Quality Into the
Tito Conti, Yoshio Kondo and Gregory Watson,
eds., ASQ Quality Press, 2003,
261 pp., $36 member, $45 list (book).
Quality Into the 21st Century: Perspectives on Quality and Compet-itiveness for Sustained Performance is about the evolving role and historical transformation of quality in the 21st century. The knowledgeable authors each write a chapter on an aspect of quality that is changing or evolving. They discuss how traditional quality has taken a broader and more socially active position in the last few years and how this will continue and expand in the future.
Topics vary from quality as a strategic tool for organizational development to improvement and innovation, software, e-commerce and leadership. The authors put a fresh perspective on the outlook of quality as it changes from a discrete function to an integrated part of an organization’s overall strategic policy. Although different authors write the chapters, the editors provide a continuity that connects the concepts and philosophies.
Because the focus is on quality as a strategic tool integrated with marketing and organizational leadership, there is limited discussion on the technical side of quality and only one chapter on the Six Sigma evolution.
This book should appeal to people in quality leadership positions, consultants and anyone involved in the development of quality programs. People outside of quality—such as people in marketing, design and executive management—should also find this book interesting and informative. This is a good book for looking at where quality will be in the future and how to transform an organization to be ready.
Advanced QFD Applications
M. Xie, K.C. Tan and T.N. Goh, ASQ Quality Press, 2003, 204 pp., $48 member, $60 list (book).
This book goes beyond the basics of explaining quality function deployment (QFD) and how it works and into the realm of several interesting research topics that will eventually enhance the power of QFD applications in usefulness and scope.
The process of building up the house of quality, by nature, is a process of discovering the voice of the customer (VOC) and the engineering characteristics that provide fulfilling design. This book asks several questions and intends to provide solutions for reality checking topics such as how to discover the future VOC and balance it with current needs and how to deal with variations in VOC data, which can potentially lead to wrong decisions. It also provides approaches through the application of fuzzy set theory to deal with the qualitative and linguistic data frequently involved in discovering the VOC.
I would recommend readers first familiarize themselves with techniques such as analytic hierarchy process and basics of fuzzy set theory to fully appreciate the content.
This book will be useful for QFD researchers, implementers and inquisitive readers who want knowledge beyond the basic and theoretical aspects of QFD.
Shin Ta Liu
In the Electronics Industry
Yefim Fasser and Donald Brettner, Wiley-Interscience, 2003, 631 pp., $105 (book).
Now in its second edition, this book is divided into three parts: the human side of process improvement, process control and capability studies, and offline and online design of experiments (DOE).
Part one was what kept me reading this book. The influence of the human element in process improvement rarely has been covered in similar publications, but this book addresses the topic thoroughly and effectively. Fasser and Brettner cover the importance of creating core competencies in organizations that are struggling to keep and increase their market shares. Their recommendation to put aside cultural differences in pursuit of process improvement deserves high marks.
Part one ends with a chapter on basic concepts of variation, which prepares the reader for the following two parts. Part two covers various statistical concepts used in a systematic approach in process improvement as they apply to the electronic industry and almost any other sector. This part of the book is not much different from other publications.
The last part covers DOE used to reduce inherent variability of a process that has demonstrated capability. Case histories provide further insight into the benefits of DOE. Readers will benefit more if they use this part in conjunction with other publications covering this concept in more detail.
Nevertheless, the book itself can be considered a valuable reference that certainly would be used very often.
At some points it seems the authors are trying to promote Advanced Manufacturing Devices, their place of employment, through the various references made to it. Even if this is true, the usefulness of the book outweighs this promotion in many ways.
Six Sigma Business Scorecard
Praveen Gupta, McGraw-Hill, 2004, 234 pp., $39.95 (book).
Six Sigma Business Scorecard: Creating a Comprehensive Corporate Performance Measurement System combines Six Sigma measurement methodologies with the balanced scorecard. This approach allows an organization to determine and communicate its overall sigma level.
The purposes of Gupta’s Six Sigma business scorecard (SSBS) are to identify the measurements that relate key processes to the organization’s profitability and to accelerate the improvement of business performance.
Gupta identifies a set of measurements for the business performance index (BPI), which are applicable to most businesses but can be replaced by other measures if desired. The goal in selecting the measures is to “challenge the existing system and identify opportunities for improvement and profitability.”
