Quality Across The Curriculum

Jay Marino and Ann Haggerty Raines, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, 380 pp., $23 member, $28 list (book and CD-ROM).

Quality Across the Curriculum: Integrating Quality Tools and PDSA With Standards K-5 is a book rich with resources for educators delivering learning opportunities and building knowledge and skills using methods, tools and resources to deliver quality as process and quality as result. The book is organized with lesson plans, step-by-step activity outlines and resources, along with data documents on the CD-ROM.

Lessons and resources were developed by teachers in the Rock Island, IL, school district. The book is organized into curricular areas of math, science, social studies and language arts. Specific lessons range from counting money, using plan-do-study-act processes, making decisions about forms of energy, political events, determining fact from opinion, weather and more. This book offers value even if exploration of quality processes, tools and results is not a priority because the book is a resource for lessons and also serves as a reference for substitute teachers and continued learning programs.

The title references K-5 classrooms; however, this book is also for executives, business managers, leaders in government programs, decision makers in healthcare and other people needing to know the how-to in quality. This book provides ideas, curricular outlines, lesson plans and resources for all class sessions. It is definitely a recommended resource for all teachers and should be placed in every school library.

Jerry Brong
GMB Partnership
Ellensburg, WA

Process Driven Comprehensive Auditing

Paul C. Palmes, ASQ Quality Press, 2005, 148 pp., $24 member, $30 list (book and CD-ROM).

Process Driven Comprehensive Auditing: A New Way To Conduct ISO 9001:2000 Audits takes its title and approach from the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle on which the entire ISO 9001:2000 standard was based. This highly readable book and companion CD-ROM provide practical tools for planning, conducting, reporting and following up on process audits using the PDCA framework.

Palmes begins with two premises—first, that traditional auditing focuses on compliance rather than effectiveness and second, that auditor training tends to confuse and intimidate rather than empower the auditor. The main problem with internal auditor training is it typically begins with a comprehensive review of the ISO 9001 standard, which can overwhelm the novice auditor and lead to an audit process that consists largely of determining whether or not the audited organization is following the rules.

In this book, every audit is based on a series of fundamental questions. The book and the CD-ROM include a master checklist and audit guide to assist the internal auditor in tailoring these fundamental questions to the particular process and ISO 9001 requirements. The book addresses the most important problems in process auditing with clarity, logic and good sense. It reinforces the PDCA cycle as the basis of business process improvement and auditing—placing particular emphasis on the importance of planning in both.

This book is explicitly written for the novice internal auditor but will be equally valuable to the experienced auditor seeking a new approach. Lead auditors will find the book a valuable training aid. Although the idea of auditing for effectiveness is not new, the book provides a practical and easily learned approach to implementing this ideal.

Steve Mariconti
Ultra Additives
Bloomfield, NJ

Six Sigma in Transactional And Service Environments

Hasan Akpolat, Gower Publishing, 2004, 163 pp., $94.95 (book).

In the late 1980s, Motorola developed Six Sigma out of a need for improvement in its pager manufacturing processes. Since then, Six Sigma has been implemented by many manufacturing companies, predominantly in the United States. In the late 1990s, however, Six Sigma gained wider popularity due to successful implementation at General Electric. Six Sigma has now become one of the integral aspects of manufacturing, as well as nonmanufacturing, businesses worldwide. While many books have been published on Six Sigma in recent years, they have focused mainly on its application in manufacturing and product development. Six Sigma in Transactional and Service Environments, in contrast, focuses specifically on the application of Six Sigma in nonmanufacturing environments.

Akpolat’s book is comprised of two parts. Part one provides necessary knowledge for understanding the Six Sigma methodology and its underlying concepts. Part two consists of practical examples of Six Sigma application in transactional and service environments in the form of real-world case studies written by internationally successful companies. They complement the reader's knowledge of Six Sigma and increase comprehension of issues surrounding Six Sigma implementations. Examples come from airlines, banking and customer service industries.

The focus is on the implementation of the Six Sigma methodology rather than on the statistical tools and techniques. The aim of this book is to provide the reader with some practical and useful guidelines for Six Sigma deployment and its application to transactional and service processes.

This book is written for newcomers as well as experienced practitioners who are interested in improving processes in everyday business operations. With a balance of theory and case studies, this book is an invaluable guide for managers in service environments, as well as students and researchers of operations management.

Roger E. Olson
Systems Quality Consulting
Alta Loma, CA

Glossary and Tables for Statistical Quality Control

ASQ Statistics Division, ASQ Quality Press, 2005, 200 pp., $30.50 member, $38 list (book).

The fourth edition of Glossary and Tables for Statistical Quality Control builds on the success of previous editions. Terms are still alphabetized as in previous editions; however, the editors have added a glossary of symbols, adding to the usefulness of this book.

With the common use of computers to analyze data, the editors shifted the focus of this reference from being a manual of definitions, charts and formulas to one for selecting the correct methods for analysis. Many of the statistical formulas found in previous editions have been removed, and a large number of new references have been added to aid the reader in finding the actual statistical formulas as needed.

Several enhancements make this edition a must have for the quality professional—even if you have previous editions. The editors have rewritten many definitions to enhance understanding of the terms to people outside the quality profession too. Combining this with the removal of formulas makes this edition clearer and easier to use.

Even though formulas have been removed, the editors included basic diagrams to help the reader understand basic tools for presenting data. Within the definitions, key terms are italicized to indicate their definitions are also included in this reference. Finally, the book has exposed tabs that help the reader locate terms and definitions more quickly.

If you are looking for a reference filled with all the mathematical equations needed to perform statistical analysis, then this is not the edition for you. The fourth edition of this reference book is for a person looking for a good source of information to perform his or her daily work.

Gene Placzkowski
SC Johnson Wax
Racine, WI


  • Service Design for Six Sigma: A Roadmap for Excellence, Basem El-Haik and David M. Roy, John Wiley & Sons, 2005, 448 pp., $84.95 (book).
  • Implementing a Mixed Model Kanban System: The Lean Replenishment Technique for Pull Production, James C. Vatalaro and Robert E. Taylor, Productivity Press, 2005, 125 pp., $116.30 (book and CD-ROM).
  • TS 16949: Insight From a Third-Party Auditor With a Process Approach Audit Checklist, Karen Welch, ASQ Quality Press, 2005, 248 pp., $28 member, $35 list (book and CD-ROM).

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