0108 QP Reviews


Creating Your Lean Future State: How to Move from Seeing to Doing

Tom Luyster with Don Tapping, Productivity Press, 2006, 128 pp., $45 (book).

The intent of Creating Your Lean Future State: How to Move from Seeing to Doing is to show how to implement a lean system once the current and future state maps have been created.

The book divides the process into three stages: stabilize, standardize and simplify. It then includes two to three chapters that detail how to complete each stage using methods that include demand planning, operator and machine balancing, and installation of visual systems. The book also includes a CD loaded with blank worksheets that can be used while implementing a lean system.

The main strength of the book is how the authors walk through calculating takt or cycle times, performing line and operator balancing, and installing the visual systems in a logical sequence. However, the section dealing with determining machine capacity was confusing because of how the authors described balancing assembly line labor. It would have been helpful for them to go into further detail regarding how to perform the demand planning, kanban and software improvement program (SWIP) calculations given how important they are to the process.

Overall, the book accomplishes what it set out to do—to show people the basics of implementing a lean system. However, an individual further along in the process will need to purchase other books to fill in the details.

Reviewed by Brian Cocolicchio
Quest Diagnostics, Teterboro, NJ

Environmental Management Quick and Easy: Creating an Effective ISO 14001 EMS in Half The Time

Joe Kausek, ASQ Quality Press, 2007, 278 pp., $78.75 (book).

This handbook is an excellent reference for quality and business professionals looking for a guide to quick implementation of an ISO 14001 compliant emergency management system (EMS). The book assumes the reader brings in no knowledge of the standard or how to implement an EMS.

The first few chapters offer a detailed explanation of the ISO 14001 standard, including the history and development of the EMS, a clause-by-clause analysis of the standard and brief case studies. The book continues with extensive chapters on designing, implementing and continuously improving the system, including process maps and checklist examples for auditing the effectiveness of the EMS. Illustrations and examples within each chapter are numerous and helpful, and good endnotes and references offer the reader further resources to explore.

One of the best features of the book is a CD that offers templates for auditing, project plans and management review agendas. There is also an extensive Environmental Protection Agency resource listing, including 33 guides and fact sheets related to energy reduction, lead-free soldering, green power and water conservation.

This book offers a good, all-purpose approach for developing an effective EMS and would be a great reference for the seasoned quality and business professional.

Reviewed by Linda Cubalchini-Travis
Simi Valley, CA

Fundamentals of Project Management

James P. Lewis, Amacom, 2007, 164 pp., $14.95 (book).

The third edition of Fundamentals of Project Management provides a quick, yet authoritative, introduction to the discipline. This series of books is designed to be an easy read, and the latest entry is no exception with less than 200 pages addressing misconceptions about project management.

After a few introductory chapters, Lewis explains each of the steps necessary for managing a project and provides recommendations and tools to aid each step. He also explains the purpose of the Project Management Institute, changes to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK) and an overview of the work breakdown structure, a useful tool for planning a project.

The strength of the book is that almost all concepts of project management are explained clearly and briefly. The primary weakness is Lewis’ critique of the PMBOK in the first chapters. But, overall, this book is an effective introduction for anyone who is interested in the essentials of project management and wants to make the process work at their organizations.

Reviewed by Martin Tanco
University of Navarra San Sebastian, Spain

Incentive Pay: Creating a Competitive Advantage

Dow Scott, executive editor, WorldatWork Press, 2007, 238 pp. $29.95 (book).

Developed to provide insights from personnel specialists, this 16-chapter book is offered as a university course textbook and a practitioner’s reference. This is not a reference book with specifics related to incentive pay. Rather, it is focused on the performance of people in work programs and provides ideas for effective incentives and rewards. Because of that focus, the book will be of greatest interest to managers and executives focused on quality initiatives.

As a basic business reference, this is a helpful read, although it is complex because of the authors’ varied writing styles and the standalone nature of each chapter. However, it is filled with ideas related to the management of quality programs within organizations of all types.

The book would be an ideal resource for an executive team attempting to establish an incentive pay program within an organization in which quality initiatives are crucial. In addition, quality specialists and personnel executives will be able to use it as a reference in a joint work setting in which an incentive pay program is developed and used as a tool to build continuous improvement initiatives.

Reviewed by Jerry Brong
Ellensburg, WA

Reliability, Life Testing and Prediction of Service Lives

Sam C. Saunders, Springer Series in Statistics, 2006, 307 pp., $79.95 (book).

This research book aimed at statisticians and engineers with statistical backgrounds includes information on the importance of reliability, service life, strength and durability. However, most of the book covers the properties of statistical distributions and estimates of reliability and survival using those distributions.

The author develops the basics of statistical reliability in the first five chapters. Then, following a treatment of parametric and nonparametric life distributions and estimators, the book addresses cumulative damage distributions and the analysis of dispersion. The final chapters cover service life, strength and durability, and maintenance of systems. An appendix includes information on integration, probability and measure, distribution transforms, and discrete and continuous distributions.

The book is written at an advanced level, requiring the reader to have taken calculus and a course in probability and statistics. There are summary exercises at the end of each chapter, which makes the book suitable for an advanced reliability course. While not included, the exercises can be used with mathematical and statistical software.

Saunders’ book is well-written and comprehensive, and it certainly belongs on the shelves of any statisticians working in reliability or engineers with a strong understanding of underlying statistical distributions.

Reviewed by I. Elaine Allen
Babson College, Wellesley, MA


  • The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference
    Claes Fornell, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, 256 pp., $27.95 (book).
  • The Kaizen Event Planner
    Karen Martin and Mike Osterling, Productivity Press, 2007, 223 pp., $50 (book).
  • Medical Error and Patient Safety: Human Factors in Medicine
    George A. Peters and Barbara J. Peters, CRC Press, 2007, 256 pp., $79.95 (book).

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