System Safety for the 21st Century

Richard A. Stephans, John Wiley & Sons, 2004, 385 pp., $89.95 (book).

System Safety for the 21st Century: The Updated and Revised Edition of System Safety 2000 would appear to be an unusual title for a review in a quality magazine. While the subject matter isn’t directly on point, the practices and techniques discussed are similar enough to those used by quality professionals.

Stephans reviews the history and applications of systems safety practices and then covers program planning and management, analytical aids and analysis techniques and process implementation. He finishes with a section on professionalism and development. All the discussions in the latter three-quarters of the book are applicable and appropriate or parallel to various areas in quality.

Generically, those requiring the broad viewpoint will benefit from reading this book. Of course they will need to draw parallels to their systems and processes and adapt accordingly. Others that will be well served by this book are those needing detailed guidance in analytical tools and techniques. Individuals trying to meld quality practices and processes to health safety and environmental systems will probably gain the most from this book.

Even though the material is quite formidable and directed very heavily toward safety in its coverage and choices of examples, I found this book to be worthwhile. Many, however, may not wish to do the necessary transpositions to adapt the material to a quality system.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals
Houston, TX

Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

David Hampton, Rath & Strong, 2004, 92 pp., $12.95 (book).

Whose Fault Is It Anyway? A Modern Fable About Six Sigma presents Six Sigma and the tools necessary to implement it in a manner that flows with the narrative. It also provides good counsel to help implementers set a pace for introduction of the system that can enhance thoroughness and success.

With a company having the implausible name Forgiveness, Hampton presents the implementation of Six Sigma in a very effective manner, clearly pointing out the benefits and pitfalls of introducing the quality control system. This is a company that generates excuses to use in dealing with clients. The elements of the story are realistic, and I think most implementers can relate to them.

The basic elements of Six Sigma are presented as it is applied first to determine where delays that result in the to generate excuses to the customers, using the approach of define, measure, analyze, improve and control basic to Six Sigma.

In this simple story, the attitudes and fears of the implementers are well described. Further, the attitudes of management become the source of the title, even when management is supportive. The story illustrates the need for a change in mind-set for management to realize process problems can occur even among willing workers.

This book can be a valuable reference for companies introducing Six Sigma, providing good guidance for all levels of the organization seeking to gain the quality control improvements inherent in this system.

William F. Foster
Dogbyte Co.
Vienna, VA

The Lean Design Guidebook

Ronald Mascitelli, Technology Perspectives, 2004, 320 pp., $44.95 (book).

The Lean Design Guidebook teaches how to solve cost problems at every stage during product development using a series of 18 lean design tools. Mascitelli goes through a guided tour of the product cost reduction tools and methods from the initial design concept through development and into final product release.

Each of the cost reduction concepts is thoroughly explained using illustrations and examples. The methods are understandable and can be implemented at various levels of the organization, from the designer to the product development team or at the organizational level.

This is a working level book that is meant to be used and referred to as the lean strategy is implemented. Mascitelli uses graphics, templates and worksheets that can be adapted for a variety of applications. The information is presented in chronological order to convey a sense of journey.

Overall, I liked the book and found it a refreshing approach to implementing lean. I would recommend this book to anyone who is implementing a lean system in his or her organization.

Eric Furness
Astronautics Corp. of America
Milwaukee, WI

Customer Satisfaction Research Management

Derek Allen, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, 264 pp., $40 member, $50 list (book).

Customer Satisfaction Research Management, the third of Allen’s books on customer satisfaction, succeeds but also has one drawback. It’s a success because it can stand alone and gives an excellent view on large-scale customer satisfaction programs with emphasis on multinationals. However, it assumes readers have either seen his previous studies or are at least literate in customer satisfaction metrics. For example, some sections on statistics and a chapter on psychometric data might not be helpful to everyone.

On the other hand, each chapter includes an introduction and summary, as well as a large number of case studies. There is also an entire chapter on the linkage between customer satisfaction and business processes. The text is clear and lucid, and many of the ideas can be used even in small businesses. The gap analysis diagrams are impressive.

Allen has certainly gone into the subject in great detail, providing numerous references. What I found most impressive was that, although there was so much research as a foundation, I could read the book easily, the text flowed smoothly and—more to the point—I found myself using his ideas to improve my work. To me, that’s a win for everyone.

