Velocity Book Review

Actually, the full title is Velocity: Combining Lean, Six Sigma and the Theory of Constraints to Achieve Breakthrough Performance – A Business Novel.  It’s of course listed on Amazon in kindle, paperback, and audible.  I listened to the audible version.

As is typical in business novels the characters tend to be flattened slightly to encourage the reader to pay attention to the content instead of the people in the story.  It’s a tough balancing act to have the characters and their problems be interesting enough so you’re emotionally invested in their outcome, but the author in this genre has the hard task of encouraging you to remember more about the lessons than the characters.  To do this, the authorial team included Jeff Cox, the co-author of The Goal (one of the books on my book list).

The book is well written though formulaic and its subject primarily follows implementation of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) not the implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS).  It does touch on it enough to help the audience understand how the disciplines can be used in concert with one another and compliment one another, but not to the extend that you learn about how to do statistical process control or value stream mapping.  While these things are alluded to or mentioned in the book, they’re mentioned as the book introduces the problems caused by applying them in ways that negatively impact the constraint.  They’re not directly mentioned at all in being a part of the solution set as the intrepid heroes (isn’t intrepid a great word?) work towards solving their problems.

I would have preferred that once the heroes had learned to apply TOC they would have spent more time value stream mapping those things that didn’t go through the constraint to find improvement there.  Or that they would have discussed more about finding the true optimum with regards to various treatments using six sigma techniques.

While that’s what I would have preferred, that would have slowed down the story significantly.  It wasn’t the intent of the authors and I’m kind of glad they didn’t do what I wanted.  The delivered a good book that introduced complimentary systems in a way that was engaging and now, because of that book and the example of their characters, I have context to do further research on my own and answer the questions I have from reading this work.

Bottom line.  Great book, glad to have read it!  Adding it to the Book List of books I’d recommend.

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