes. Unfortunately, there was no discipline that I followed in writing those notes. I created several folders and several files and noted what I liked from time to time. Later, I created some training material and conducted training programs. I collected and organized these notes for this as well as for the eBooks that I have already published.
Bob:  For everyone that has not yet written and published a book, tell everyone your secret.

Rajeev:  Well, there is no secret. It was strong desire, determination and hard work that led to completion of the eBooks. I did this along with the other things that I was doing – Training, consulting etc. I have been trying to put the information in the form of these eBooks for more than a year. It was not an easy task. These eBooks are different than my DIY series eBooks. DIY series eBooks were prescriptive. They precisely tell the sequence of steps to be taken to implement TOC applications. Probably, that was easy. Though I did not think so then. When I started writing TOCLG series of eBooks which are descriptive in nature, I felt that it was much easier to write DIY kind of eBooks.

Bob:  Was it easier Rajeev?

Rajeev:  I realized that writing a descriptive eBook is a different kind of challenge. I have to use very simple language. I have to write in very clear and in unambiguous language. I have to make reading interesting by way of examples and games. I must add diagrams, pictures, charts, graphs etc. I have to present the matter in such a sequence that makes it appealing as well as easy to understand.

Though the nature of these eBooks is descriptive, I have to take care of writing short chapters explaining one or few concepts at a time.  Like many other TOC books, I avoided writing a business novel. I had to make it simple, concise and effective.

Bob:  My last two books and my upcoming sequel were all business novels and I have to tell you that compared to the type of books you've written, they are much easier.

Rajeev:  I can’t comment on that since I have not written a business novel yet. I believe apart from what I had to do, it requires lot more creativity and imagination. I struggled to do all that. It took huge amount of time, energy and patience. I did several iterations of reviews.  Finally, I felt that I have perfected everything, I decided to publish. However, I am aware that nothing is ever perfect and there always be a scope of improvement. I will certainly do that after getting some feedback.  

By reading these eBooks, if you get passionate about TOC, all credit should go to Dr. Goldratt. If however, you do not understand it well, please don‘t blame the theory, assume that it‘s my failure.

I find people are skeptical when they talk about any ―Theory. What they feel that the term ―Theory means something that is not practical. Actually, it means exactly the opposite. There is nothing more practical than a theory. A theory is a model, a representation of the reality that will facilitate the prediction of effects based on cause analysis.

In my next blog post we will finish this interview with Rajeev.  As a reminder, the link for Rajeev's books is

Bob Sproull


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Interview With Rajeev Athavale Part 1

In the next several blog posts, I will be interviewing Rajeev Athavale about a new series of books he has just unveiled.  I have finished reading the first one and I have to tell you, if they are all as good as this first one, which I'm sure they are, I highly recommend these books to everyone who wants to improve their business and organizations.  Here is the link to those interested:

Bob:  First, I want to welcome you to my blog.  I think it's time that people learned much more about you and your excellent writing style.

Rajeev:  Thank you Bob.

Bob:  So tell my readers a bit about your new book series.

Rajeev:  I have published three series of TOC eBooks viz.

  1. TOC Learner’s Guide (TOCLG)
  2. Echoes of TOC (eTOC)
  3. TOC Do It Yourself (DIY) kit.

 Bob:  Tell me very briefly as to what readers will get from these eBooks?

 Rajeev:   The three books are very much related. 

  1. TOCLG series will imbibe the core of TOC and its applications.
  2. eTOC series will give insight into the wisdom gathered by TOC Gurus and help to mature the knowledge gained by reading TOCLG series.
  3. TOC DIY series will give step by step guidance for implementing TOC applications.

Bob:   What do the eBooks contain?

Rajeev:  Learner’s Guides (TOCLG)


  • Theory of Constraints (TOC) Basic Concepts and Decision Making: This eBook explains the basic concepts of Theory of Constraints (TOC).  The eBook discusses in detail the Five Focusing Steps. It defines the basic measurements prescribed by TOC and shows how to use them for decision making.
  • Theory of Constraints (TOC) Application for Manufacturing: This eBook discusses the problems faced by manufacturing industries and shows the causes that are responsible for these problems. It explains in detail, TOC’s application for Manufacturing i.e. Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR) and Simplified-Drum-Buffer-Rope.
  • Theory of Constraints (TOC) Application for Projects: This eBook discusses the problems faced by Projects organizations and shows the causes that are responsible for these problems.  It explains in detail TOC’s application for Project Management i.e. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM).
  • Theory of Constraints (TOC) Application for Distribution: This eBook discusses the problems faced by Distribution system in most companies and also shows the causes that are responsible for these problems.  It explains in detail TOC’s application for Distribution system.

These eBooks contain several Figures, Tables, Diagrams, Pictures, Charts, Graphs, Examples, Quotes, Exercises and Games as appropriate. At the end of many chapters, a very brief summary is provided under the heading “Points to Ponder”.

Each of these eBooks has about 25 Multiple Choice Self-assessment questions. They help the readers to assess the knowledge gained by reading these eBooks.  This eBooks series is an excellent guide for those who want to learn TOC and its applications.

Bob:  Thanks very much Rajeev. 

In my next blog post, we'll continue our interview with Rajeev.  I encourage you all to get yourself a copy of these books, especially if you're new to TOC.

Bob Sproull

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Focus and Leverage Begins Again.......

For those of you who are regular followers of my blog, I have finally found time to come back and begin posting on a regular basis.  For the past several months I've been working on a 2nd edition of Epiphanized published by our new publisher, Taylor and Francis in early June.  Bruce and I have also been working on our sequel to Epiphanized which should be published in the November/December  time frame.  The sequel has the same main characters, Becky, Connor, Sam and Joe working in two new industries, Healthcare and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul,  working their magic.

I've also been on the road, traveling to Australia for almost three weeks holding four separate continuous improvement workshops and speaking at an international manufacturing symposium.  I've also been holding CI workshops in Michigan and Minnesota for the customers of ECi M1, an ERP software developer.  In addition, I'm in the middle of selling my home in Kennesaw, GA and am set to close on August 17th.  I'm moving to Alabama to be closer to four of my grandkids.

In the next few posts, I will be having an interview with Rajeev Athavale from Mumbai, India.  Rajeev is a TOC Consultant who does Consulting and Training.  He has written a TOC related book for Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research., Mumbai. Rajeev has collected and presented "Echoes of Theory of Constraints (eTOC)" - A collection of TOC Articles contributed by well-known and respected TOC authors.

Rajeev has written three eBooks entitled "Theory of Constraints - Do It Yourself Kit for Small and Medium size Enterprises" giving step by step guidance for implementing TOC for Manufacturing, Distribution and Projects. These eBooks have been translated in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese languages.  I will be interviewing Rajeev in the next few series of posts, so stay tuned.

If you'd like to see all his books, go to:

for his complete collection.

Bob Sproull