Continuous Improvement In the Primary Classroom: Language Arts

Karen R. Fauss, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 176 pp., member $23, list $28.50. (book)

This book gives an overview, accompanied by specific examples, of the use of quality tools in a primary grade classroom. The author, a second grade teacher, uses her classroom as an example of a system and describes Deming's plan-do-study-act cycle and its use in the classroom.

The author shows the use of various quality tools for the management of learning. Among these are the affinity diagram, fishbone diagram, force field analysis, plus delta chart, priority matrix, flowcharts and scatter matrices. These are utilized across the curriculum, with examples and explanations of their use being included for spelling, reading, writing and math.

This book will be useful to primary grade teachers who are interested in the continuous improvement model. Some training in the quality tools prior to using the book would be beneficial. However, sufficient information is provided for teachers to understand at least parts of the processes that are included in the book. The blank forms at the back of the book will be particularly helpful in the implementation of these processes. Upper elementary teachers would be able to adapt these ideas easily for use with older students.

Robert G. Noake
Occidental Chemical

Design-Expert: Software for Design Of Experiments Version 6.0.1

Stat-Easy Inc., Hennepin Square, Suite 191, 2021 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55413-2723, 2000, $995. (software)

Design of experiments as a statistical technique is a powerful tool for investigators to use in understanding empirically how three, four or even more factors impact outcomes, and it provides a direction for improvement. Design-Expert as design of experiment software serves the purpose well in filling the gap between textbook understanding and real world application of the technique.

It provides a very user friendly and seamless transition from one phase to the other. Within each phase this software also provides an almost automated process to obtain the result. The users need to provide only a few selections of parameters and conditions. The rest will be handled by the software.

Among the design of experiments software existing in the market, Design-Expert Version 6.0.1 is the most user friendly and comprehensive in terms of the scope and the depth of the coverage in design, analysis (modeling) and optimization. This is a must have tool if you are involved with process optimization and improvement.

Shin Ta Liu
Lynx Systems
San Diego

How To Use Patient Satisfaction Data To Improve Healthcare Quality

Ralph Bell and Michael J. Krivich, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 176 pp., member $36, list $45. (book)

From the onset the authors make a point of distinguishing this volume from others (for example, see "Measuring and Managing Patient Satisfaction." This book is not about how to measure or collect data on patient satisfaction; rather "it is about how to take data and turn them into useful information. It is not about how to design patient surveys; it is about how to use survey data by organizing them in a way to change the process of care."

The focus of the book "is how to use a commonsense continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach to patient satisfaction and how to recognize what patient-satisfaction data are telling you about the process of care in your institution." It includes an introduction and discussion about the process to see if you have quality data.

The real value of this book is contained in the chapters on patient satisfaction total quality management/CQI strategies, applying interventions for quality improvement, and the case study. It is a step by step application of the CQI process to patient satisfaction data using the plan-do-check-act cycle.

This book is well-organized and written. I strongly recommend it for anyone involved in providing or administering health care, from physician to technician to supervisors.

John Richards
SRA International
San Antonio

The 21st Century Supervisor

Brad Humphery and Jeff Stoke, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 350 Sansome St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104-1342, 2000, 352 pp., $24.95. (book)

This book presents several business skills the authors have found to be essential for transforming supervisors into professional leaders who will enable their organizations to realize improved results and long-term success.

The book focuses on people skills such as communication, team building and coaching; technical skills such as business analysis, continuous improvement and computer knowledge; and administrative skills such as project management, writing and resource management.

These authors recognize that organizational change for businesses will be ongoing and that future leaders will be proving themselves as front-line supervisors. They highlight the need to understand the business and its reports and acknowledge the usefulness of a proactive agenda consisting of classes to better understand business principles, computers and quality.

This book will prove very useful for any supervisor regardless of the functional area of his or her responsibility. Leaders should also read this book so they can become partners with their supervisors, guaranteeing that their supervisors will be successful. The contents of this book should be coupled with a management development program for supervisors.

