ISO 14001 Environmental Certification

A.J. Edwards, Butterworth-Heinemann, 255 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2001, 242 pp., $47.95 (book with CD-ROM).

ISO 14001 Environmental Certification: Step-by-Step provides concise descriptions of the ISO 14001 standard, its origin, an implementation guide and information you should know if you are seriously thinking about obtaining ISO 14001 certification.

This book is written for British readers, so the laws cited are applied to companies located in England. U.S. readers will need to research which environmental laws are relevant to them.

The book can be used as a reference for ISO 14001. The actual text of the book fills only 60 out of 242 pages (the rest are appendices about the standard), so it is an easy read.

Shin Ta Liu
Lynx Systems
San Diego

The Ultimate Six Sigma

Keki R. Bhote, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2002, 404 pp., $99.95 (book).

The Ultimate Six Sigma: Beyond Quality Excellence to Total Business Excellence consists of two parts: Six Sigma concepts and definitions and 12 areas that form the author's idea for the ultimate Six Sigma.

Bhote gives a complete picture of areas for achieving business excellence, focusing on people as well as structures and recognizing the importance of measurements. The book's suggestion to measure the health of a company by using self-assessments, performed either by the company itself or through an external audit by outside examiners, is a good one. Worksheets for doing such assessments are included. The book also contains case studies, illustrations, diagrams and tables.

However, I am disappointed with the author's use of dogmatic statements such as "the seven tools of quality control (of kindergarten effectiveness) ... are totally ineffective in solving chronic quality problems," "total quality management ... has proved to be just the latest in a long line of fads, potions and nostrums," and "the seven management tools are even less useful than the seven tools of quality control in problem solving."

Bengt Klefsjö
Luleå University
Luleå, Sweden

Toyota Production System

Taiichi Ohno, Productivity Press, 541 NE 20th Ave., Suite 108, Portland, OR 97232, 2002, $23 (CD).

The three-CD set of the audio book Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production is arranged in 60-minute increments and comes packaged in an album style case. The audio voice is pleasant and easy to understand. The Toyota production system is the model for most lean enterprise systems.

In the second CD, the evolution, invention and deployment of kanban are discussed in detail that includes Ohno's implementation approach and the many complaints he generated while effecting change at Toyota.

In the third CD, the genealogy of Toyota is traced from 1888, when the original Toyota watched weaving and spinning machines all day to understand their operation. This generated the concept of the five whys and the theory to turn moving into working (eliminate waste and add value).

The CD also covers two principles Ohno believed in, automation and just-in-time, and explains how they were created to overcome the three evils of production: waste, inconsistency and excess production. Toyota believed small lots and continuous flow were a better approach than quantity and speed.

If you are a manager with little time on your hands, this CD set is just right for you because the material covered can easily be digested while driving to and from work.

Bill Baker

Wisdom on the Green

Forrest W. Breyfogle III, David Enck, Phil Flories and Tom Pearson, Smarter Solutions, 13776 U.S. Highway 183 N., Suite 122-110, Austin, TX 78750-1811, 2001, 170 pp., $16.95 (book).

Wisdom on the Green: Smarter Six Sigma Business uses the analogy of golf to explain and make a point for Six Sigma applications in the business environment. It is no coincidence the book is based on the escapades of four friends (the four authors) and their experience with Six Sigma while enjoying their monthly golf outings. Unlike other books about Six Sigma, its goal is to present a complex quality principle and make it enjoyable to read.

Hank, Jorge, Wayne and Zack are four successful MBA graduates who bring their business problems to the golf outings. Each has a separate problem he is trying to solve, and each uses a different approach: lean enterprise, Malcolm Baldrige, total quality management and Six Sigma. The book emphasizes Six Sigma can be implemented in conjunction with these other approaches, but the approach used should depend on the project that needs improvement. In the end, they all agree Six Sigma is the business solution to both their business and golf problems.

If you're looking for a deep understanding of these concepts, that is not what this book attempts. It is for someone who enjoys golf and wants some understanding of Six Sigma. It is easy to read and understand. Although I do not think it will improve any company's bottom line, it may improve your golf game.

Wayne Sander
Dove Quality Consulting
Dousman, WI



The Best on Quality, Volume 13: Targets, Improvements and Systems, Kenneth F. Stephens, ed., International Academy for Quality, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 225 pp., $50 member, $62.50 list (book).

The Mahalanobis-Taguchi Strategy, Genichi Taguchi and Rajesh Jugulum, John Wiley and Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 2002, 234 pp., $125 (book).

The New Project Management, second edition, J. Davidson Frame, Jossey-Bass, 989 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103-1741, 2002, 360 pp., $40 (book).

The PDMA Toolbox for New Product Development, Paul Belliveau, Abbie Griffin and Stephen Somermeyer, eds., John Wiley and Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 2002, 472 pp., $60 (book).

The Six Sigma Journey: From Art to Science, Larry Walters, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 216 pp., $20 member, $25 list (book).

TL 9000 Release 3.0: A Guide to Measuring Excellence in Telecommunications, second edition, Sandford Liebesman, Alka Jarvis and Ashok V. Dandekar, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 170 pp., $36 member, $45 list (book).

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