Critical SHIFT: The Future of Quality In Organizational Performance

Lori L. Silverman with Annabeth L. Propst, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 1999, 294 pp., member $24, list $29.75. (book)

Critical SHIFT traces human endeavors as they relate to quality through the world's five economic eras. While the authors planned to write about the future of the quality professional, they instead found that their research led them to unravel all the loose ends surrounding the quality movement.

The authors arrived at three important conclusions that are substantiated throughout the book with numerous quotes from quality leaders:

1. The concept of quality is timeless.

2. The practice of quality is merging with the practice of management.

3. While quality professionals are decreasing in number, the use of quality management by practitioners is increasing.

The authors focus on defining and discussing in-depth the five forces affecting the current business environment and the five trends that have emerged in the quality arena. The interplay between these forces and trends forms the core subject matter of the book.

The authors also introduce their starburst model in the book. The model helps explain the five levels of quality focus in organizations. It provides readers with a clarity that helps them understand their organization's level of expectations.

The book tries to cover an exhaustive breadth of knowledge; it may be overpowering to entry-level quality professionals. However, it is still important for entry-level professionals to understand the expected future of their profession.

Bill Baker
Plano, TX

Project Management Competence

J. Davidson Frame, Jossey-Bass Inc., 350 Sansome St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104, 1999, 256 pp., $34.95. (book)

This is an excellent example of the kind of thinking that will change the way managers see themselves and their profession. As one of the developers of the Project Management Institute's body of knowledge, Frame has a deep understanding of the systemic nature of project management. The book, however, is not about managing projects; it's about managing knowledge.

Frame develops a case for competency assessment at three levels: the individual, team and organization. Anyone managing projects, programs or organizations can learn from this book. The quality professional, in particular, can gain a better understanding of project development and the process improvement cycle. Organizational development specialists can use the details of the competencies to develop a base curriculum for technical and engineering professionals. Anyone interested in design and development of systems can use the capability maturity model to assess the systems' strengths and weaknesses. Frame's understanding of the broader applications of project management and its use in managing design, development and improvement efforts in any organization makes this work universally adaptable.

Anyone in a management or leadership role is faced with change. Understanding the individual, team and organizational skills needed to continuously improve is a big step toward meeting that challenge.

John Zavacki
ITT Industries
New Lexington, OH

Designing Feedback

Carl G. Thor, Crisp Publications, 1200 Hamilton Ct., Menlo Park, CA 94025, 1998, 96 pp., $12.95. (book)

Designing Feedback is one of the books from the Crisp Management Library series. The series acts as a concise business reference for readers who need a general understanding of a topic in a limited amount of time.

The book deals with improving feedback issues, including the frequency and flow of information and its accuracy and credibility. It provides a succinct look at different performance measures, such as productivity and quality and customers and the workforce. This is followed by a brief description of how such measures are used within an organization.

The information is accurate. Unfortunately, even though the author attempts to give readers a broad understanding of the subject, the information is too general to put into practice. Few, if any, detailed examples are included in the text, and most of the information is not new.

The book will most likely appeal to managers who want a brief introduction to a concept, but who won't be the ones developing and implementing the feedback mechanism. The author states that the book is part of a series that is designed "so you can get the day's work done and still stay informed on a wide variety of concepts."

The book lacks specifics and introduces no new information. Whether its readers are novices or experienced practitioners, it is too general and leaves readers with more questions than answers.

Linda Cubalchini-Travis
Simi Valley, CA

Quality Assurance for the Chemical And Process Industries: A Manual Of Good Practices, Second Edition

ASQ Chemical and Process Industries Division, Chemical Interest Committee, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 1998, 74 pp., member $18, list $22. (book)

The methodology used for sampling and measurement in chemical and process industries is quite different from the one used in mechanical industries. The relatively large variability in measurements requires proper use of statistical methods for process control.

Quality Assurance for the Chemical and Process Industries documents good quality management practices in chemical process industries. It is written to serve as a reference manual for process engineers, quality professionals, manufacturing managers, and customers of chemical and process industries.

The book is organized into 11 chapters and a bibliography. The first chapter describes the framework used to apply quality management methods in the chemical and process industries. Topics discussed in the remaining chapters include:

  • Organization and responsibilities.
  • Sampling technology.
  • Analysis and testing.
  • Process control.
  • Shipping.
  • Distributor relations.
  • Customer and supplier relations.

Each chapter begins with a brief discussion of one of the above topics and then provides an explanation of ISO 9000 elements related to the topic. The bibliography presents an extensive list of sources with detailed information regarding quality management techniques, ISO 9000 requirements, and systems and processes in chemical industries.

The key strength of the book is its reader friendly style. It is an excellent source of reference information for people involved with processes and systems in the chemical and process industries. Its only weakness is the lack of detailed information regarding ISO 9000 requirements for chemical and process industries.

Sohail Anwar
Pennsylvania State University-Altoona
Altoona, PA

Statistical Procedures for Machine and Process Qualification, Third Edition

Edgar Dietrich and Alfred Schulze, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 1999, 396 pp., member $45, list $55. (book)

Dietrich and Schulze's book describes the common practices and statistical methods used in industry for machine and process qualification. The book takes the reader through a review of two basic statistical procedures and provides the tools needed for a basic understanding of process capability studies. The nomenclature comes from industry standards or those set by the German Society for Quality.

The book has a brief introduction on statistical methods, statistical process control and various process models. The introduction is followed by chapters on engineering statistics, control charting and distribution model selection. The meat of the book consists of procedures for process assessment, calculation of various capability indexes, qualification systems for machines and processes, and measurement system capability.

The authors present the material in a way that assumes the reader has a fundamental background in basic statistics. The statistical methods are presented in a toolbox format, and no attempt is made to show how the formulas are derived. The book emphasizes the tools used in various process models encountered in industry.

The book's minor drawback is that all of the case studies and the nomenclature are based on automotive industry standards. The book also frequently references statistical software products from Q-DAS, a software company based in Germany.

I think the book is well-organized and easy to follow. It is obvious the authors are practitioners in the application of statistical methods. The book's real bonus is the chapter filled with Ford Motor Co. test samples that provide data and expected results of particular statistical tools.

The book would be of interest to quality professionals in the automotive industry; however, any quality professional interested in sound practices for machine and process qualification will find it useful.

Bryan Ruggles
Fisher Controls International
McKinney, TX


Analysis of Customer Satisfaction Data, Derek R. Allen and Tanniru R. Rao, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 243 pp., member $44, list $55. (book)

Back to Basics: Your Guide to Manufacturing Excellence, Steven A. Melnyk and R.T. "Chris" Christensen, CRC Press LLC, 2000 NW Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431, 2000, 197 pp., $39.95. (book)

Insights to Performance Excellence in Health Care 2000: An Inside Look At the 2000 Baldrige Award Criteria for Health Care, Mark L. Blazey, Joel H. Ettinger, Paul L. Grizzell and Linda M. Janczak, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 288 pp., member $31.50, list $40.75. (book)

The Process-Centered Enterprise: The Power of Commitments, Gabriel A. Pall, CRC Press LLC, 2000 NW Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431, 2000, 325 pp., $29.95. (book)

Value Driven Management: How To Create and Maximize Value Over Time For Organizational Success, Randolph A. Pohlman and Gareth S. Gardiner, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2000, 230 pp., $24.95. (book)

MINITAB Statistical Software, Release 13, MINITAB, 3081 Enterprise Dr., State College, PA 16801-3008, 2000, $65. (software)

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