John J. Lanczycki Jr.
Creative Planners
Danbury, CT

From Baldrige to the Bottom Line: A Road Map for Organizational Change and Improvement

David W. Hutton, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 348 pp., member $30.25, list $38. (book)

This book covers the process of using assessments to develop, implement and improve organizational strategies. Although it focuses on strategy for quality improvement (using Baldrige as the model), the material would be useful for any area of concern.

The author methodically discusses the improvement cycle, covering everything from philosophy and process design to implementation, follow-through/follow-up and reporting. He makes a point of the fact that assessments are different from audits; however, this book and his various processes and recommendations will improve any and all but the most rudimentary of compliance verifications (checklist/inspection).

The book is well-organized, complete in coverage and very motivational. The writing is clear and simple. Key points, handy suggestion tips and survival tips are separated and highlighted. Management involvement and commitment are also stressed.

This book will be useful to anyone including the most seasoned practitioner of continuous improvement techniques. It is a superb reference for the assessment/auditing process and will be invaluable to the novice tasked with performing and completing an audit or assessment for the first time.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Interox

Method for Improving the Quality Of Higher Education Based On the EFQM Model

Edited by Everard van Kemenade and Maaike Becx, HBO Expert Group, PO Box 30030, 9700 RM Groningen, Netherlands, 1999, 88 pp., $10. (book)

Total quality management is based on a number of core values, such as continuous improvement and everybody's commitment, which are supported by self-assessment. This book is based on the conviction that self-assessment is a suitable tool for teachers, students and management to use in acquiring insight into the position of an organization for developing improvement activities. The book is specifically aimed at the special requirements of higher education in order to increase the usefulness and acceptance of such activities in educational institutions.

To assist the organization in classifying its present status, the book describes five helpful development stages: activity oriented, process oriented, system oriented, chain oriented and total quality management. Each stage is defined and explained in detail in the book.

This book is recommended for people in management and for people at higher educational institutions who are interested in quality. The structure and the language are the strengths of the book. However, it is a pity that most of the references are to material that is available in Dutch only.

Bengt Klefsjö
Lulea University

The Customer and Supplier Innovation Team Guidebook

Patrick H. Norausky, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 256 pp., member $29, list $35. (book)

This is a book about individuals, teams, management, creativity and business in general, which is both its strength and weakness.

It starts with the overt evangelistic statement "There is a Better Way," which turns out to be a supply-chain win-win relationship built through working together. Trust is then, very importantly, identified as the cornerstone of relationships. The focus then turns to building the team, with detailed consideration of personality factors through two widely known instruments, the Jung based Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Kirton Adaptation-Innovation Index.

All chapters end with lessons learned, a summary list and questions. These are useful condensations of each chapter but approach overkill because there are also three summary sections

Overall, Norausky covers excellent subjects, but in trying to cover all bases, he only skims the surface of many of them. The book feels jumbled. It is as if the author is pouring out a lifetime's experience and understanding in a desperate attempt to help you learn from everything he has discovered. When reading the book, you may be forgiven for feeling smothered and ending up more confused than illuminated.

David M. Straker
Bracknell Berks, United Kingdom

Continuous Improvement in the Science Classroom, Jeffrey J. Burgard, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 152 pp., member $23, list $28.50. (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)

Customer-Centered Products: Creating Successful Products Through Smart Requirements Management, Ivy F. Hooks and Kristin A. Farry, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 272 pp., $35. (book)

Customer Driven Healthcare: QFD for Process Improvement and Cost Reduction, Ed Chaplin and John Terninko, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 316 pp., member $60, list $75. (book)

Insights to Performance Excellence 2000: An Inside Look at the 2000 Baldrige Award Criteria, Mark L. Blazey, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, 2000, 391 pp., member $33.50, list $40.75. (book)

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