The Change Handbook: Group Methods For Shaping the Future
Edited by Peggy Holman and Tom Devane, Berrett-Koehler Publications, 450 Sansome St., Suite 1200, San Francisco, CA 94111-3320, 1999, 394 pp., $49.95. (book)
Imagine a book on quality methods written by Deming, Juran, Crosby and numerous other leading lights. Now imagine that they each wrote within a common framework, including a case study, a basic description of the method, how to use the method, roles and responsibilities, conditions for success and the underpinning theory. Add a smattering of diagrams and tables, and you will begin to get an understanding of this remarkable book.
The list of authors reads like a who's who of change experts, and it's remarkable that the result is so readable and useful. From beginning to end it provides useful and fascinating information about large-scale change in organizations.
The main value of the book is that it compares the whole set of large-scale change methodologies. It even contains pull-out tables to enable direct comparison between specific dimensions.
The book is limited by the fact that it does not cover each area in detail. If you want to investigate further, the appendix gives the details of each founding organization and lists the major books in the field, even the books that inspired the authors.
David M. Straker
Cronthrone Berks, England
Roger G. Langevin, Crisp Management Library, 410 Sutcliffe Place, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 1998, 99 pp., $12.95. (book)
If you are looking for a brief publication highlighting the critical areas of market research, quality systems and performance measures as they relate to customer focus, this book is for you.
The book is divided into five sections, including customer focus, quality systems, market research, process management and quality improvement. Each section includes a brief definition of the key factors related to the chapter heading and examples of companies that follow the specified practices.
The major weakness of the publication is that it is too brief. For example, the chapter about quality systems covers ISO 9000, QS-9000 and AS9000 in fewer than eight pages. The information is not new and can easily be found in more informative texts.
Upper management may find the book enlightening, but professionals who actually implement the methods will need more thorough references.
Linda C. Travis
Lloyds Register Quality Assurance
Simi Valley, CA
Healthcare Performance Measurement: Systems Design And Evaluation
Vahé A. Kazandjian and Terry R. Lied, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 1999, 234 pp., member $36, list $44. (book)
The book recounts and analyzes the implementation of control systems to measure and improve the performance of hospitals and health care systems in places such as Canada, Alabama, New Hampshire and Australia. It focuses on organizing the start-up procedure and obtaining control of the systems' objectives.
The book's main contribution is its description of the methods the individuals used to organize the methods and procedures for measuring the aspects of health care important to patients. It also discusses the patients' reaction to various activities that health care providers perform and the effect of these activities on the patients' perceived and actual welfare.
Besides immediate health care providers, the book also focuses on the problems faced by health care managers who do not directly contact the patients. Among the issues they need to consider are the length of stay for patients and the risks encountered from hospital infections that may be contracted from extended stays.
August B. Mundel
White Plains, NY
How To Use Control Charts for Healthcare
D. Lynn Kelley, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee,
WI 53202, 1999,
176 pp., member $31.50, list $38.50. (book)
This book demonstrates the use of control charts in accordance with the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations' (JCAHO) standards. It presents an introduction to quality and measurement followed by a discussion about quality in health care organizations. It also includes discussions about variation and control charts and points out some links between commonly used statistical tools, control charts and JCAHO performance improvements standards.
The book gives a well-balanced description of control charts, and most of what is said seems to be adequate from a statistical point of view. That does not mean I don't have any objections. For instance, I doubt the control limits in the introduction, but my doubts are not serious when the strength of the text is taken into account.
While the book is strong, I did expect more regarding health care applications. Although the examples are from the health care area, they are so basic that I believe the book's main benefit is found in the step-by-step description of control charts.
I think the book is a suitable introduction to control charts, even if its readers aren't from the health care industry. I don't think, however, that the knowledge obtained is sufficient for applying statistical process control, which is more than just control charts.
