Getting Your Association Hooked on Quality: A Guide and Workbook for CEOs, Volunteers and Staff

Donald M. Norris and Associates, Foundation of the American Society of Association Executives, 1575 I St., Washington DC 20005-1168, 1993, 113 pp., $19.95 (book).

Anyone who has endured a relationship with a struggling professional organization or community association will appreciate Donald Norris's application of customer focused thinking. It is a modest tool kit for the person who wants to make things better but may not know where to begin. Right at the beginning Norris tells us how his book can help and what it will not do. The book provides a method, but not a recipe, for instant pudding.

In chapter three, Norris identifies specific opportunities and limits for several typical association leaders, such as a board member, volunteer leader, association CEO and line manager of a support service unit. He tells what they can do, what they can't do and how to make things happen. This pattern continues throughout the book as the author discusses barriers to quality and organizational improvement, ways to hold on to gains and the Quality Tool Kit.

The Quality Tool Kit is the best part of the book because it provides what people need to begin to make changes and improvements. It includes a set of example work sheets to help the quality entrepreneur think about quality, assess the organization and make changes that will lead to improvement. The book also includes a broad bibliography that would be beneficial to the reader if it were annotated.

Steven Byers
Western Institutional Review Board
Olympia, WA

QA/S GainSeeker Suite

Hertzler Systems Inc., 2313 Eisenhower Dr. N., Goshen, IN 46526, 2001, $795 per user with five-user license (software).

This quality software contains three subsystems, which are integrated to facilitate online real-time data collection for statistical process control (SPC) and defect management. The three components are GainSeeker SPC 6, GainSeeker Defect Management 6.2 and GainSeeker WebSPC.

The advantage of providing three separate and integrated components is data can be generated and shared without the limitation imposed by geographical separations. The main workhorse of this software suite is GainSeeker SPC.

Access control and security have been designed into the core of the software, and certain roles and privileges have been predefined.

Data collection can be predefined right down to the last detail, so even data entry personnel with minimum training can start using the system effectively. To reap the benefit provided by this software, the key personnel who will be implementing the system should be thoroughly trained about its capabilities.

This software is mainly designed for the process industry. It will not be suitable for other types of application, and GainSeeker Defect Management 6.2 will not be suitable for nonprocessing data. If your primary purpose is defect management, you will be disappointed by the capability of this component.

Shin Ta Liu
Lynx Systems
San Diego

The Customer Differential: Guide To Implementing Customer Relationship Management

Melinda Nykamp, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 212 pp., $25 (book).

The Customer Differential serves as a primer for an emerging aspect of business long overlooked by management--the customer. The author defines customer relationship management (CRM) as "a focus on providing optimal value to your customers--through the way you communicate with them, how you market to them and how you service them--as well as through the traditional means of product, price, promotion and place of distribution."

In chapter three, a CRM continuous cycle including customer satisfaction, value and loyalty is discussed. In chapter four the author defines the CRM transformation process that can lead to making leapfrog improvements in the five component areas of CRM: business focus, organizational excellence, business metrics, customer interaction and technology. The resulting maturity chart is then touted as a blueprint for assessment, gap analysis and improvement efforts. Chapter six provides a management quiz and 10 rules for building customer relationships--the best practices of CRM.

The last five chapters are dedicated to case studies from different industries, with conclusions and lessons learned that are insightful and crisp. In the author's words, a successful CRM takes aggressive planning, action and tenacity, and by the way, it's not easy.

Bill Baker

The Change Leader's Roadmap

Linda Ackerman Anderson and Dean Anderson, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 350 Sansome St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104-1342, 2001, 330 pp., $29.95 (book).

The Change Leader's Roadmap focuses on how to direct and coach people to handle the implications of change. It does not focus on the drivers of change. The readers get an outpouring of insights, guidelines and specific action steps.

The book focuses on the transformational change that occurs when an organization recognizes its old way of operating cannot achieve the business strategies required to succeed in its different business environments. The transformation requires the organization to shift its culture and its people's behavior and mindsets for competitive success.

One strength of the book is that the material is presented with many cases in point, activities, templates and questions to help clarify issues that help change agents assess, design and control the desired outcomes for a successful systematic transformation process. The leaders reading this material will become aware this type of organizational development is systemwide, value based, collaborative, based on behavioral science and concerned with adaptive development for improving organizational effectiveness.

All functional leaders from the chief executive to department head have a need to know about transformational change and should read this material. This book will help business leaders support the change initiative they require for their strategies.

John Lanczycki Jr.
Creative Planners
Danbury, CT

The Forward-Focused Organization

Stephen C. Harper, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 259 pp., $27.95 (book).

