2019

Differential Equations

A. C. King, J. Billingham and S. R. Otto, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 554 pp., $100 (book).

Differential Equations: Linear, Nonlinear, Ordinary, Partial is a textbook for an engineering or scientific based differential equation course. While aimed at an upper level undergraduate student in mathematics or engineering, it would also be a useful reference for engineers and statisticians.

The text includes lengthy examples and problems that rely on the use of Matlab software and are especially useful as they are derived from real-world problems. The authors assume the reader is already familiar with ordinary differential equations, real analysis and linear algebra.

The book is broadly divided into two sections—linear equations and nonlinear equations—including more advanced techniques in the latter section.

The presentation is very clear, as it progresses in text and examples from simple to complex problems. Coverage of topics is quite complete and, in comparison with other differential equation texts, encompasses more material and topics. The book also includes extensive appendices reviewing linear algebra, power series, ordinary differential equations and an introduction to Matlab.

The readability and presentation of materials are excellent. There are many illustrative figures and Matlab examples to enhance the mathematical content. As the book progresses to more complex problems, the applicability of the material to real-world examples is stressed rather than simply the mathematical derivations.

I. Elaine Allen

Babson College

Wellesley, MA

Managing Projects
In Organizations

J. Davidson Frame, Jossey-Bass, 2003,
272 pp., $45 (book).

Managing Projects in Organizations is an introduction to practical project management that goes beyond discussion of techniques for planning and controlling project schedules and budgets. This book emphasizes anticipation and avoidance of pitfalls projects are subject to, especially concerning today’s information age projects in which information and nonphysical objects are manipulated.

Frame explains how to structure project teams for maximum efficiency and build team cohesion, especially in virtual teams with members who are geographically and culturally diverse.

Frame reminds us that in project management as in much of organizational life the soft issues are the hard issues. While the book includes clear and concise information on the use of project planning, analysis tools and techniques, it also offers practical advice about obtaining resources, motivating team members and meeting customer requirements on time and on budget.

The level of detail at which project management topics are covered in this book makes it a useful introduction for those new to the subject. The book is particularly geared to information age project managers such as scientists, writers, IT professionals and managers of service organizations.

Steve Mariconti

Ultra Additives

Warwick, NY

The Project Management Question and Answer Book

Michael Newell and Marina N. Grashina, American Management Assn., 2003,
186 pp., $17.95 (book).

One of the main reasons we want to learn project management methods is the uncertainty inherent in all projects, large or small. In The Project Management Question and Answer Book, Newell and Grashina want to help us learn but refrain from teaching “the way.”

The chapters are well organized by topic, which makes it easy to go right to an area of interest. The topics covered include scope, estimating cost and time management, human resources, risk and quality. An especially useful tool is a question and answer section found in each chapter.

Newell and Grashina are experienced in their field; however, knowing they are writing for other thinking individuals, they refrain from asserting their own beliefs.

Most of the chapters are very good, and I’ve found myself using their methods. In my view, the chapter on quality is weak, but only because there is potentially so much to include that everyone will think something has been omitted.

The authors do well with the tools and concepts they introduce. However, readers not familiar with quality literature will have trouble knowing where else to go due to the lack of a reading or reference list. Still, this is a good book to have available at any stage of a project, particularly if your team is new to project management.

Steven Byers

Western IRB

Olympia, WA

Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems

Betty Vanderbosch, Jossey-Bass, 2003,
191 pp., $45.00 (book).

The goal of Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems: A Structured Process for Managers and Consultants is to provide a practical approach to solving tough problems. The author takes the reader from identifying the problem through implementing the solution. Vanderbosch uses clear explanations of material and presents real examples based on her consulting experiences.

The major topics covered include understanding the situation, determining objective and scope, constructing and testing hypotheses, and designing and implementing solutions. Many useful tools are explained to help the reader use them effectively. There are practical exercises throughout the material that can be used in the application of the tools.

Included with this book is a CD that contains blank worksheets for use by the reader. If this book has one weakness, it is that the author does not spend enough time referencing the useful material found on the CD.

The strength of this book is its straightforward presentation of the material. If you are trying to solve a complex problem or develop a major new opportunity for your company or client, this book will guide you through the process.

Gene Placzkowski

S.C. Johnson Wax

Racine, WI

Lean Lexicon

Chet Marchwinski and John Shook, eds., Lean Enterprise Institute, 2003, 98 pp., $25 (book).

