On the Practice of Safety

Fred A. Manuele, Wiley, 2013, 616 pp., $99.95 (fourth edition, book).

The fourth edition of this book reflects major changes in safety management in the last decade with seven new chapters added.

Each chapter is a self-contained unit offering comprehensive coverage of a particular topic. The book is organized into four themes:

  • How safety became a profession
  • Defining the practice of safety.
  • Principles for the practice of safety.
  • Academic and skills requirements for safety professionals.

All of the chapters reflect the increasing professional incidence of safety, occupational health and environmental affairs addressing each issue accordingly.

The chapters that stand out are the chapters on lean concepts, sustainability and operational risk management audits. A relative weakness of the book is the implicit referral to quantitative analysis. Some examples in which data are used in risk and safety management programs are provided.

The 26 chapters of this comprehensive book make it the ultimate reference in safety management. It is highly recommended to practitioners and researchers in the field.

Ron S. Kenett
KPA Ltd.
Raanana, Israel

Successful Business Process Management: What You Need to Know to Get Results

Paula K. Berman, Amacom, 2014, 272 pp., $29.95 (book).

Business process management is a key method for successful quality improvement. This book differs from the others that have been published on this matter. It is written for individuals who need to create, implement, control, manage or understand business processes or process systems. Among the discussed issues are how to:

  1. Overcome resistance.
  2. Make procedures and processes understandable.
  3. Build a cohesive, coherent and manageable process system.
  4. Revise and improve individual procedures and processes.
  5. Roll out a new or revised process by running tests.
  6. Improve processes on an ongoing basis.

The book is free of jargon, using adaptable plain language and simple ideas. Keep it simple is the basic rule emphasized. Hands-on hints for using mind-mapping tools, software and sticky notes are included, as well as illustrative templates, figures and different cases. The consequences of different decisions are also touched upon.

This is a balanced, well-written, practical and easy-to-read guide on business process management, and I strongly recommend it.

Bengt Klefsjö
Luleå University of Technology

Getting and Staying Productive: Applying Swift, Even Flow to Practice

Roger W. Schmenner, Cambridge University Press, 2012, 294 pp., $88 (book).

This book proposes applying swift, even flow to any process to improve and stay productive. The topic’s coverage is divided into two parts. The first part introduces the concept of swift, even flow and how that process stands behind lean principles and Six Sigma.

The second part examines a wide range of situations that require productivity improvements and how swift, even flow can be used to realize gains. Sixteen case studies from both manufacturing and service in different industries are presented.

Productivity is defined as getting more output from a given set of inputs. To do so, focus on what is being worked on, not on whom or what does the work. Then, make the work flow as quickly and with as little variation as possible.

Schmenner reviews the usual suspects for their contribution to low productivity. He compares traditional production thinking to lean manufacturing philosophy across 15 process categories and attributes. He points out where variation can easily creep into a process.

There are plenty of charts and diagrams to help bring clarity to the material presented. Each section is followed by a "takeaways" or "lessons learned" summary to emphasize the points being made. Those wishing to increase productivity will benefit from considering this material, even if they don’t apply it to all their processes.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals Inc.

Global Innovation Science Handbook

Praveen Gupta and Brett E. Trusko, McGraw-Hill, 2014, 896 pp., $90 (book).

As a reference or textbook, this publication presents selected readings on preparation for and deployment of innovations, assessment of innovative initiatives, and research on innovation strategies. It is offered as a pioneering work useful in creating a body of knowledge of innovation in most industries. The concluding section presents a series of case studies drawn from fields of education, technology innovation within government and financial innovation.

The book is an 850-page collection of published reports with a useful 13-page index. It is offered as an academic textbook and reference resource for those implementing change, innovation and organizational leadership.

Featured are reports and previously published articles from more than 40 innovation experts and thought leaders. The collected papers and documentation in the book are not specific to quality processes and management, but they do relate to innovation and implementation of change in programs delivering enhanced and contentiously improved quality.

For people in the quality field leading the invention, exploration, creation, discovery and delivery of quality results, this book may be a useful resource.

Quality is not the main topic—it seems to be pushed aside. The breadth of ideas from a variety of sources and authors are global. Presented are reports about tools for implementing innovation, managing ideas and measuring results of innovation.

Though not an area of emphasis in this book, quality results are implied throughout. Quality processes, confirmation of results, sustainability, and replication of procedures are examined in detail in the resources compiled into this book.

In considering the book as a collection of resources on innovation, it can serve as a reference tool for creative leaders as skills and insights are developed— delivering improved quality, enhanced performance and assessment standards. Leaders may discover strategies for building contentiously improving outcomes. It may have use in an academic setting for advanced students in fields of management where innovation that delivers quality is a priority. It may also be useful for practitioners in the field because the topics of invention, creativity, and leadership are explored.

Jerry Brong
Ellensburg, WA

Recent Releases

Practical Engineering, Process And Reliability Statistics
Mark Allen Durivage, ASQ Quality Press, 2015, 288 pp., $42 member, $70 list (book).

Lean Potion #9 Communication: The Next Frontier
Sam Yankelevitch and Claire F. Kuhl, ASQ Quality Press, 2014, 188 pp., $24.95 member, $24.95 list (book).

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