Statistical Process Adjustment for Quality Control

Enrique Del Castillo, Wiley, 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030, 2002, 320 pp., $94.50 (book).

This book presents process adjustment techniques based on engineering process control methods and discusses them from the point of view of product quality control.

It focuses on adjustment techniques in the presence of autocorrelation, which means the data values are dependent on each other. Among the topics discussed are auto regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), multivariate ARIMA, auto regressive moving average exogenous and transfer function models.

Highlights include an interesting explanation of Deming's funnel experiment used to illustrate the need for process adjustment when there are process dynamics. Chapters end with historical notes and problems.

Del Castillo tries to explain the topic in an easy way, using footnotes and placing advanced concepts in the appendixes. It is still definitely not a book for the average quality manager. To benefit from this book, one needs quite a bit of mathematical and statistical training.

This is a book for specialists and libraries that might also be useful in advanced college courses.

Bengt Klefsjö
Luleå University
Luleå, Sweden

Management for Quality in High-Technology Enterprises
Yefim Fasser and Donald Brettner, Wiley, 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030, 2002, 424 pp., $79.95 (book).

Avoiding technical jargon and management consultant psychobabble, Fasser and Brettner explain in a lively, accessible way what managers must do to cope with the global changes in today's technology enterprises.

Numerous contemporary management concepts, methods and techniques for global high-technology industries are superbly explained and extensively illustrated with helpful supplementary diagrams. With today's rapidly changing technology industries and increased globalization, the role of management is constantly being re-evaluated, creating a need for quality books like this.

Fasser and Brettner explain how traditional management skills must be combined with new skills and define what these new skills are. They tell why an expanding, global market necessitates an expanding, global mind-set and why a customer focus must dominate all business aspects.

The book's main parts include:

  • A systematic approach to organizational transformation.
  • Managing in a knowledge based organization.
  • Managing in a global environment.
  • Reshaping organizational culture.

Drawing on their own experiences, the authors do a superb job of blending key principles and concepts from the works of other quality leaders such as W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Peter Drucker and Russell Ackoff.

The authors present a great introduction to the reality of management with a keen focus on helping readers understand how to think systematically and create an environment for creativity and innovation. Following Deming's sagacious challenge to managers to clearly know what they are supposed to do, Fasser and Brettner supply a valuable tool that will help answer this challenge.

This book is highly recommended for any manager in any organization, especially new managers. In addition, it will serve well to prepare business and engineering students for the rigorous, high level expectations that define management today.

Dale Farris
Farris Resources
Groves, Texas

Six Sigma and Beyond: Statistics and Probability
D. H. Stamatis, Cary Cherniss and Daniel Goleman, St. Lucie Press, 2000 N. W. Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431, 2002, 656 pp., $119.95 (book).

The preface states this is a manual for analysis and is "not intended to be a textbook." It is complete enough to serve as either. Unlike most texts, it begins by discussing and describing data rather than the fundamentals of probability. This is a good approach for the practitioner and teacher.

The first section covers basic statistical analysis through hypothesis testing and regression with some advanced topics. The second section sets forth basic probability concepts and is more mathematically rigorous but should be understandable to someone who has taken a mathematical statistics course.

The last sections examine specific mathematical and statistical techniques in some detail. These include matrix operations, the Simplex method, Bernoulli trials, Markov chains, optimization, Langrangian multipliers and Monte Carlo simulation. While one could argue that, with the extensive use of spreadsheet solutions, learning the Simplex method is no longer necessary, it is helpful to have the information as a reference and refresher.

Although the author stresses formulas and theory are not the major emphasis of the book, the reader will need to understand basic matrix algebra and often must be familiar with calculus to fully understand the presentations of probability density functions.

There is little that specifically discusses quality control techniques or processes, making the title somewhat a misnomer. However, sections on experimental design and hypothesis testing are quite complete and would serve well as a guide for statisticians in quality management.

This is an excellent manual for the practitioner with some experience. In one small volume, it includes all commonly used statistical techniques with explanations and examples.

I. Elaine Allen
Babson College
Wellesley, MA

Six Sigma for the Office--A Pocket Guide
Roderick A. Munro, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI, 53203, 2003, 176 pp., $12 member, $15 list (book).

While many of the current Six Sigma publications are written with manufacturing in mind, here is one that can be used by anyone. It is no substitute for Six Sigma training, but it does provide basic explanations for most Six Sigma project tools.

In handy pocket form, the author presents Six Sigma basics, including what Six Sigma represents, types of Six Sigma teams and the tools required to effectively implement Six Sigma.

In addition to briefly explaining each of 37 tools, the author provides a handy matrix that cross references where each tool can be effectively used in the define, measure, analyze, improve, control cycle.

Other tools covered include failure mode effects analysis, histograms, brainstorming and statistical process control. Munro does not give complete instruction on each of the tools noted. However, he does provide plenty of basic quality references for detailed steps in learning the tools.

Overall, this is a handy reference for broadening the use of Six Sigma in nonmanufacturing situations.

Linda Cubalchini-Travis
Simi Valley, CA



Customer Satisfaction Toolkit for ISO 9001:2000, Sheila Kessler, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2003, 88 pp., $20 member, $25 list (book).

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

Standard Work for the Shopfloor, Productivity Press, 444 Park Ave. S., Suite 604, New York, NY 10016, 2002, 85 pp., $25 (book).

The Virtual Teams Guidebook for Managers, Herb Dreo, Pat Kunkel and Thomas Mitchell, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 128 pp., $12 member, $15 list (book).

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