Quality Management System Handbook for Product Development

Vivek Nanda, CRC Press, 2005, 352 pp., $79.95 list (book).

Most books written to address quality management systems (QMS) focus on production systems and do not adequately address the unique needs of companies whose primary activity is the development of new products. Typically the infrastructure and culture of these product development companies are distinctly different from production companies. Quality Management System Handbook for Product Development Companies attempts to fill this information gap by focusing on the product development cycle.

Nanda provides a step-by-step guide for planning and implementing a QMS. He guides the reader through considerations to address during the development and implementation of the QMS. To further guide the reader, the author provides a sample quality manual outline, quality procedures, forms and templates, an audit checklist and training material. These samples clarify and amplify the theory presented in the body of the text.

One of the biggest obstacles to the successful implementation of a QMS in a product development environment is the perception the system will adversely impact the speed and cost of the company’s product development process. Although Nanda addresses the benefits associated with implementing a QMS, he does not establish a compelling case that will convince management to invest the time and money to implement the system. The reader must build on the information provided by the author to demonstrate the QMS will improve the efficiency and effective-ness of the development process.

Any company interested in developing and implementing a QMS would benefit from the lessons of this book. Its applicability is not limited to product development companies.

Rich Anderson
Tucson, AZ

Breakthrough Business Results With MVT

Charles Holland and David Cochran, John Wiley & Sons, 2005, 336 pp., $29.95 (book).

Breakthrough Business Results With MVT presents interesting reading for managers dealing with many variable factors. Holland and Cochran promote the best approaches as counterintuitive, so adherence to the multivariable testing (MVT) approach leads you away from stagnant traditional thinking. This book may appear a little over the top and a self serving ad for the authors’ MVT technique and consulting firm. However, there certainly have been some successes and client proponents.

Holland and Cochran claim the MVT process multidimensional, much more so than design of experiments, which has already developed substantial acceptance and use. The basic MVT process is the most dynamic, including steps such as searching for impact improvement areas, getting management buy-in, brainstorming, analyzing data and deciding which ideas to pursue to make the biggest impact and report financial results.

The unique part of the book is designing and running the MVT screening experiment itself. By defining factors and recipes, an extensive test matrix is constructed. A series of tests collect data to determine if there is a positive effect, negative effect or no effect. This test and data collection phase is critical and can involve many individuals and requires strict adherence to test parameters. A MVT consultant must be on board to monitor and advise activities.

In summary, this book can be used as a guide to the MVT process. The greatest value of MVT is to identify what needs to be done. If readers and their companies are well versed in organizational change by using an overall strategy such as Six Sigma, lean or the Baldrige criteria, then this book will fit within that strategy without having to implement a new one.

Bill Baker
Speed to Excellence
Allen, TX

What Is Six Sigma Process Management?

Rowland Hayler and Michael Nichols, McGraw-Hill, 2005, 98 pp., $12 (book).

When I first received What Is Six Sigma Process Management? for review, I thought, “Oh no, not another book on Six Sigma.” However, once I started to read it, I found it’s not a book about Six Sigma’s associated complex mathematics, but more about the management skills and practices used to help a company change the right things and change them the right way. It’s about how the Six Sigma management philosophy secures and expands the impact of business improvement.

The book begins by defining Six Sigma management and ends with predictions for the future of an organization that has embedded this philosophy into its business operations. Every-thing in between discusses change in leadership requirements, step-by-step methodology and how to focus on the Six Sigma management necessities.

This book is easy to read and straightforward in its approach to the subject. Hayler and Nichols’ purpose was to communicate their Six Sigma ideas with two important principles in mind. These were to write the book in a modular way so the themes and components would be easy to find—like a reference book—and to stay away from a prescriptive formula approach. They also have added practical ideas, tips and suggestions based on their knowledge and experience with the subject.

A key idea the authors propose is end-to-end core processes. These high-level processes are drivers of value, satisfaction and profit. They are the processes the Six Sigma management methodology focuses solely on for reorganization and improvement.