Calculating the Price of Nonconformance
Philip Crosby, Philip Crosby Associates II, PO Box 2687, Winter Haven, FL 32790-2687, 1998, $249. (CD-ROM)
Crosby's personal introductory invitation is weak, and the remaining material is basic--designed for engineers and technicians. In critical areas, however, the CD-ROM does provide effective tools.
The CD-ROM begins by defining the term "price of nonconformance" and then tries to recognize places of nonconformance in the workplace.
The section about calculating a nonconformance is effective as it deals with whole account, whole person, labor/resource claiming, unit pricing and deviation from the ideal. Crosby gives helpful, clear examples regarding how to use each tool.
The CD-ROM also covers how to identify sources and suggests certain ways to collect data. The practice section where users can implement the data and equations is beneficial.
Anjard International Consultants
San Diego, CA
Mastering and Managing the FDA Maze: Medical Device Overview
Gordon Harnack, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee,
WI 53202, 1999,
286 pp., member $40.50, list $49. (book)
This much needed work is a training and management desk reference for manufacturers regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is appropriate for a wide audience, ranging from the novice just entering the maze to the executive who needs to quickly locate information pertinent to a specific situation. Each chapter can stand alone, and the pages are even perforated to allow the reader to remove them.
The author employs a variety of devices to assist information seekers in zeroing in on exactly what they need to know. I especially liked the graphic icons designed to express the intent of the key sections of each chapter.
Because of the relationship of the FDA Quality Systems Regulation to the ISO 9000 series standards, a great portion of the book provides insights to quality professionals in organizations that manufacture complex devices.
While the author admits FDA regulations aren't fun to read, he has taken a gigantic step in making them understandable. His unique formatting and use of icons make finding what one needs to know almost enjoyable.
R.T. Westcott & Associates
Old Saybrook, CT
Improving Data Warehouse and Business Information Quality: Methods for Reducing Costs and Increasing Profits
Larry P. English, John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 1999, 518 pp., $44.99. (book)
This book examines the process of building, managing and assessing the information in a data warehouse. It will serve as a valuable resource for all data managers and information technology practitioners. The text is divided into three parts: principles of information quality improvement, principles for improving information quality and establishing the information quality environment.
Part one establishes the need for improving data quality and the cost of sacrificing quality in information management. Each chapter includes a few tips and provides practical applications and examples of good and bad quality methodologies. This section also presents good examples of internal vs. external information quality and the differences between controlling each type of information.
Part two focuses on the actual processes used in improving information quality. The author spends time on the architecture of data and information and describes several techniques for assessing the quality of data. This section is useful for both the novice and experienced quality practitioner.
The third part examines the requirements for adoption of information in a particular environment. These chapters present methods for breaking down barriers within an organization to establish an information quality environment and pitfalls to avoid while establishing the environment.
I. Elaine Allen
Rewards That Drive High Performance: Success Stories From Leading Organizations
Thomas B. Wilson, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 1999, 302 pp., $29.95. (book)
This is a well-written book packed with case after case of successful applications of performance incentive programs. The 39 profiled companies from a broad range of industries reveal how they developed salary guidelines, bonus programs and other rewards that motivate high performance.
The author provides insight on how to use the principles in the case studies in any organization. Incorporating an effective perform- ance based reward system as described in the book will result in a redefinition of the relationship between employer and employee.
A recognized expert in the field of performance based reward systems, the author used individual case studies to craft an integrated text that holds the reader captive and makes the book difficult to put down until the last page is read. This is intense reading and will appeal to just about everyone in an organization, especially those involved in the development of compensation programs.
James F. Jaquess
Operational Performance Measurement: Increasing Total Productivity
Will Kavdos, CRC Press LLC, 2000 Corporate Blvd. NW, Boca Raton, FL 33431, 1999, 245 pp., $39.95. (book)
This book provides an overall look at the benefits of having a relevant and reliable performance measurement system in place. It presents a general theory of performance measurement that consists of a measurement model applicable to any business activity and the technical and cultural requirements necessary for improving performance. The reader will learn to design and develop a performance measurement system that has been validated to significantly improve productivity, quality, sales and profits.
