Making Government Great Again

John Baranzelli, ASQ Quality Press, 2010, 208 pp., $75 list, $45 member (book).

Though ISO 9001:2008 is referenced and resources are used, this is a handbook with ideas on making government go from good to great. Concepts and tools are introduced for planning, managing, documenting and evaluating systems. Baranzelli uses a friendly, first-person writing style addressing ISO 9001:2008 as a foundation to implement a defined strategy for reaching goals.

A common thread in the book is the exploration of quality as the result of a system. The author’s focus is on systems thinking and outcome assessment for continued improvement. Chapters are short and topic-specific, which helps guide readers through the insights offered.

The ISO 9001 family of standards is introduced in chapter three, while chapter four introduces the certification process. Chapters seven and eight emphasize the leadership needed for government programs to deliver results. A shared teamwork approach is emphasized. The team philosophy is built around effective processes that allow for goal attainment, performing necessary corrective actions, documenting procedures, confirming results and maintaining records for reference supporting further planning and activity.

The book includes sample forms and suggested document filing systems. In chapter 13 there is an exploration of "mutually beneficial supplier relationships" as the management team goes outside to obtain services and products.

Baranzelli gives readers a well-written resource to serve as an operations guide and as reference for a leadership training workshop with ISO 9001:2008 as the theme. This book is recommended for government employees committed to public service who are interested in effectively delivering customer results and a system’s management approach.

Gerald Brong
Ellensburg, WA

Supply Chain Management at Warp Speed

Eli Schragenheim, H. William Dettmer and J. Wayne Patterson, Auerbach Publications, 2009, 232 pp., $79.95 (book).

This book is the sequel to Manufacturing at Warp Speed, written by the same authors in 2000. The book serves to simplify and update the Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR) method with some new ideas and extend the method to include the entire supply chain.

The first two chapters give an overview of the DBR method, which is central to the theory of constraints (TOC) management method. The next three chapters cover what the authors call the Simplified-Drum-Buffer-Rope (S-DBR) method, including enhancements to the method and how to overcome any complications.

The last five chapters cover how to use S-DBR in various manufacturing settings and other areas such as managing raw materials.

The description of S-DBR is detailed enough for someone who is not a TOC devotee to understand what the method is generally about.

TOC practitioners will get a very detailed understanding of S-DBR and how they can extend the DBR methods. The book, however, assumes a working knowledge of TOC and its thinking tools. This makes the book more useful for intermediate to advanced-level TOC practitioners.

Brian Cocolicchio
New City, NY

Value Stream Mapping for Healthcare Made Easy

Cindy Jimmerson, Productivity Press, 2009, 119 pp., $54.95 (book).

Jimmerson, founder and president of Lean Healthcare West, provides a handy guide to value stream mapping (VSM) for hospital executives.

Part one of the guide provides a concise introduction to VSM, showing healthcare workers at all levels how to look at any process with probing eyes.

Chapters in part one discuss waste in healthcare, how to apply the concept of VSM to healthcare processes, create and use a value stream map, and envision a desired future state of the healthcare process.

Part two of the book presents seven excellent, pragmatic case studies that review actual VSM from real healthcare facilities.

Each study includes a succinct explanation of the discoveries and improvements made by each of the teams that worked on the maps.

This book nicely balances a useful introduction to VSM with a valuable explanation of applying this important quality improvement tool in the healthcare industry.

Dale Farris
Groves, TX

Supply Chain Project Management

James B. Ayers, CRC Press, 2010, 430 pp., $79.95 (second edition, book).

Ayers has expertly integrated the concepts and practices of supply chain management with the method of project management. The author suggests there are two types of readers: the supply chain practitioner needing further information about project management, and the project manager seeking knowledge about supply chain management. The book can be read cover to cover or by selecting chapters pertinent to the reader’s immediate need. The primary focus is on having a process for implementation and how to best achieve it.

One prerequisite of supply chain management success is knowing which drivers have an impact on your organization. Six types of supply chain management drivers are discussed in detail, with numerous examples of organizations employing the drivers. Flexibility is stressed as imperative to the process.

Five management tasks for achieving better supply chain management are examined. The author summarizes these five tasks with explanations and examples of their use. Further chapters detail approaches and processes for accomplishing the tasks.

The authors explore supply chain management and project management maturity models, their interrelationship and compatibility, their use as assessment tools and the impact they have.

Half of the book is focused on how to:

  • Develop a supply chain strategy.
  • Implement collaborative relationships.
  • Forge supply chain partnerships.
  • Improve supply chain processes and systems.

Appendix A delineates inputs and outputs for a supply chain project, and appendix B outlines supply chain management project responsibilities. An ample glossary defines terms and a bibliography provides additional references.

This is the book you need to read if you are extending the planning and execution of supply chain management beyond the limited scope often presented: procurement, logistics and supplier management. Its content is meaty but it’s written to be easy on the reader with its attention to detailed explanations and recommended practices.

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

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