Lean Lexicon: A Graphical Glossary for Lean Thinkers is an attempt to define all lean terms in the same way a dictionary does for other language.

To be accurate, the editors chose to use the most important and widely used criteria, not company speak. Lexicon covers lean terms from A3 report to Yamazumi board with many cross references to similar terms. Several detail oriented terms are explained, including policy deployment matrix, process village, operator balance chart and value stream mapping. The basic structure of each term entry is name, definition, example, cross reference and, in many cases, an illustration or graphic to demonstrate the principle being covered.

Written in easy to understand terms, this book is great for beginners and experienced managers alike. There is an appendix that details and explains icons, both material flow and information flow. Appendices also address lean acronyms, Japanese terms and references.

Bill Baker

Raytheon

Dallas

Managing Teleworkers and Telecommuting Strategies

Gina Vega, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, $59.95 (book).

In Managing Teleworkers and Telecommuting Strategies, Vega confronts management challenges, writing from an academic background and using a four-year telework program as her starting point. Teleworking is one of those terms, like "health and safety,” that has a different meaning to everyone. It's used here to describe how work is taken from the workplace to the workers, instead of the more conventional way of doing it.

Thanks to the proliferation of information technology, work can be done in all sorts of places, from the airport lounge to the spare bedroom, and still be top caliber. Surprisingly, though, Vega says 58% of teleworkers live in cities, with only 13% in rural areas. And, even more surprising, the research Vega cites identifies a white male in his early 40s as the typical teleworker in the United States. In examples of teleworking in other parts of the world, it is strange that Japan had a particularly unsuccessful teleworking history until recently, due mostly to cultural factors.

Having a past in the world of teleworking, I found this book unexpectedly rewarding. I started reading it for reference but then found myself reading for pleasure, too. Like teleworking at its best, it was a win/win situation.

Jenny Glover

Fell Services

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The Wright Way

Mark Eppler, Amacom, 2004, 205 pp., $21.95 (book).

Almost everyone agreed flight in a heavier than air machine was not possible. Wilbur and Orville Wright disagreed. They had a system for making impossible things become possible. Eppler’s book, published during the centennial of powered flight, shares their system for use today.

The Wright Way: 7 Problem Solving Principles From the Wright Brothers That Can Make Your Business Soar is a fun, fast read and a useful reference. Leaders, decision makers, managers and people responsible for quality will find ideas and answers based on the Wrights’ seven principles: forging, tackling the tyrant, fiddling, mind-warping, relentless preparation, measuring twice and forced multiplication.

Some principles are critical for people delivering quality processes and results. The Wright-way principles are offered to save time and money and build successes through obsession for detail. Techniques used by the Wright brothers are offered as examples throughout the book.

For instance, learning to scrap or the use of creative confrontation explores how the brothers had constructive confrontations as they made discoveries and exposed ways to accomplish goals. The fact that many of today’s organizations avoid conflict is explored as a possible weakening phenomenon.

People interested in aviation and the work of the Wright brothers need this book. Anyone looking for good and useful ideas for challenging operations or great events to reference in speeches, teaching, mentoring and writing should also use this book.

Gerald Brong

GMB Partnership

Ellensburg, WA

 

 

 

Nan’s Arsonist: A Six Sigma Mystery, Robert Barry, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, 298 pp., $20 member, $25 list (book).

The Good Corporate Citizen: A Practical Guide, Doris Rubenstein, John Wiley and Sons, 2004, 186 pp., $39.95 (book).

World Class Reliability: Using Multiple Environment Overstress Tests To Make It Happen, Keki Bhote and Adi Bhote, Amacom, 2004, 208 pp., $39.95 (book).

QP

REVIEWS

QUALITYPROGRESS I JULY 2004 I 95

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a project, particularly if your team is new to project management.

Steven Byers

Western IRB

Olympia, WA

Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems

Betty Vanderbosch, Jossey-Bass, 2003,
191 pp., $45.00 (book).

The goal of Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems: A Structured Process for Managers and Consultants is to provide a practical approach to solving tough problems. The author takes the reader from identifying the problem through implementing the solution. Vanderbosch uses clear explanations of material and presents real examples based on her consulting experiences.

