The Lean Enterprise Memory Jogger

Richard L. MacInnes, Goal/QPC, 2 Manor Pkwy., Salem, NH 03079, 2002, 166 pp., $8.95 (book).

This easy to understand book covers all aspects of lean production--goals, management, operations and flow--as well as other related tools and metrics.

Each chapter emphasizes a specific process and follows a consistent format. MacInnes first introduces the process and examines its importance. He then provides several strategies for implementing the process, areas for concentration during implementation, a description of the end result and plans for holding gains. He ends with tips for success and excellent diagrams and checklists. Each chapter could stand alone as a resource.

MacInnes has avoided most of the confusing rhetoric found in other books in the Memory Jogger series, making the book itself an example of lean techniques. Very little space is wasted on irrelevant information.

The glossary is good, and while there is some cross-referencing, it is not at the cost of clarity. The only thing I disliked was the spiral binding, which caught in my pocket.

Anyone who wants to reduce waste will find this book useful whether or not he or she is experienced in quality. It effectively and efficiently addresses many items. Anyone in charge of a process improvement project will find something useful here.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Interox

Quality Audits for Improved Performance

Dennis R. Arter, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2003, 152 pp., $30 member, $37.50 list (book).

I was one of the few quality professionals who had not read the first two editions of this book. After reading the third edition, I realize I should have. I highly recommend it to anyone involved in quality auditing.

The book is logically organized. In the first chapter, Arter clarifies many auditing concepts, such as system, process and product categories and compliance vs. conformance audits. The next five chapters cover the four fundamental stages of an audit--preparation, performance, reporting and follow-up/closure. The last chapter is a summary of all the concepts.

Appendix A is a simple but comprehensive example of an audit procedure that can be tailored to any organization. Appendix B is a glossary of auditing terms. Although the glossary is useful, having more than one definition for several of the terms could confuse auditing novices.

One of the most important concepts covered is the identification of business pains such as scrap, rework, overtime, missed delivery and lost sales and their relationship to the three universal business forces--cost, production and risk. Arter presents findings in a way that gets stakeholders' attention.

I disagree with Arter that third-party audits are always system compliance audits. I also wish he had given more coverage to third-party audits, which are so prevalent these days. I also noted one error--on page 13, figure 1.4, two arrows are pointing in the wrong directions.

Still, this book is a fine resource. Organizations needing guidance for managing their audit programs will find it useful, as will anyone conducting internal or external audits.

Herzl Marouni
ABS Quality Evaluations

The Six Sigma Journey: From Art to Science

Larry Walters, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 204 pp., $20 member, $25 list (book with CD-ROM).

Walters presents a fictional case study in the form of a novel that is an enjoyable and very useful introduction to Six Sigma. It is a quick read that provides an excellent overview for managers considering Six Sigma. It is quite thorough, remarkably clear and devoid of jargon and preaching.

The story emphasizes the necessity of upper management's backing the effort and upper and middle managers' participating as Champions. It also emphasizes Six Sigma's applicability to a wide variety of industries and across all elements of companies, including finance, marketing, production, warehousing and distribution, and R & D.

One strength is Walters' creation of very realistic employees of the fictional HPZ company. Their reluctance to accept change and initial misperception of what Six Sigma can accomplish foretell real obstacles.

This can be a textbook for the introduction of Six Sigma or companion reading to Six Sigma training. The CD-ROM contains the complete text in Quark Express and Adobe Acrobat formats for classroom use. All levels of management can benefit from this book, but its appeal also extends to employees below management.

William F. Foster
Dogbyte Co.
Vienna, VA


Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma Quality With Lean Speed

Michael L. George, McGraw-Hill Trade, 2 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121, 2002, 300 pp., $39.95 (book).

This book is for the serious executive who wants to know the best practices and pitfalls of combining lean and Six Sigma.

In the first of three sections, George builds a strong case for speed and quality as needed for customer satisfaction. The second section gives detailed explanations, almost a checklist, of steps and considerations to successfully implement a lean Six Sigma program. The third section centers on extending lean Six Sigma to more difficult operations--extended supply chains, logistics and design.

George also discusses Meredith Belbin's nine team roles. He goes into great depth explaining the infrastructure required for lean Six Sigma, including the roles of Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts and Champions.

The book should be read twice to internalize all the author's points.

Bill Baker
Raytheon Co.
Lexington, MA



Baldrige Award Winning Quality: How To Interpret the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, 12th edition, Mark Graham Brown, Productivity Press, 444 Park Ave. South, Suite 604, New York, NY 10016, 2003, 338 pp., $39 (book).

ISO Guia de Leccion 2000, segunda edicion, Dennis Arter and J.P. Russell, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2003, 85 pp., $8 member, $10 list (book).

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