Introduction to 8D Problem Solving

Ali Zarghami and Don Benbow, ASQ Quality Press, 2017, 60 pp., $21 member, $35 list (book)

8D problem solving is a simple tool, not based in statistics that can be easily learned. It is available to everyone to bring structure to solving problems. At one time problem solving was considered a management responsibility. All personnel should understand that in the current world, part of their job—no matter what it is or where they work—is to solve problems. Therefore, they must have some set process on how to perform that function.

This book will introduce and guide anyone new to structured problem solving. The authors provide step-by-step instructions in 8D with a working template to be completed as the process progresses. They provide quick summaries of the common problem-solving tools.

8D is sometimes called TOPS (team oriented problem solving) 8D. The eight steps to the method are:

  • Select an appropriate team.
  • Formulate the problem definition.
  • Activate interim containment of the issue.
  • Find the root causes.
  • Select and verify corrections.
  • Implement and validate the corrective actions.
  • Take preventive steps for the future.
  • Congratulate the team for successful completion.

Since 8D is a team function, it makes use of the four stages of the team life cycle: forming, storming, norming and performing.

Case studies are provided so the novice can see how the process works and its breadth of application. Several unsolved case studies follow with comments to help steer direction and provide practice in applying the technique. A complete index, a table of contents and a list of figures and tables complete the book.

Using this book will help anyone lead a problem-solving effort for the first time.

Marc A. Feldman

Quality Management – Essential Planning for Breweries

Mary Pellettieri, Brewers Publications, 2015, 200 pp., $95.00 (book)

This book is an excellent, in-depth and detailed guide for establishing a quality system for a brewery of any size

Pellettieri leaves no category of quality management uncovered—starting with the basics of quality management and detailing spectral analysis of the beer. Professionals with a background in quality may find parts to be slow, only because it does get into detailed basics of quality management. But topics are applied to different-sized breweries based on barrel production, which is fascinating to see the applicability to an up-and-coming industry with the exponential growth of craft breweries. This is probably one of the top features of the book because it can show how a brewery can grow production and still maintain high levels of quality.

The second half of the book is all about applying of everything that had been set up in the first half of the book in regards to the principles for planning for quality in the brewery. The final chapter is a guide to assessing the level of quality in the brewery. Also, there are appendixes that give you all the tools to properly manage quality in a brewery. The appendixes give a sample quality manual for a small brewery.

This book is a must-have for any brewery, the information, sample standard operating procedures, forms, manuals, audits and best practices are fully inclusive and, if properly followed, can assist in creating a consistent, quality product.

Conor Leahy
San Diego, CA

Complexity Works! Influencing Pattern-Based Change in Teams and Organizations

Denise Easton and Lawrence Solow, Complexity Space Consulting, 2016, 162 pp., $15 (book)

One of the most difficult challenges that organizations face today is recognizing and effectively managing causes of uncertainty that prevent them from reaching desired and sustainable results while dealing with the constantly changing internal and external environment.

This book provides the reader with an extended set of options beyond the current business management tools that rely heavily on a simple cause-and-effect perspective. These options are provided through introduction of the complexity space framework (CSF) concept, and the two different yet complementary red lens and blue lens models that enable organizations to more effectively recognize, adapt to and change patterns inherent in their various segments.

In the first part of the book, the authors answer the fundamental question, "How do organizations see, understand and influence the deeply entangled patterns within their complex environment?" They assert that the only way organizations can address the diversity in today’s complex systems is by embracing and integrating the red lens and blue lens paradigm.

Part two provides a detailed description and comprehensive analysis of the distinctive elements of CSF. The authors expand on CSF’s navigation process by defining each of its seven steps designed to answer specific questions. The authors postulate that answers to pattern-based questions are a conduit to having constructive dialogue among the change agents in the organization leading to positive and sustainable changes.

Part three of the book includes application of the CSF in a financial services company struggling with understanding and managing the changes associated with organizational growth.

This book provides the reader with a refreshing approach to recognize and effectively manage pattern-based changes with the aim of achieving sustained progress. It can be used by organizations searching for more robust methods in dealing with changes beyond the current management practices exhibiting only short term, and sometimes no success.

Herzl Marouni

Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships

Thom Singer with Leslie Morris, New Year Publishing, 2011, 204 pp., $21.95

If you are a person who believes that building a network of business contacts is one of the most important things a person can do for his or her career, this book may be for you. The author begins by stating networking comes with a caveat: You must first do the reverse and help others. But as the author states, the center of the word "networking" is the word "work", which is the subject of this book.

The first thing that is required is to take an online test to make a realistic assessment of where a person is starting from in his or her networking. The author has a web page to take this online test.

The author is adamant about networking using a tried-and-true method: relationship building. In other words, have long-term relationships with clients and provide ongoing value that goes beyond the product and service provided by the competition.

The author has advice on how to develop the plan, begin networking, set goals and act on the plan. The author believes that having lots of links to people that you don’t know dilutes the power of a person’s network. But then he states to embrace online social networking as an important tool to help build a person’s network. So which is it: social network or no social network?

There are other subjects on building a toolbox of basic items to network, being creative in networking, and ideas on how and why to keep in touch with your network and how to support the network. He ends the book with chapters on learning and turning networking into a business.

So what can be gained from this book? In my opinion, not much. The author is basic in his approach and has not brought any new ideas on networking and building relationships that has not been said many times over.

Wayne Sander
Dousman, WI

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