The major topics covered include understanding the situation, determining objective and scope, constructing and testing hypotheses, and designing and implementing solutions. Many useful tools are explained to help the reader use them effectively. There are practical exercises throughout the material that can be used in the application of the tools.

Included with this book is a CD that contains blank worksheets for use by the reader. If this book has one weakness, it is that the author does not spend enough time referencing the useful material found on the CD.

The strength of this book is its straightforward presentation of the material. If you are trying to solve a complex problem or develop a major new opportunity for your company or client, this book will guide you through the process.

Gene Placzkowski

S.C. Johnson Wax

Racine, WI

Lean Lexicon

Chet Marchwinski and John Shook, eds., Lean Enterprise Institute, 2003, 98 pp., $25 (book).

Lean Lexicon: A Graphical Glossary for Lean Thinkers is an attempt to define all lean terms in the same way a dictionary does for other language.

To be accurate, the editors chose to use the most important and widely used criteria, not company speak. Lexicon covers lean terms from A3 report to Yamazumi board with many cross references to similar terms. Several detail oriented terms are explained, including policy deployment matrix, process village, operator balance chart and value stream mapping. The basic structure of each term entry is name, definition, example, cross reference and, in many cases, an illustration or graphic to demonstrate the principle being covered.

Written in easy to understand terms, this book is great for beginners and experienced managers alike. There is an appendix that details and explains icons, both material flow and information flow. Appendices also address lean acronyms, Japanese terms and references.

Bill Baker

Raytheon

Dallas

Managing Teleworkers and Telecommuting Strategies

Gina Vega, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, $59.95 (book).

In Managing Teleworkers and Telecommuting Strategies, Vega confronts management challenges, writing from an academic background and using a four-year telework program as her starting point. Teleworking is one of those terms, like "health and safety,” that has a different meaning to everyone. It's used here to describe how work is taken from the workplace to the workers, instead of the more conventional way of doing it.

Thanks to the proliferation of information technology, work can be done in all sorts of places, from the airport lounge to the spare bedroom, and still be top caliber. Surprisingly, though, Vega says 58% of teleworkers live in cities, with only 13% in rural areas. And, even more surprising, the research Vega cites identifies a white male in his early 40s as the typical teleworker in the United States. In examples of teleworking in other parts of the world, it is strange that Japan had a particularly unsuccessful teleworking history until recently, due mostly to cultural factors.

Having a past in the world of teleworking, I found this book unexpectedly rewarding. I started reading it for reference but then found myself reading for pleasure, too. Like teleworking at its best, it was a win/win situation.

Jenny Glover

Fell Services

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The Wright Way

Mark Eppler, Amacom, 2004, 205 pp., $21.95 (book).

Almost everyone agreed flight in a heavier than air machine was not possible. Wilbur and Orville Wright disagreed. They had a system for making impossible things become possible. Eppler’s book, published during the centennial of powered flight, shares their system for use today.

The Wright Way: 7 Problem Solving Principles From the Wright Brothers That Can Make Your Business Soar is a fun, fast read and a useful reference. Leaders, decision makers, managers and people responsible for quality will find ideas and answers based on the Wrights’ seven principles: forging, tackling the tyrant, fiddling, mind-warping, relentless preparation, measuring twice and forced multiplication.

Some principles are critical for people delivering quality processes and results. The Wright-way principles are offered to save time and money and build successes through obsession for detail. Techniques used by the Wright brothers are offered as examples throughout the book.

For instance, learning to scrap or the use of creative confrontation explores how the brothers had constructive confrontations as they made discoveries and exposed ways to accomplish goals. The fact that many of today’s organizations avoid conflict is explored as a possible weakening phenomenon.

People interested in aviation and the work of the Wright brothers need this book. Anyone looking for good and useful ideas for challenging operations or great events to reference in speeches, teaching, mentoring and writing should also use this book.

Gerald Brong

GMB Partnership

Ellensburg, WA

 

 

 

Nan’s Arsonist: A Six Sigma Mystery, Robert Barry, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, 298 pp., $20 member, $25 list (book).

The Good Corporate Citizen: A Practical Guide, Doris Rubenstein, John Wiley and Sons, 2004, 186 pp., $39.95 (book).

World Class Reliability: Using Multiple Environment Overstress Tests To Make It Happen, Keki Bhote and Adi Bhote, Amacom, 2004, 208 pp., $39.95 (book).

96 I JULY 2004 I www.asq.org

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