Four Practical Revolutions In Management

Shoji Shiba and David Walden, Productivity Press, 541 NE 20th Ave., Suite 108, Portland, OR 97232, 2001, 757 pp., $65 (book).

Four Practical Revolutions in Management: Systems for Creating Unique Organizational Capability is an update to the authors' 1993 book on the continuing evolution of business and improvement techniques. This book discusses four revolutions in management: customer focus, continuous improvement, total participation and societal networking. It emphasizes the importance of integrating these revolutions with other methods.

The book does a good job of dodging the uninformed perception that total quality management is dead. Other improvements to the book include new case studies, a discussion of systematic development of skill, additional supporting materials and the removal of "American" from the title.

The text is replete with diagrams, charts, graphs and other graphics supporting and enhancing the material. I recommend the book for anyone involved in process improvement. It is an excellent reference book, and the cases will prove invaluable.

John D. Richards
SRA International
San Antonio

Implementing ISO 9001:2000

Tom Taormina with Keith A. Brewer, Prentice Hall PTR, One Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, 2002, 323 pp., $55 (book).

Most books written on ISO 9001 only describe what it is and how to implement it. Implementing ISO 9000:2000: The Journey From Conformance to Performance goes beyond that by describing the new standards as the template for sound business models and practices. The book includes a study on the implementation of an ISO 9001:2000 system in the asset recovery business division of Dell Computers.

If you want to understand ISO 9001:2000 and its relation to other standards, this book provides a plethora of information, including a comparison between the 2000 and 1994 versions. The goal is to inspire readers to build a quality management system that will conform to the requirements and advance business performance to a higher level.

I recommend this book for those who are curious about what the new ISO 9001:2000 standard can do to help their business gain a competitive advantage.

Shin Ta Liu
Lynx Systems
San Diego

Introduction to ISO 9001: 2000 Self-Study Course

Tom Taormina and Maria Franco, ABS Consulting, 4 Research Pl., Rockville, MD 20850, 2001, 282 pp., $395 (book).

Introduction to ISO 9001:2000 Self-Study Course provides a fundamental understanding of the new ISO 9001:2000 quality management standards. Each chapter presents learning objectives, an overview and a discussion on the material. There is a master exam at the end of the book and successful completion (80%) will earn 16 continuing education credits and a certificate of achievement from ABS Consulting/Government Institutes.

This book will be helpful to someone looking to earn some continuing education credits. The book is well structured and easy to understand. I found the appendices helpful in providing additional clarity.

This book is recommended for quality professionals with some knowledge of ISO 9001:2000. The material may be too technical for a nonquality professional to understand.

Rajesh K. Sharma
Procter & Gamble

ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook

David Hoyle, Butterworth-Heinemann, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2001, 672 pp., $49.95 (book).

The ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook is an excellent resource for anyone interested in implementing a quality management system based upon the ISO 9000 standards. The author systematically addresses the requirements of the standard in clear language.

The structure of the book gives the reader a better understanding of the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard. The author has broken down ISO 9001 into individual requirements, each followed by three questions.

This book will be helpful to organizations transitioning from the 1994 to the 2000 version. The author also provides a section summarizing the origins of the standard. In this section, the changes between the 1994 and 2000 versions are discussed. A summary of changes is provided in an inset box for each individual requirement.

Anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of the ISO 9001 requirements and how to implement them should read this book.

Rich Anderson
Tucson, AZ

Kanban for the Shopfloor

Productivity Press Development Team, Productivity Press, PO Box 13390, Portland, OR 97213-0390, 2002, 120 pp., $25 (book).

If you're looking for a brief, straightforward explanation of what kanban is and how it can be implemented in your facility, this book is for you.

Simply put, kanban is a system of managing and determining the production quantities at every step of a process. Kanban is a departure from a more traditional push system, which emphasizes producing products based on an estimate of sales. The ultimate goal of kanban is to eliminate work in process inventory and hence, finished, unordered inventory.

The book does a great job of identifying the most appropriate settings for the efficient use of kanban. It also identifies and defines system terms and explains the rules of kanban and the two types of kanban systems: transport and production. Although there are no specific case studies included, there are illustrations and sample forms.

There is a bit of shameless self-promotion in this book. A convenient "additional resources related to kanban" lists an entire offering of Productivity Press books, videos, newsletters and website, without any mention of other sources for this topic. But the book is a good starting point for anyone interested in understanding or implementing a kanban system in a shopfloor setting.

Linda Cubalchini-Travis
Simi Valley, CA

Fundamental Concepts For the Software Quality Engineer

Taz Daughtrey, ed., ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 288 pp., $40 member, $50 list (book).

Fundamental Concepts for the Software Quality Engineer is a collection of articles spanning the certified software quality engineer (CSQE) body of knowledge. Each section covers one of the areas within the body of knowledge: standards, principles and ethics, quality management, software processes, project management, measurement, inspection and testing, audits and configuration management. The body of knowledge is included at the end for reference.

The book's strength and weakness are its broad-brush approach. Since it covers such a wide range of topics, it cannot provide a complete treatment of any one area. The introduction points out it cannot serve as a primary study for those taking the CSQE exam. However, it does provide a taste of a broad range of topics that can be further explored using each chapter's references.

This book is recommended for those who want to increase their general knowledge of software quality. It would also be good preparation for someone who is thinking about studying for the CSQE exam.

Carolyn Rodda Lincoln
Titan Systems
Vienna, VA

Six Sigma Deployment

Paul A. Keller, Quality America Publishing, 7650 E. Broadway #208, Tucson, AZ 85710, 2001, 216 pp., $34.95 (book).

Six Sigma Deployment: A Guide for Implementing Six Sigma in Your Organization is a good starting point for anyone unfamiliar with the Six Sigma culture. It is informative and contains good references for finding more information. It is, however, weak on the human side of Six Sigma. For most organizations, implementing Six Sigma is a cultural change. Keller covers this in the book, but does not do justice to the elements of culture, commitment and resistance.

My favorite part of this book was the section on project definition and selection, where Keller's technical approach has its best fit. His suggested checklists for project management at the end of each of the define, measure, analyze, improve and control phases of the project are excellent and show a mature understanding of the relationship of project management to Six Sigma success.

This book is an adequate reference to the technical side of building a Six Sigma management system and will benefit any practitioner who reads it.

John Zavacki
ITT Industries
New Lexington, OH

The Virtual Quincunx Version 1.0

Oriel, 3800 Regent St., PO Box 5445, Madison, WI 53705-0445, 2001, $59.95 (software).

The Virtual Quincunx is an electronic version of the famous demonstration device developed by Francis Galton 125 years ago. The original quincunx was a box with a glass face and a funnel inserted in the top. Lead shot of uniform size and weight was placed in the funnel to fall through rows of pins. The shot passed through the rows of pins with each piece falling into one of a number of compartments. Since each bead's location was the result of a sum of right/left movement, the quincunx results represented a binomial distribution.

The target audience for an electronic quincunx is educators. The quincunx can be used to demonstrate the negative impact of over control and, on the constructive side, the value of statistical process control.

The Virtual Quincunx is somewhat disappointing. The product is a straightforward implementation of standard ideas that have limited abilities to fine-tune quincunx capabilities such as pin density and speed of the beads. The software has no uninstall feature--a feature that is a must in any commercial software.

As a result of the relatively low level of content sophistication in the product, this reviewer concludes the objectives of a statistical electronic demonstrator are only partially achieved by this CD.

Ron S. Kennett
KPA Ltd.
Raanana, Israel


New Product Development and Delivery, Dale Brethauer, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2002, 192 pp., $34.95 (book).

Performance Management: A Pocket Guide for Employee Development, James Rollo, GOAL/QPC and Competitive Advantage Consultants, 2 Manor Parkway, Salem, NH 03079-2841, 2001, 186 pp., $8.95 (book).

Six Sigma Knowledge Design, Mikel Harry, Tri Star Visual Communications, 3110 N. 35th Ave., Suite 4, Phoenix, AZ 85017, 2001, 88 pp., $24.95 (book).

The Change Agent's Guide to Radical Improvement, Ken Miller, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 300 pp., $36 member, $45 list (book).

The Little Black Book of Project Management, second edition, Michael C. Thomsett, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2002, 205 pp., $15 (book).

The Project Management Office Toolkit, Jolyon Hallows, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 249 pp., $99.95 (book with CD-ROM).

The Project Manager's Partner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Project Management, second edition, Michael Greer, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 192 pp., $24.95 (book).

The Quality Improvement Handbook, John E. Baur, Grace L. Duffy and Russell T. Westcott, eds., ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 220 pp., $36 member, $45 list (book).

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