This book would be most useful for executives and managers wanting to implement an overall process im-provement effort in their organizations based on proven methods and techniques.

Eric Furness
Astronautics Corp. of America
Milwaukee, WI

The ASQ Auditing Handbook

ASQ Quality Audit Division, edited by J.P. Russell, ASQ Quality Press, 2006, 376 pp., $63 member, $105 list (book).

Would you like to have the auditing advice and experience of 120 quality practitioners from around the globe? If so, The ASQ Auditing Handbook is the resource you should invest in. Readers will find all the information needed to perform quality, environmental and safety related audits.

In its third edition, the handbook has been rewritten to address and promote common elements of system and process based auditing, an essential element of ISO 9000 and 14000 auditing principles. In addition to the expansion of current topics, new topics include:

  • Auditor competency.
  • Business application.
  • Improvement tools.

This book contains the essence of auditing principles that should be applied to all audits; however, one must remember this book is based in theory. Reality is much different in the world of auditing. The intent of the book is to promote the use of auditing as a management tool.

The book is comprised of five parts and appendixes supporting the ASQ certified quality auditor body of knowledge:

  • Auditing fundamentals.
  • Audit process.
  • Auditor competencies.
  • Audit program and business applications.
  • Quality tools and techniques.

This book is a tremendous resource for any auditor. People in education can learn from it and teach its principles. It is also useful in setting up a company’s internal auditing program. New auditors should read it first to gain insight and understanding to correct auditing principles and practices.

Wayne Sander
Dove Quality Consulting
Dousman, WI

Freedom From Command and Control

John Seddon, Productivity Press, 2005, 238 pp., $40 (book).

Freedom From Command and Control: Rethinking Management for Lean Service is a thought provoking volume—if diligently read—that will cause you to think about discarding many of the beliefs and practices you hold dear. Reading about Seddon’s experiences may cause you to pause and admit the guy’s right.

Producing more than 47 case studies and examples, Seddon points explicitly to errors being made in businesses today with a command and control mind-set. He focuses on rethinking management for lean service. After reading about the ineffectual use of measurements and tools for improvement, you will see systems thinking and responding to customers’ demands are essential.

If you can withstand the severe, fact based criticism Seddon heaps upon current practices such as ISO 9001, Baldrige type awards, total quality management, Six Sigma, misused lean tools and customer relationship management, you will begin to see the waste and misdirection that has been and is being caused by practices dominated by command and control based policies and procedures.

The author details how lean practices designed for the factory don’t work in the service arena. Using a service center as an example, he states the greatest leverage derives from altering the characteristics of demand. Production improvement comes from managing flow, not production. And most service centers manage solely on production data, customer calls answered and the number of corrective actions initiated.

The key is to change management’s focus from managing people to managing the system so work flows effectively to meet customers’ demands. Further, Seddon prescribes to improve flow the measures need to be in the hands of the workers.

To comprehend and to make improvements in the system one needs to look from the outside in to know how the customer views the organization. Seddon discusses the inappropriateness of Fredrick Taylor’s inspection model in today’s environment, especially in service organizations. He points out the only way a service organization can cope with the variety of demand is when decision making is integrated with the work.

Quality professionals might miss this book, but they and their managers should read it. Initially it might make you angry, but it will open your eyes.

Russ Westcott
R.T. Westcott & Associates
Old Saybrook, CT


  • Lean Supply Chain: Collected Practices and Cases, Productivity Press, 2006, 136 pp., $15 (book).
  • Doing More With Less: Lean Thinking and Patient Safety in Health Care, Lean Enterprise Institute, Joint Commission Resources, 2006, 131 pp., $75 (book).
  • The Weibull Analysis Handbook, second edition, Bryon Dodson, ASQ Quality Press, 2006, 184 pp., $54 member, $90 list (book and CD-ROM).

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