Tributes Paid After Death of "Theory of Constraints" Inventor Eliyahu Goldratt

Operational Excellence practioners today paid tribute to the author of The Goal, Eliyahu Goldratt, after his death on Saturday (June 11).

"Goldratt Consulting deeply mourns the loss of our beloved visionary father, chairman, and above of all – mentor," his consulting firm said in a statement on its website.

Goldratt was an influential business thinker, educator and consultant who was best known as author of the influential book The Goal where he introduced his Theory of Constraints – a concept that looks at increasing the throughput of a system by focusing on the constraints (bottlenecks) and removing the most critical first.

The Theory of Constraints has been long applied to manufacturing operations and has clearly influenced the thinking of many prominent process improvement practitioners.

Operational Excellence practioners from all over the world have been recalling how Goldratt.

Writing on his blog, Lean expert Jamie Flinchbaugh called Goldratt "a legendary guru in the field of continuous improvement". Tim McMahon, author of the blog A Lean Journey, wrote that "even though this Guru has passed his lessons will continue for generations."

Lean health expert Mark Graban, writing on his blog said that it was Goldratt’s approach that set him apart.

"Goldratt’s work had a mathematical basis that could be quantified and simulated in ways that were very helpful in manufacturing settings," Graban wrote. "He was also a leader who challenged people to improve their problem solving and thinking skills, ideas that had far broader applications."

Eliyahu Goldratt was a physicist by training and got a Masters of Science, and Doctorate of Philosophy from Bar-Ilan University in Israel according to a biography on Goldratt’s Marketing Group website.

Although The Goal was his better known work, it was by no means his only. Goldratt authored a number of influential works including It’s Not Luck, The Race, and The Choice.

Dr. Goldratt had been diagnosed with a serious health condition last month and was "undergoing aggressive treatment,"according to the Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization.

The organization did not disclose any further details of Dr. Goldratt’s illness.

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