The Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt Handbook

Govind Ramu, ASQ Quality Press, 2016, 312 pp., $69 member, $105 list (book).

The audience for this book is those interested in passing the ASQ-certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB) exam. Also, it serves as a handy reference for those implementing Six Sigma projects, and can be used as a college or trade school textbook.

The book is divided into five sections aligning with the CSSYB body of knowledge (BoK). Every chapter concludes with typical exam questions that indicate understanding and comprehension of the subject matter.

The beginning of the book covers Six Sigma basics, including a limited view of lean, roles, teams, tools and metrics. The book uses the define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) process for parts two-five. Part two, the define phase, addresses identifying a project and how to manage it. Part three, the measurement phase, touches on statistics, data collection and measurement system analysis. Part four, the analysis phase, dives into a lot of tools and analysis such as process mapping, normal and binomial distributions, as well as correlation and regressions. Part five, the improve and control phase, is relatively short but explains kaizens, the design of experiments, cost of quality, cost of poor quality and offers many control chart examples. The last portion of the book houses the appendixes, covers the CSSYB BoK and any remaining charts, formulas, distributions and acronyms.

Overall, this book is a good overview of most of these tools and improvement processes for a Yellow Belt level. I recommend it to anyone in search of a comprehensive handbook.

Bill Baker
Speed To Excellence
Santa Fe, NM

ISO Lesson Guide 2015: Pocket Guide to ISO 9001:2015

J. P. Russell, ASQ Quality Press, 2016, 102 pp., $14 member, $24 list (fourth edition, book).

Like most of the ASQ pocket guides, this book provides a wealth of information in a conveniently-sized volume. This edition translates the latest version ISO 9001 standard into easy-to-understand language. It covers only those standard sections with specified requirements. Every key concept is highlighted. Each requirement is abstracted with one or two interpretations to explain the meaning. What doesn’t apply or isn’t relevant is skipped.

The author is concise and practical, providing guidance that avoids long, nonvalue added information. One example is the assertion that your quality policy itself is likely of little value, but the debate and activities to develop it are of great use and importance. Similarly, the discussion of risk includes not only catastrophic issues, but also common, everyday probabilities.

Given the limited amount of space, I did think there were some items included in the guide that were unnecessary—for example, repeating the ISO 9001 standard requirement relationship chart at each section’s beginning, and attaching it in a larger, fold-out laminated piece to the back cover, which was not fully visible unless you detached it. Some of the analogies and examples were not as direct as they could have been. The space given to these items could have been more effectively used to add to the minimal coverage of the seven quality management principles, even though not strictly part of the standard or purpose of this book.

This is one of the better treatments of the standard. It will be easy to take materials directly from this guide and develop the training your organization will need on the ISO 9001:2015 revisions.

Marc A. Feldman

Achieving Customer Experience Excellence Through a Quality Management System

Alka Jarvis, Luis Morales and Ulka Ranadive, ASQ Quality Press, 2016, 256 pp., $30 member, $50 list (book).

Research into quality management systems (QMS)—and achieving results from these systems—is more than monitoring procedures, measuring results and taking corrective action. The core concepts of this book focus on the customer’s experience as tangible items. The concepts also address as procedures are developed, managed, made available and delivered. This book starts with chapter one defining the customer experience, and chapter two reviewing the life cycle of the experience. These initial chapters provide a resource for advanced work, including scholarly work, in the broad and complex fields of quality.

The customer’s experience is the point of focus as quality is delivered through created and manufactured items. Customer experience is explored and procedures documented in a research-based approach. As strategies are presented and procedures are facilitated, the customer experience must lead to measurable and manageable outcomes. Procedures for managing, delivering and documenting the customer experience are explored in relation to the ISO 9001:2015 structure.

The last portion of the book explores the QMS, customer experience interlock, and strategies to optimize the customer experience. Organization and presentation of specifics to defining, delivering, assessing and managing customer experience are included in these documented chapters. Included is a detailed index that fully supports the use of this book. Organization, documentation, use of charts and tables, graphics and writing style place this book as a useful reference in a customer centric operation.

I recommend this book to organizations with a person and team working to deliver and confirm delivery of customer service. This book also is an idea generator for those creating a manual of complex operations in their organization. Finally, it should be used by quality managers researching the customer experience.

Gerry Brong
Ellensburg, WA

The ISO 9001:2015 Implementation Handbook: Using the Process Approach to Build a Quality Management System

Milton P. Dentch, ASQ Quality Press, 2016, 168 pp., $30 member, $50 list (book and CD-ROM).

The race is on, and the Sept. 14, 2018 deadline to transition from the ISO 9001:2008 to the ISO 9001:2015 is fast approaching. There are still currently certified ISO 9001:2008 organizations, as well those seeking certification for the first time, that have not made the change or started planning for the transition. This book should help such organizations by providing them with a well thought out approach for aligning their existing practices to the ISO 9001:2015 requirements efficiently, maintaining and improving them.

Chapter one includes the history and chronology of ISO 9000, followed by chapter two in which the author provides a concise, yet helpful, introduction to the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) method and applying this approach in the ISO 9001:2015-based quality management system (QMS). Chapters three through 10 cover the main clauses of ISO 9001:2015. Each chapter includes the ISO 9001:2015 requirement along with the corresponding ISO 9001:2008 requirements, followed by an in-depth clarification of each requirement. Finally, a list of audit questions is supplied to assess the current level of conformance to the requirements.

Chapter 11 includes interpretation guidance that could potentially reduce the ambiguities in some clauses of the standard and clarifies the intent of the requirements. In the same chapter, the author provides an insight into the benefits of removing the preventive action requirements with the goal of preventing potential nonconformance to the standard. This allows organizations to use techniques that have proven to be effective in addressing the preventive action requirements.

The main advantage of reading this book is that it includes comments and insights from the author, who has extensive experience in conducting ISO 9001-based QMS audits in many organizations in a wide variety of industries.

Herzl Marouni

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