The first three chapters cover the why, what and how of measurement. A general model for performance measurement is then developed along with the operational requirements. The remainder of the text discusses how to determine what to measure, implement the measures, and analyze and interpret the results.
The author provides numerous examples to emphasize key points, and the appendix shows what some leading companies use for their own performance measures. In addition, the book contains several case studies that show how performance measures have been implemented in various organizations.
This book will be useful to managers interested in improving performance within their organizations. The sufficient background information and guidelines will ensure that a meaningful performance measurement system is developed.
Fisher Controls International
Management Dilemmas: The Theory of Constraints Approach to Problem Identification and Solutions
Eli Schragenheim, St. Lucie Press, 2000 Corporate Blvd. NW, Boca Raton, FL 33431, 1999, 209 pp., $19.95. (book)
I highly recommend this book to those interested in reading about the flexibility of Eli Goldratt's Theory of Constraints (TOC). The author clearly shows that TOC is neither limited to manufacturing nor a rigid discipline with no room for creativity.
Through a series of stories, the author provides guidance in applying TOC principles, diagrams and techniques. The reader is given an opportunity to analyze each case and its solution. It is refreshing to see constraints and subordination of activities in areas as diverse as organizational analysis, strategy, personal decision making and services.
To take full advantage of this book, the reader should be somewhat familiar with TOC principles and techniques. Supported with some background or other texts, the book provides a rich resource for extending the understanding and application of TOC.
Augusta State University
Rod Carpenter, Hanser Gardner Publications, 6915 Valley Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45244-3029, 1998, 120 pp., $49.95. (book)
QS-9000 Essentials is a hands-on reference book uniquely organized to allow for the quick identification and interpretation of QS-9000 requirements. The book is not a detailed textbook on QS-9000; rather, it is meant to serve as a practical guide for understanding QS-9000 quality system require- ments.
The book is organized into three sections. The first section describes the supplier responsibilities that must be satisfied to meet the requirements. The second section presents internal audit procedures necessary for achieving certification. The third section describes the proprietary requirements as specified by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. The International Automotive Section Group-sanctioned QS-9000 interpretations are also discussed in this section.
The detailed appendix offers a document review matrix that contrasts ISO 9000 and QS-9000 elements. It also covers advanced product quality planning and control plans.
The key strength of the book is its easy-to-read graphic and tabular format. Its only weakness is the lack of details regarding QS-9000, which make it useful only to readers who already possess a working knowledge of QS-9000 and need a reference manual for QS-9000 implementation issues.
Pennsylvania State University-Altoona
Anbar Management Abstracts, No. 6 of 6, edited by
David Pollitt, MCB UP Limited, 60/62 Toller Lane, Bradford, West
Yorkshire, BD8 9BY, England, 1999,
200 pp., $77.99 for an annual subscription. (book)
Connected: A Global Approach To Managing Complexity, Willy A. Sussland, Business Press, 168-173 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7AA, England, 2000, 233 pp., approximately $31.99. (book)
Customer Capitalism: Increasing Returns in New Market Spaces, Sandra Vandermerwe, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 1163 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville, IL 60563, 1999, 296 pp., $25. (book)
Financially Focused Quality, Thomas M. Cappels, CRC Press LLC, 2000 Corporate Blvd. NW, Boca Raton, FL 33431, 1999, 294 pp., $39.95. (book)
Performance Based Certification: How To Design A Valid, Defensible, Cost-Effective Program, Judith Hale, Jossey-Bass, 350 Sansome St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104-1342, 2000, 219 pp., $49.95. (book with disk included)
A World Class Production System, John R. Black, Crisp Management Library, 410 Sutcliffe Place, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 1998, 94 pp., $12.95. (book)