The main protagonist of the story is Alex Rogo who is a manager of the production plant of UniCo Manufacturing. The plant schedules run behind time and are in extremely low efficiency levels, posing a threat to the sustainability of the company. In the event of such an emergency situation, Bill Peach, a company executive informs Alex that the latter has three months in hand to convert the plant into a profitable and successful one. A parallel story of Alex's troubled marriage develops through the book.
Alex's distant acquaintance Jonah guides him throughout the process of improvising the plant operations. Telephonic calls and short meetings are held wherein Jonah guides them through a series of questions which make Alex and the members of the crew to brainstorm and solve the problem. This is the Socratic method which is explained in the book via seemingly real-life situations.
The Goal also focuses on the importance of bottlenecks in the manufacturing business. These bottlenecks are identified by Alex and his team which help them in making optimum use of the materials by controlling which in turn leads to higher efficiency in the processes. When Alex figures that the guidance of Jonah is positively working for his professional life, he uses the same to solve the problems of his personal life.
The Goal involves explanation of the core concepts of operations and systems management with the help of a fictional story. This book is widely used by students and teachers for the purpose of learning the importance of constraint management as well as strategic capacity planning. It was published by Productivity & Quality Publishing Pvt Ltd in the year 2013. This book is available in paperback.