Green Intentions: Creating a Green Value Stream to Compete and Win

Brett Wills, Productivity Press, 2009, 296 pp., $39.95 (book).

There has been a great deal of media coverage about corporations going green. This book integrates quality principles and corporate green initiatives. It examines how green fits into a company’s value stream and how it leads to efficiencies and competiveness in the marketplace.

The book is divided into two primary sections, with a final section incorporating appendixes and detailed source material. The first section concentrates on identifying the value streams and defining a lean-to-green initiative. After briefly listing seven sources of waste that are discussed in detail in the second section, Wills gives an extensive example and tutorial on how to create your own green stream map. This map shows the sources and measurement of waste, how to reduce it and how to create a vision for a future map.

The second section goes into detail on the seven sources of green waste: energy, water, materials, garbage, transportation, emissions and biodiversity. Each source is discussed in a separate chapter identifying its source and solutions for controlling or eliminating it. Brief case studies are also included in each chapter, along with good examples.

This is possibly the first book to tackle green as part of an overall quality assurance plan for a company. It is well written, concise and interesting.

I. Elaine Allen
Babson College
Wellesley, MA

Pocket Guide to Performance Management

Mark Graham Brown, ASQ Quality Press, 2010, 72 pp., $15 member, $25 list (book).

At 3 x 5 inches, this book truly fits in a pocket. Brown covers performance management in two parts. The first is a dictionary and glossary of terms. He defines many commonly used terms with a short paragraph illustrating the term’s use and its boundaries. A more traditional explanation of what the term means is omitted in some cases.

The second part covers tips and techniques for a performance management system. Brown provides a laundry list of questions to be answered or directives to develop information, ensuring all the possibilities have been considered.

A reasonable table of contents and a good index are provided. Both are necessary to find specific topics within the book. The additional reading list is limited, consisting mainly of the author’s other books.

The book would benefit greatly by including a section specifically devoted to the correlations among the terms in the glossary, the tips and the techniques. These relationships can be pieced together by readers on their own , but a more direct method is advisable.

The book is more of a reference than a guide and would be a good companion to another book, rather than a standalone volume.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals

Cracking the Case of ISO 9001:2008 for Service

Charles A. Cianfrani and John E. (Jack) West, ASQ Quality Press, 2010, 204 pp., $15 member, $25 list (second edition, book).

The authors of this pocket guide on ISO 9001:2008 for the service industry are two well-known men in the ISO 9001 world: Charles Cianfrani and John E. (Jack) West. Both have served on the ISI/TC 176 committees, and are respected and knowledgeable on the subject of ISO 9001:2008.

This book touts itself as being "a simple guide to implementing quality management in service organizations." After a review of the book, I did not entirely see how this book distinguishes itself from being geared toward the service industry as opposed to other books on ISO 9001:2008 that are geared toward the manufacturing industry.

The bulk of the book deals with implementation. Here, the authors work through each section of the ISO 9001:2008 standard and follow the same format for each section:

  • What is the requirement?
  • Why do it?
  • Implementation tips.
  • Questions to ask yourself.

In the last chapter, the authors offer an explanation of typical quality tools: flow charting, brainstorming and histograms.

While I respect the authors, I do not think they have cracked the case with this book. I would recommend it to those with very limited knowledge of the ISO 9001:2008 standard who need to gain experience on a very limited basis.

Wayne Sander
Dove Quality Consulting
Dousman, WI

Quality Management: Theory and Application

Peter D. Mauch, CRC Press, 2010, 171 pp., $49.95 (book).

The book attempts to show readers how to set up a quality management system (QMS) that will align with business goals. It consists of six chapters structured with the same components: objectives, terminology, main text, summary and review questions.

Each chapter deals with organizing, planning, controlling, staffing and motivating for quality, with some special topics included. Although the book tries to discuss building a QMS, it did not include what a QMS should contain, and ISO 9000 is not discussed. Subjects are briefly presented, and some important concepts are missing.

The book offers numerous structured suggestions as support for business issue documentation. But if you are interested in a book on how to structure and implement a QMS, there are better choices. Also, this book is not suitable as a discussion of the modern view of quality management.

Bengt Klefsjõ
Luleå University of Technology

Stories From My Sensei

Steve Hoeft, Productivity Press, 2010, 180 pp., $29.95 (book).

This book incorporates lessons in how to implement the Toyota Production System (TPS). It is written by Hoeft, a Toyota-trained practitioner, teacher and consultant in lean manufacturing. The books aims to provide insights, reflections and individual learning to those involved in the lean journey.

The book is organized based on the Toyota house model for implementation. The house is a good model, showing the sequence and building blocks during construction, as well as the durability and physical parts of its structure after it has been built. Each chapter opens with a thought-provoking quote and a description of each major part of the house, including some historical notes. The majority of the book is comprised of stories from Hoeft’s sensei and other industry leaders.

The main strength of the book is that lean concepts are explained clearly, briefly and in an easy and readable style. I highly recommend this book for practitioners, teachers, managers and consultants involved in the lean journey. Readers will not only learn the principles of TPS, but will also learn real stories of lean implementation in several industries.

Martín Tanco
Tecnun (University of Navarra)
San Sebastian, Spain

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