14 books like Goldratt's Rules of Flow

By Efrat Goldratt-Ashlag,

Here are 14 books that Goldratt's Rules of Flow fans have personally recommended if you like Goldratt's Rules of Flow. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Critical Chain: A Business Novel

Uwe Techt Author Of Projects That Flow

From my list on speed for multiple projects.

Why am I passionate about this?

Business development and projects have fascinated me since my studies and my first experiences in companies. Time and again, I think I have understood what it's really all about... and shortly thereafter, completely new insights emerge that challenge previously perceived assumptions and thus enable leaps in performance. This is sometimes exhausting, but I wouldn't want to miss this path of development! Today I help management teams to improve their business results quickly and sustainably by guiding them to question assumptions, find new perspectives and thereby enable performance leaps.

Uwe's book list on speed for multiple projects

Uwe Techt Why did Uwe love this book?

When I read this book, it was like an epiphany. Suddenly, I understood what—beyond all the doctrines and pub talkactually slows down projects and thus impairs the economic performance of companies. It is our own management mechanisms and beliefs about how we think we can get a grip on projects. Shortly after reading this novel, we were able to perform nothing short of miracles in a technology company I was working for at the time: Halving project times, doubling productivity. You have to have witnessed that to really believe it... Read this book!

By Eliyahu M Goldratt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Critical Chain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fast-paced business novel does for project management what The Goal and It's Not Luck have done for production and marketing. Goldratt's novels have traditionally slain sacred cows and delivered new ways of looking at processes which seem like common sense once you read them. Critical Chain is no exception. In perhaps Eli's most readable book yet, two of the established principles of project management, the engineering estimate and project milestones, are found wanting and dismissed, and other established principles are up for scrutiny - as Goldratt once more applies his Theory of Constraints. The approach is radical, yet clear,…


Book cover of Reaching the Goal: How Managers Improve a Services Business Using Goldratt's Theory of Constraints

Uwe Techt Author Of Projects That Flow

From my list on speed for multiple projects.

Why am I passionate about this?

Business development and projects have fascinated me since my studies and my first experiences in companies. Time and again, I think I have understood what it's really all about... and shortly thereafter, completely new insights emerge that challenge previously perceived assumptions and thus enable leaps in performance. This is sometimes exhausting, but I wouldn't want to miss this path of development! Today I help management teams to improve their business results quickly and sustainably by guiding them to question assumptions, find new perspectives and thereby enable performance leaps.

Uwe's book list on speed for multiple projects

Uwe Techt Why did Uwe love this book?

Of course, when I started to apply the insights from "Critical Chain" over and over again in different companies, not everything always went smoothly. That was frustrating—for me and the people I worked with. Every company—or rather, every business—has its own idiosyncrasies. Understanding that and being able to take it into account when accelerating an entire project portfolio was crucial. Reading Reaching the Goal helped me a lot in this. Ricketts writes from his many years of experience at IBM.

By John Arthur Ricketts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reaching the Goal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"There is no doubt that this is a truly original and groundbreaking work in applying the Theory of Constraints. I run a services company and learned some things about the services business. Anyone involved in large services companies needs to look at what John is proposing. I will definitely quote this material frequently."

ChadSmith, Managing Partner, Constraints Management Group

"The information presented in this book is badly needed by service providers who struggle to balance supply and demand with their resources."

Carol A. Ptak, CFPIM, CIRM

"The techniques that John brings to light in this book are the bridge from…


Book cover of A Sense of Urgency

Uwe Techt Author Of Projects That Flow

From my list on speed for multiple projects.

Why am I passionate about this?

Business development and projects have fascinated me since my studies and my first experiences in companies. Time and again, I think I have understood what it's really all about... and shortly thereafter, completely new insights emerge that challenge previously perceived assumptions and thus enable leaps in performance. This is sometimes exhausting, but I wouldn't want to miss this path of development! Today I help management teams to improve their business results quickly and sustainably by guiding them to question assumptions, find new perspectives and thereby enable performance leaps.

Uwe's book list on speed for multiple projects

Uwe Techt Why did Uwe love this book?

Accelerating projects and completing more projects per year is existential for almost every company. The economic and financial leverage is enormous if, for example, 20% or 50% more projects can be completed per yearwithout significantly increasing operating costs. Nevertheless, it has happened time and again that there were so many construction sites in the company that it was not at all clear why accelerating the project portfolio should be given the highest priority. Kotter's book provided me with key insights that my colleagues and I were able to implement immediately. With success!

By John P. Kotter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Sense of Urgency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most organizational change initiatives fail spectacularly (at worst) or deliver lukewarm results (at best). In his international bestseller Leading Change, John Kotter revealed why change is so hard, and provided an actionable, eight-step process for implementing successful transformations. The book became the change bible for managers worldwide. Now, in A Sense of Urgency, Kotter shines the spotlight on the crucial first step in his framework: creating a sense of urgency by getting people to actually see and feel the need for change. Why focus on urgency? Without it, any change effort is doomed. Kotter reveals the insidious nature of complacency…


Book cover of Throughput Economics: Making Good Management Decisions

Uwe Techt Author Of Projects That Flow

From my list on speed for multiple projects.

