Lean ISO 9001: Adding Spark to Your ISO 9001 QMS and Sustainability to Your Lean Efforts

Mike Micklewright, ASQ Quality Press, 2010, 248 pp., $40 member, $66 list (book).

One of the many mantras we hear repeatedly is KISS—keep it simple, stupid. This book goes a long way toward implementing that credo into a quality management system (QMS) for ISO 9001:2008.

It does so by taking the approach that lean and ISO 9001:2008 complement each other. Lean should be used to remove waste from the management system, while ISO 9001:2008 should be used as the backbone of the quality process, giving it focus and direction. Part of the difficulty in achieving the combination is that practitioners of the two systems seldom overlap or compare notes.

Micklewright provides direct, specific advice on how to accomplish the melding of the two systems. First, lean out the documentation system. Then, integrate lean into the QMS. Third, lean out the QMS processes. And lastly, perform self-assessments on the maturity of the QMS. He also discusses various lean tools and identifies where these tools can apply to an ISO QMS.

The book also includes an excellent index and glossary explaining terms used in ISO 9001:2008 and lean. Micklewright offers examples and figures that are instructive and spot on. There are many useful checklists and templates.

Every quality manager will benefit from implementing these practices. More management systems of all types should use this process. The structure allows maximum flexibility while maintaining compliance.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals Inc.

Coach Yourself to Win: 7 Steps to Breakthrough Performance on the Job and In Your Life

Howard M. Guttman, McGraw-Hill, 2010, 272 pp., $25 (book).

To be a winner is rewarding. Winners deliver results, improve quality and reduce risk. Guttman’s book is a winner.

This book is for those active in developing a new future and making the choice for personal and professional change. It features a guide to self-coaching that supports skill development important to a successful life and career. Guttman’s approach is that if you are on top of challenges, focused, opportunistic and enjoy winning, there will be an integration of your professional and personal lives into your earned and recognized success.

The organization of the book makes it a readable and useful guide. Chapters one through six deal with the strategies for winning. A how-to strategy is presented with steps for implementation. The emphasis is on setting goals, defining strategies, taking necessary actions and then winning. Wins are not particularly celebrated but are seen as steps along the line to further successes.

I recommend this book for those interested in personal continued improvement. It is for those who want to be successful leaders, delivering quality-as-process and quality-as-result in all they do.

Jerry Brong
Ellensburg, WA

Production Systems Engineering: Cost and Performance Optimization

Richard E. Gustavson, McGraw-Hill Professional, 256 pp., $125 (book).

This book combines knowledge areas around technological and economic requirements to produce an optimal production system design. The author points out that in most modern manufacturing companies, these areas are often not combined and thus will not produce optimal results. The book builds on 25 years of development in actual production applications, with many real-world examples.

The author first introduces the reader to the current thinking in the system design world and what led to the development of the techniques in this book. The next few chapters dive into the basics of system design, followed by the inclusion of fundamental principles. The book then builds on the deterministic results by adding stochastic analyses.

After building the bases for analysis, the book expands and builds examples by first looking at typical system configurations. Gustavson then adds an example of multiple disparate products produced by one system. Finally, he compares world-class to mostly manual systems. Additionally, the book addresses specific knowledge areas in a series of appendixes.

This book is well written and follows a logical sequence inside each chapter and from chapter to chapter. Concepts are developed with numerous examples, tables and illustrations. Many concepts are also referenced so the reader can explore more if desired. There is a glossary and an index, which also makes the book an easy-to-use reference.

Manufacturing and quality professionals, as well as any others interested in optimizing production systems, will find this book a valuable resource. The book is written such that a novice or experienced professional can read without getting lost. There seems to be information that would be useful at any level of experience, and the knowledge presented would certainly take most companies on a new course toward optimal performance.

Bryan Ruggles
The Boeing Co.
Colorado Springs, CO

Training on Trial: How Workplace Learning Must Reinvent Itself to Remain Relevant

Jim D. Kirkpatrick and Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick, Amacom, 2010, 256 pp., $24.95 (book).

This book is the authors’ warning that training departments are now being evaluated as cost centers. If your training department cannot produce measureable results, it runs the risk of becoming another budget-cut casualty. The authors argue that training departments spend the majority of their resources on training development and delivery, and then hope for the best, spending virtually nothing on post-delivery assessment. The Kirkpatricks frame their argument by using a civil trial metaphor:

  • The summons is the accusation, sometimes subtle, that training costs exceed the benefits.
  • The plaintiff is the business leader who makes the accusation.
  • The defendant is the training department that supplies the training.
  • The jury is comprised of stakeholders sitting in judgment of training value.
  • The verdict: Training departments have to become accountable for bottom-line results to maintain relevance in the workplace.

The authors also present a business partner model in which leaders and training professionals collaborate to agree on goals, needs, outcomes and metrics that will produce mutually acceptable results. Additionally, the book suggests substituting return on expectations in place of return on investment as a more universal measure of training success.

Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick make their case using logic, experience and many anecdotal examples. If you are a training manager, you need to read this book. If you pay for training or request training, you need to read this book and then strongly suggest your training manager read it, too.

James Kotterman
Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center
Plymouth, MI

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