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 https://leanpub.com/u/rajeevathavale

Bob Sproull



Nandkumar Sanglikar said...

I am astounded that Rajeev has been studying the subject for over 15 years and it has taken him over a decade to pen these e-books. What an effort! I have known Rajeev from school days since we did schooling together. I am really proud of my school colleague for the kind of sincere effort he has taken to creating these e-books. These are not only indicative of his dedication to the subject but also his passion for it. N Y Sanglikar

Bob Sproull said...

Hi Nandkumar, great to hear from you. Rajeev truly has dedicated himself to not only learning about TOC, but to promoting it as well. I have read his series of e-books and I must say they are excellent! One of the things that I truly love about these e-books is the detailed explanation of the subjects at hand which is especially important for people not familiar with them. I was honored to publish this interview and believe that through Rajeev, many more people will not only understand TOC, but will begin using it. Like Rajeev, I believe it is truly important to share knowledge and experiences with the world at large. I highly recommend Rajeev's e-books to everyone, but especially to those people just learning about the subject. Please pass along this post to as many people as you can Nandkumar so that Rajeev's work will not be in vain. Thanks so much for your comments Nandkumar. Bob Sproull