The goal of this book is to show executives how to blend corporate culture and leadership style with business strategy and essential business processes to achieve exceptional results. Intended for workers at all levels in a company, the book focuses primarily on senior executives who establish the culture within their organization more from their actions and behavior than from their talents.

The first part covers the role of leadership in creating change and a forward focused organization, part two covers creating new realities that call for a new way to view the role of leaders in the change process, and part three discusses planning a future and operating as if that future were now. The appendixes on 100 ways to self-destruct as a leader and 100 ways to drive away your customers represent the most pragmatic, but minimal sections of the book.

The information in this book that concerns leading change from within is not new, and this latest addition to the rapidly growing genre is most likely to appeal to those just beginning their acquaintance with the literature. Others already well-versed in this subject will find themselves covering familiar territory.

I recommend this book as foundational reading to introduce the vast literature in change theory and change management.

Dale Farris
Farris Resources
Groves, TX

The Best on Quality: Book Series of The International Academy for Quality, Volume 12

Madhav N. Sinha, ed., ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2001, 500 pp., $68 member, $85 list (book).

This book represents the latest installment of an ongoing series published by the Institute for Quality Assurance and devoted to documenting current quality experiences worldwide.

In this volume, four distinct sections are identified: the changing face of quality management, quality in the new and emerging customer segments, quality and its implications for the future, and quality management in the historical context.

The four sections deal with how and why quality management is changing, the homogenization and development of quality as a competitive force, the clarity of company vision in determining quality strategies and the importance of past lessons learned in setting today's focus in the quality field.

Within these four sections, 20 different authors relate a variety of quality experiences, from measuring business excellence to total quality management (TQM), the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, and e-commerce.

For individuals in need of some inspirational reading, this volume could be helpful. Most of the articles contain good references and generic examples. This book is probably best for the seasoned quality professional who is well-versed in Six Sigma, design of experiments and TQM but is looking for a fresh perspective on their applications.

Linda Cubalchini-Travis
Simi Valley, CA


TL 9000: A Guide to Measuring Excellence in Telecommunications

Sanford Liebesman, Alka Jarvis and Ashok V. Dandekar, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2001, 168 pp., $44 member, $55 list (book).

TL 9000: A Guide to Measuring Excellence in Telecommunications is a detailed presentation of the TL 9000 model, which was designed as a set of 83 adders to ISO 9001 requirements. It includes a section on quality improvement and customer satisfaction. The unique difference between TL 9000 and the current ISO 9001 practice is the use of metrics in continual quality improvement--a gap that is closing in future ISO 9000 implementations.

As the book describes each adder, it includes a section on the adder rationale and an interesting set of implementation tips. Anyone involved in TL 9000 implementation will find it useful.

On the positive side, the book is clearly laid out and can serve as a guide. It would have been interesting, however, to include a section on lessons learned from early TL 9000 implementation and expand chapter seven, which is only one page long. This book looks and feels like an official standard guide such as those of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO.

In summary, the book is directed toward TL 9000 implementers--they will greatly benefit from it. Those interested in the application of metrics in continuous quality improvement in industries such as services, logistics, healthcare and education might find some useful ideas and tips in this book.

Ron S. Kenett
KPA Ltd.
Raanana, Israel



Abrasion-Resistant Cast Iron Handbook, George Laird, Richard Gundlach and Klaus Röhrig, American Foundry Society, Des Plaines, IL 60016-8399, 2000,
222 pp., $240 (book).

Basic Manufacturing, Second Edition, Roger Timings and Mike Tooley, Newnes, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2001, 311 pp., $28.95 (book).

Beyond the Podium: Delivering Training and Performance to a Digital World, Allison Rossett and Kendra Sheldon, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 350 Sansome St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104-1342, 2001,
312 pp., $29.95 (book).

Building Call Center Culture, Dan Coen, DCD Publishing, PO Box 571533, Tarzana, CA 91357, 2001, 195 pp., $24.95 (book).

Conquering Organizational Change: How To Succeed Where Most Companies Fail, Pierre Mourier and Martin Smith, CEP Press, 2300 Peachford Rd., Suite 2000, Atlanta, GA 30338, 2001, 240 pp., $18.95 (book).

Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume One: Statistical Tools, Jacqueline D. Graham and Michael J. Cleary, eds., PQ Systems Inc., 10468 Miamisburg-Springboro Rd., Miamisburg, OH 45342, 2000, 368 pp., $39.95 (book).

Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume Two: Problem Solving and Planning Tools, Jacqueline D. Graham and Michael J. Cleary, eds., PQ Systems Inc., 10468 Miamisburg-Springboro Rd., Miamisburg, OH 45342, 2000, 236 pp., $39.95 (book).

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