Why am I passionate about this?

Business development and projects have fascinated me since my studies and my first experiences in companies. Time and again, I think I have understood what it's really all about... and shortly thereafter, completely new insights emerge that challenge previously perceived assumptions and thus enable leaps in performance. This is sometimes exhausting, but I wouldn't want to miss this path of development! Today I help management teams to improve their business results quickly and sustainably by guiding them to question assumptions, find new perspectives and thereby enable performance leaps.

Uwe's book list on speed for multiple projects

Uwe Techt Why did Uwe love this book?

Everyone realizes that the economic leverage from "doing the right projects" can be even greater than "doing the projects faster." Only how should the selection be made sensibly? In addition: If we want to work flow and be bottleneck-oriented, we always come up against the limits of the usual key figures and target world in companies, e.g. the paradigm "everyone must be busy all the time." With Throughput Economics I finally had the tools at my disposal to be able to work on both questions in a target-oriented way with a management team. I am very grateful to the authors!

By Eli Schragenheim, Henry Camp, Rocco Surace

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Throughput Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Schragenheim, Camp and Surace, three leaders of TOC community, are tackling one of value destroyers of corporations-the misuse and abuse of traditional cost accounting. This book develops a practical methodology for better decision making by looking at the impact of certain types of decisions on a company's bottom line. This well-defined methodology allows mid-managers, higher level managers and financial staff to create real value by concentrating on what truly matters."
Boaz Ronen, Professor Emeritus, Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

"Throughput Economics is a must read for entrepreneurs and managers who want to make their organizations…


Book cover of The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

Steve Fenton Author Of Web Operations Dashboards, Monitoring, & Alerting

From my list on DevOps from before DevOps was invented.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a programmer and technical author at Octopus Deploy and I'm deeply interested in DevOps. Since the 1950s, people have been studying software delivery in search of better ways of working. We’ve seen many revolutions since Lincoln Labs first introduced us to phased delivery, with lightweight methods transforming how we wrote software at the turn of the century. My interest in DevOps goes beyond my enthusiasm for methods in general, because we now have a great body of research that adds to our empirical observations on the ways we work.

Steve's book list on DevOps from before DevOps was invented

Steve Fenton Why did Steve love this book?

I was a long-time skeptic about the business novel format, but The Goal changed my mind.

In this book, Goldratt presents concepts like Theory of Constraints with a business thriller (seriously). You get to live the same aha moments as the protagonist, Alex Rogo, as he encounters the pipe-smoking philosopher Jonah.

The setting may be a factory, but you’ll find many parallels to your DevOps work in this book.

By Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeffrey Cox,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Goal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*A Graphic Novel version of this title is now available: "The Goal: A Business Graphic Novel"

30th Anniversary Edition. Written in a fast-paced thriller style, The Goal, a gripping novel, is transforming management thinking throughout the world. It is a book to recommend to your friends in industry - even to your bosses - but not to your competitors. Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager working ever more desperately to try improve performance. His factory is rapidly heading for disaster. So is his marriage. He has ninety days to save his plant - or it will be closed by…


Book cover of Ship It!: A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects

Mike McQuaid Author Of Git in Practice

From my list on becoming a great open source software engineer.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a professional software engineer and maintaining open-source software for 16 years. My work on open source has been heavily informed by industry best practises and my work on proprietary software has been heavily informed by open source best practises. Without these books, I’d be a worse engineer on many dimensions. Some of them may feel antiquated but all are still full of relevant wisdom for every open-source (and proprietary) software engineer today.

Mike's book list on becoming a great open source software engineer

Mike McQuaid Why did Mike love this book?

Another book that predates GitHub but provides a lot of actionable advice today that’s been mostly ignored across much of our industry.

Hard problems like “why isn’t my software project reliable?” are tackled head-on and addressed here. It was an early nudge for me to automate as much as possible in software projects and not ignore difficult problems with project organisation in favour of “fun” technical tasks.

By Jared Richardson, William A Gwaltney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ship It! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Ship It!" is a collection of tips that show the tools and techniques a successful project team has to use, and how to use them well. You'll get quick, easy-to-follow advice on modern practices: which to use, and when they should be applied. This book avoids current fashion trends and marketing hype; instead, readers find page after page of solid advice, all tried and tested in the real world. Aimed at beginning to intermediate programmers, "Ship It!" will show you: which tools help, and which don't, how to keep a project moving, approaches to scheduling that work, how to build…


Book cover of The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

Paolo Perrotta Author Of Programming Machine Learning: From Coding to Deep Learning

From my list on classic software that are still worth reading.

Why am I passionate about this?

You know what ages like milk? Programming books. I always cringe when someone glances at my programming bookshelf. Some of those books are so dated, they make me appear out of touch by association. Sometimes, I feel compelled to justify myself. “Yes, that's the first edition of Thinking in Java I keep it for nostalgic reasons, you know!” Yesterday’s software book is today’s fish and chip wrapper. However, there are exceptions. A few classics stay relevant for years, or even decades. This is a shortlist of software books that might be older than you, but are still very much worth reading.