Jenny Glover
Fell Services
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Planning, Construction and Statistical Analysis

Francis G. Giesbrecht and Marcia L. Gumpertz, John Wiley & Sons, 2004, 693 pp., $120 (book).

Planning, Construction and Statis-tical Analysis of Comparative Experiments emphasizes the many proper methods for the analysis of experimental data. The techniques presented apply to the planning and analysis of the results of comparative studies. The topics covered start with basic randomized design and include fractional designs, saturated plans, response surface designs and multistage experiments.

Each of the topics is covered in depth. The authors provide the theoretical basis for each technique along with examples from a wide range of applications. Each chapter finishes with a number of exercises for the reader to work out. Variations on each topic are provided and explained thoroughly so the reader is prepared to handle various real-life applications.

In writing this text, the authors had two objectives. They wanted to provide a handbook and reference for statistical practitioners, and they wanted to provide a textbook for students. They accomplished their objectives because this book can be used as a teaching tool as well as a good reference on statistical analysis.

This book is recommended to those who have a solid statistical background and are looking for a reference on how to plan comparative studies with an analysis of the results.

Gene Placzkowski
SC Johnson Wax
Racine, WI

Accelerated Testingn And Validation

Alex Porter, Elsevier, 2004, 244 pp., $59.95 (book).

Frustrated with the pace of product validation in your company? Do you often find that validation testing doesn’t seem to be effective in uncovering weaknesses in your product that are later found in the field? Accelerated Testing and Validation provides answers to these problems and more.

This book covers not only the various methods of validation testing, but also how to apply them to get the necessary feedback for management to make informed decisions. Porter provides guidance on the appropriateness of different types of validation tools applied to various business situations. The discussion includes how to determine what information is needed from the test program, how to select the most effective method to obtain that information and how to design a test program that delivers the information in a timely and cost effective manner.

The book is well written and follows a logical progression. Concepts and failings of current validation programs are covered. Alternative validation test methods are developed. Finally, Porter explains how to tie the desires of management with the appropriate test program. The book includes a CD-ROM that is an electronic copy of the book. The CD also includes supplemental material that reinforces the contents of the book.

Project engineering and quality professionals responsible for validation testing will find the book a necessary reference. Any person interested in creating a meaningful, timely and cost effective validation program will find this book a useful tool.

Bryan Ruggles
Sanden International (USA)
Wylie, TX

Automotive Internal Auditor Pocket Guide

Roderick Munro, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, 244 pp., $15 member, $18 list (book).

The Automotive Internal Auditor Pocket Guide: Process Auditing to ISO/TS 16949:2002 was developed to assist internal auditors on the floor who are actually performing audits. Meant to serve as a quick reference guide, the book begins with a brief history of automotive auditing from the military standard 8959 to ISO/TS 16949:2002.

Munro includes a useful chapter on the qualifications needed for internal auditors and lists additional resources available through different organizations that assist companies registering to ISO/TS 16949:2002.

The bulk of the book is devoted to an outline of the ISO/TS 16949:2002 standard. There are breakdowns of each section addressing basic items automotive internal auditors need to understand when conducting a process audit in an automotive plant. The book includes typical questions that should be asked by the auditor with an explanation of what objective evidence to look for.

Although there isn’t much new in the chapter devoted to performing process auditing techniques, there are some techniques explained that should be considered in the internal audit scheme. The appendixes offer resource help with a list of websites, along with some case studies for examples.

This book assists and informs internal auditors in the new process auditing principles and aids adaptation to the ISO/TS 16949:2002 standard. With the changes from the QS-9000 system to the new standard, this pocket guide will be a useful tool for internal auditors.

Wayne Sander
Dove Quality Consulting
Dousman, WI


  • The Competitive Edge: The Eight Efficiency Factors for Continuous Improvement, Joseph McHugh, AuthorHouse, 2004, $13.95 (book).
  • Your Successful Project Manage-ment Career, Ronald Cagle, Amacom, 2004, $17.95 (book).
  • Juran, Quality and a Century of Improvement: The Best on Quality Book Series of the International Academy for Quality, volume 15, edited by Kenneth Stephens, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, $28 member, $35 list (book).

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