Gupta presents a reasonable argument for the
need to measure performance and seek continuous im-
provement. The identification of process measurements is fairly detailed. However, he does not present valid justification for the three measures he uses—BPI, defects per unit and defects per million opportunities. He does not elaborate on how these measures have been used previously to successfully drive performance improvements. He also compares attributes of the SSBS with the balanced scorecard, but does not justify his statements regarding the relative strengths of the SSBS.
The successful SSBS must be initiated at the major division level or higher in an organization and integrate the activities of all business functions to be effective. Therefore, the key audience for this book is the senior leadership of organizations and people capable of influencing the senior leaders. For this audience, Gupta has provided a general overview of how the SSBS can be used to focus an entire organization on profitability and performance improvement.
Quality: From Customer Needs to Customer Satisfaction
Bo Bergman and Bengt Klefsjö, Studentlit-teratur, 2003, 606 pp., $66.45 (book).
Bergman and Klefsjö’s intent in this book is to provide an overview of quality focusing on total quality management and the customer. Using textbook style writing, their approach is very logical and well organized. Each of the book’s five parts can be used independently to learn about quality tools and techniques as they apply to both goods and services.
Although it is unusual that the authors discuss management and improvement as independent subjects through separate sections delineating applicable tools for quality implementation and leadership, the approach still works very well. They also identify quality awards from many countries as well as process management and sustainability issues with respect to achieving and maintaining quality.
Although this is a translation, there are only a few misses in rendition allowing for European spelling, which do not detract from the meaning. Bergman and Klefsjö do an excellent job of defining terms, although no formal glossary is provided. There are extensive notes and current references (through 2002) for additional study, along with very applicable commentary and summaries for each subject.
This book would be an excellent primer for students or newcomers to quality and is a good general reference for achieving customer oriented quality. This is one of the better compilations on quality that I have read, and I cannot think of any areas that were omitted. I’m sure I will often refer to it and loan it to others.
Marc A. Feldman
Terry R. Bacon and David G. Pugh, Amacom, 2003, 352 pp., $29.95 (book).
In Winning Behavior: What the Smartest, Most Successful Companies Do Differently, Bacon and Pugh have created a unique business development theory emphasizing behavioral differentiation to outdistance the competition and exceed expectations. However, their theory goes beyond differentiation by product and into how to approach clients at every step in the business process, including product development, marketing, service, negotiations and proposals.
The text outlines four specific areas management should focus on to achieve maximum profitability. The first area, operational, discusses translating standard operating procedures into exceptional treatment of the customer. The second part, interpersonal, deals with establishing a business culture in which interpersonal skills are paramount. Exceptional, the third area, emphasizes employees going out of their way to assist customers. Finally, symbolic focuses on management ensuring employees align their behaviors with the business culture.
The authors have compiled a number of practical case histories on top companies to exemplify the four focus areas and demonstrate how they fit together.
The approaches outlined provide an overview of product quality and competitive advantage, which are prerequisites for business success. This is a well-written book with a plethora of information on how to develop a successful competitive strategy in any industry. It is a must read for anyone who wants to take his or her company to the next level.
James F. Jaquess
Electric Power Research Institute
Architect of Quality
Joseph M. Juran, McGraw-Hill, 2004,
379 pp., $24.95 (book).
In Architect of Quality: An Auto-biography of Joseph M. Juran, Juran gives us a personal description of his quality journey. The book contains his life story and the history of the quality movement, but it is also spiced and colored with thoughts, dates and events.
For example, Juran tells how at the age of 8 he woke up at 5:00 a.m. to sell newspapers in a streetcar shop to contribute to the family’s income. He also writes about when he met his wife, Sadie (they have been married more than 75 years), the relationship between him and Deming and their influence in Japan, his Jewish background and the impact his chess playing had on acquiring self-respect and the respect of others.
It is indeed fascinating reading and a unique book that without any doubt will be a classic. It should be read by anyone interested in quality and, of course, be found in any library related to quality.
Juran is definitely one of the greatest men of quality, or in his own terminology, one of “the vital few.” Dr. Juran, thanks for all you have given us.
The Design of CMOS Radio-Frequency Integrated
Circuits, second edition, Thomas Lee,
Cambridge University Press, 2003,
816 pp., $75 (book).
Six Sigma Fundamentals: A Complete Guide to the System Methods and Tools, D.H. Stamatis, Productivity Press, 2003, 350 pp., $45 (book).
Strategic MRO: A Roadmap for Transforming Assets Into Com-petitive Advantage, Richard Mac-Innes and Stephen Pearce, Productivity Press, 2003, 313 pp., $50 (book).
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