Paolo's book list on classic software that are still worth reading

Paolo Perrotta Why did Paolo love this book?

In my consulting gigs, I come across plenty of clueless remarks. Here's a classic one: “We're falling behind schedule, so let's hire more coders.” Or a more recent gem: “We'll be ten times more productive if we generate code with AI.”

When I encounter such nonsense, I don't facepalm or cringe. Instead, I put on my poker face and drop a quote from The Mythical Man-Month.

In an industry where last year’s book is already outdated, Fred Brooks' collection of essays has been a guiding light for nearly half a century. His aphorisms have become legendary. “The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned.” “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.” “There is no silver bullet.” The list goes on and on.

John Carmack, one of the greatest programmers of our times, used to revisit this book every year or…

By Frederick P. Brooks Jr,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Mythical Man-Month as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.



The added chapters…


Book cover of Mastering the Requirements Process: Getting Requirements Right

Karl Wiegers Author Of Software Requirements

From my list on defining software requirements.

Why am I passionate about this?

Defining and managing the requirements for a software system is hard! I’ve been interested in improving how projects handle their requirements for more than 35 years. I realized how important this was when I saw how many projects—including my own—struggled and failed when they neglected to build a solid foundation of well-understood and clearly communicated requirements. I’ve personally used nearly all of the techniques described in my book Software Requirements, and I got always better results when I applied those techniques. My books, articles, training courses, presentations, and videos on requirements have been helpful to thousands of business analysts worldwide for many years.

Karl's book list on defining software requirements

Karl Wiegers Why did Karl love this book?

Suzanne and James Robertson have been writing insightful books on software requirements for many years. This book covers all the important topics, including understanding the real problem, different techniques for exploring solutions, and numerous ways to communicate requirements effectively. I especially like their treatment of quality attribute requirements and defining “fit criteria” to judge whether a solution adequately addresses them.

The book includes a comprehensive requirements specification template to guide writing a rigorous and complete specification on projects for which that is valuable. I also appreciate their use of visual models both to communicate with the reader and to guide the reader in communicating requirements to project stakeholders. I do prefer my book Software Requirements, but this is an excellent choice as well by two authorities in the field.

By Suzanne Robertson, James Robertson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mastering the Requirements Process as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If the purpose is to create one of the best books on requirements yet written, the authors have succeeded."

-Capers Jones

Software can solve almost any problem. The trick is knowing what the problem is. With about half of all software errors originating in the requirements activity, it is clear that a better understanding of the problem is needed.



Getting the requirements right is crucial if we are to build systems that best meet our needs. We know, beyond doubt, that the right requirements produce an end result that is as innovative and beneficial as it can be, and that…


Book cover of Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

Mike McQuaid Author Of Git in Practice

From my list on becoming a great open source software engineer.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a professional software engineer and maintaining open-source software for 16 years. My work on open source has been heavily informed by industry best practises and my work on proprietary software has been heavily informed by open source best practises. Without these books, I’d be a worse engineer on many dimensions. Some of them may feel antiquated but all are still full of relevant wisdom for every open-source (and proprietary) software engineer today.

Mike's book list on becoming a great open source software engineer

Mike McQuaid Why did Mike love this book?

This is the oldest book on my list and is the most underrated. It describes, with serious rigour and detail, how to run more effective software projects and teams.

Most of this advice has been ignored by most of the industry for most of the time but it’s a big part of the reason I’ve worked from home for 14 years and am as productive as I am today.

By Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Peopleware as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Demarco and Lister demonstrate that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. Their answers aren't easy--just incredibly successful. New second edition features eight all-new chapters. Softcover. Previous edition: c1987. DLC: Management.


Book cover of Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams

Frans Johansson

From my list on diversity creates amazing teams and societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Frans Johansson is the Co-Founder and CEO at The Medici Group, an enterprise solutions firm that helps organizations build and sustain high-performing teams through our revolutionary team coaching platform: Renaissance. Our firm's ethos--diversity and inclusion drive innovation--is informed by our work with over 4,000 teams in virtually every sector and by his two books The Medici Effect and The Click Moment.

Frans' book list on diversity creates amazing teams and societies

Frans Johansson Why did Frans love this book?

This is the most complete take on how to bring diversity, inclusion, and belonging into your team. This is a very practical guide that shows you how to implement this process step by step. Not only does she explain how to respond to the negative tropes, but she also lays out detailed approaches to make sure your allies and angels do maximum good. A must-read if you want to avoid the common mistakes that bog down this process.

By Stefanie K. Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inclusify as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wall Street Journal Bestseller

In this groundbreaking guide, a management expert outlines the transformative leadership skill of tomorrow-one that can make it possible to build truly diverse and inclusive teams which value employees' need to belong while being themselves.

Humans have two basic desires: to stand out and to fit in. Companies respond by creating groups that tend to the extreme-where everyone fits in and no one stands out, or where everyone stands out and no one fits in. How do we find that happy medium where workers can demonstrate their individuality while also feeling they belong?

The answer, according…


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