Mastering the Five Tiers of Audit Competency, The Essence of Effective Auditing

Ann Butera, CRC Press, 2016, 199 pp, $49.95 (book).

The role of an audit is to function as a mirror to reflect the organization’s condition and effectiveness in the reviewed scope. The audit should report to management any deficiencies that were revealed. An internal audit has the additional responsibility of influencing management to taking corrective and preventive actions to enhance the practices and management systems involved. This book’s intent is to create positive interpersonal and organizational change enabling constructive improvement. This book will facilitate that.

The first five chapters are technically oriented, taking the activities performed during an audit in the order they would be used in planning and executing the audit. The last three chapters address the skills needed to be  an effective auditor and team member.

Each chapter begins with the "chapter contents at a glance" and concludes with a summary of the key points, a brief quiz to remember important points and test knowledge, and a performance planning worksheet (a template to set goals and assess progress). The focus is on doing the right things in the correct order, while avoiding less effective or noneffective activities.

The author goes into detail to provide complete, practical approaches to auditing and organizational performance.  Much coverage is also given to behavioral skills—mastery of which will have far-reaching benefits beyond auditing.

The book may be used as a quick reference guide to get ideas and solutions for specific situations encountered because there are many definitions and explanations provided. The book would benefit from a centralized glossary. Other than that, I found this to be an exceptional reference, worthy of space on every auditor’s bookshelf.

Marc A. Feldman

The Probability Workbook

Mary McShane-Vaughn, ASQ Quality Press, 2017, 576 pp., $99 member, $145 list (book and CD-ROM).

With this workbook, McShane-Vaughn has provided a companion to her 2016 The Probability Handbook. The handbook covered counting techniques, probability rules, discrete probability distribution and continuous probability distributions. This superb follow-up provides more than 400 problems, covering a wide range of probability techniques and distributions that correspond to the chapters in the handbook.

In addition, another 50 multiple-choice questions appear on the CD-ROM included with the book. The supplemental disc is a valuable study resource for quality professionals preparing for the probability sections of ASQ’s various certification exams. While the workbook has been purposefully organized and designed to stand on its own, its real value is realized after studying a section of the handbook and working on related problems in the workbook.

Each probability problem is accompanied by a detailed numerical solution and a conversationally styled explanation. Some of the problems are purely mathematical, while others directly relate to real-world applications, such as statistical process control and quality inspection. The author includes new probability topics not covered in the handbook. These include Sterling’s formula, bootstrap sampling, composite sampling, the change of variables technique, p-values, chi-square tests of independence and the Western Electric rules.

An explanation accompanies the problem setup, and in-depth information is included in the solution. The problems are categorized in three levels of difficulty, and the book includes a handy problem index to help quickly locate problems by difficulty level. The book also includes 10 appendixes.

This workbook assumes a solid understanding of and adept skills with math and statistics. This is an essential resource for instructors of university-level courses in math, statistics and probability. It would be an excellent investment by all university libraries supporting these courses.

Dale Farris
Groves, TX

The ASQ CSSGB Study Guide

Roderick A. Munro, Daniel J. Zrymiak and Elizabeth J. Rice, ASQ Quality Press, 2017, 152 pp., $30 member, $50 list (book).

The main purpose of this study guide is to help individuals prepare for ASQ certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) exam. The study guide was created by a team of ASQ fellows and contains more than 300 questions based on the CSSGB handbook.  I found the layout of this study guide to be simple and easy to follow.

I also found this guide useful to test and refresh my memory on various Green Belt-related topics. For those who are not familiar with the Six Sigma handbook, this study guide might not be the right choice. The CSSGB handbook—along with additional topic-specific reference books offered by ASQ Quality Press—must be read before trying to answer the questions found in this study guide. 

The CSSGB study guide is divided in to two sections. Section one contains sample questions from the body of knowledge (BoK). This section is further divided in to six parts, and each part is composed of questions and solutions. Section two contains previously published questions from The ASQ CQE Study Guide.  These additional practice questions help the test taker understand the various topics, including statistical concepts, in the Green Belt study process. Finally, the appendix contains various topics in the ASQ-certified Green Belt BoK, and the number of questions that will appear in the ASQ CSSGB exam from each topic along with the levels of cognition based on Bloom’s taxonomy.

The questions listed under each topic are standard and cover all the concepts of The Six Sigma Green Belt BoK. I strongly suggest this study guide for anyone preparing for the CSSGB exam.

Suresh Anaganti
Palmyra, PA

Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating a Culture that Matters

Piyush Patel, Dream Big Imprint, 2018, 186 pp., $19.95 (book).

Patel has created a book bringing forward ideas, opinions, recommendations and insights for persons creating opportunities for self-employment and strategies for leading in the delivery of valued services.

As a former college professor, Patel moved forward creating business enterprises, pushing through challenges, capturing insights about successes and failures, and creating enterprises and cultures that work.

This book is not a technical analysis of quality in the traditional sense, but it is an insightful resource exploring the quality of leadership and the accomplishing of entrepreneurial goals.

The book is a quick-read, but its organization will entice the reader to look around, reread and compare Patel’s insights posted on multiple pages. This is a thought-provoking book will interest to a variety of readers ranging from those establishing a consulting practice to people leading initiatives ensuring the delivery of quality.

Three things are noted about the writing style. First, it is generally written as a first-person report of how to deliver results. The report draws from Patel’s experiences and offers the reports for consideration by the reader as actions which can be taken to establish leadership, build results, and strengthen your position allowing you to love your work.

Second, the book’s format allows sections or chapters to be quickly read.

Finally, the book may spark discussions of topics related to leadership, loving your work and accomplishing tasks. Patel’s book actually could be used as a resource in a workshop or course.

This book will interest many in the quality field because it is a resource in creating ideas among those in the field delivering courses, facilitating leadership and authoring resources.

This is a recommended book as an idea generator for persons delivering training and consulting services in the diverse field of quality.

Jerry Brong
Ellensburg, WA

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