H. Fred Walker, Ahmad K. Elshennawy, Bhisham C. Gupta and Mary Mcshane-Vaughn, ASQ Quality Press, 2019, 314 pp., $89 member, $135 list (book).
This book is a reference for practicing inspectors and those in training, and a comprehensive source for those preparing to take ASQ’s certified quality inspector (CQI) exam. As such, it is closely tied to the CQI body of knowledge (BoK). Many of the same references used to develop the CQI BoK also were used to create this book. The authors did not intend for it to teach the concepts or materials covered, but only provide a quick refresher to those already familiar with the subject matter. This third edition reflects all the updates to the 2018 CQI BoK.
The book is broken down into five sections, mirroring the CQI BoK: technical mathematics, metrology, inspection and test, quality assurance and appendixes. Each of the 25 chapters begins with a statement of the BoK’s applicable requirements. Next are straightforward definitions and explanations of the topics. The sequence of steps to use or implement the material is presented with simple examples, and mnemonic devices are given where helpful. Each chapter ends with a short bibliography and references.
The best way to use this book is to read it sequentially, and then reread any unclear or unfamiliar parts to gain additional insight and mastery. The appendixes are worthwhile and include: the CQI BoK with exam coverage distribution, computer (Minitab) resources, measurement tables, distribution tables, a short glossary of inspection terms and an index. The list of figures and tables also is supportive.
Even if you don’t plan on taking the CQI exam, this would be an excellent addition to your quality library.
Marc A. Feldman, Galveston, TX
The Toyota Kata Practice Guide
Mike Rother, Mcgraw-Hill Education, 2017, 311 Pp., $31.74 list (book).
This book offers a detailed discussion about how to create cultural improvement routines based on scientific thinking. It’s divided into three sections. The first section offers an executive summary that is an excellent read for managers who want to better understand what Toyota kata is about.
The second section provides readers with the means to experiment through obstacles to the goal. The base is a four-step process that follows the lines of well-known learning processes and the storyboard, which summarizes the improvement journey. This skill-building process aims to shift the reader’s mindset and habits from jumping to conclusions to thinking more scientifically.
The third section presents means and routines for coaches (managers) to accelerate and cement their “learners’” learning. It provides detailed examples of coaching dialog and discussions of the role of the second coach, who observes the coaching cycles and provides feedback to the coach. The reader is challenged to predict what feedback the second coach should give.
The book delivers information, insight, frameworks and templates that support forming habits that help solve problems and achieve challenging goals based on an organizational mindset. The illustrations are clear, and the text is easy to read and well structured. Together with the storyboard instructions and useful kata forms in the appendix, the book is a practical kata practice guide for all manages and anyone interested in improvement work.
Bengt Klefsjö, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden