Some themes and core values that permeate this text are the integrative and contingency approach, organization, coverage of quality tools, practical presentation, coverage of quality in service and international environments, and coverage of ASQ, CQM, CQE.
Review By: Cathy Bell 04/17/2005
Quality is subjective. It may mean different things to different people within an organization. This book serves to help students who are learning about quality management recognize how miscommunication is detrimental to quality and how to improve the understanding of quality in any organization.
Chapter 1 begins with the quote “The world is as I perceive it.” This is the challenge we face in our pursuit to install quality as part of our company’s culture. We have to recognize that everyone has his own view of quality control, quality assurance, and quality management. The author explains basic quality principles that lay the foundation for the rest of the text. Chapter 3 gives us an overview of how the global economy requires us to expand our view of quality and how culture can influence quality. One of the major issues we face is that people still hold to the traditional view that quality is after the fact. We have to shift this view to make quality part of the design.
The second section moves into how we can plan for quality by listening to the voice of the customer, the voice of the market, and how benchmarking gets us in tune with these important factors. The third section on implementing quality gives an overview of the many tools we use to measure and define quality, including how quality teams fit into the process. Chapter 14 explains the Six-Sigma approach to quality, which, as the author points out, is very technical and implementation requires a specialist with expertise in this discipline.
The final section emphasizes the need for quality leadership in our organizations. Staff should serve as an important quality tool. Unfortunately, staff development is an often-overlooked part of the quality process. Chapter 16 shows how we can use assessment tools to determine where our organization can improve. The author recognizes that implementing what we have learned will require a long-term commitment from any organization but the payback is worth the effort.
Written as a textbook, readers should follow accompanying lessons on the book’s website and CD. The explanations are clear, concise, and adequately cover each topic. This book would make a valuable reference tool in any QA library. The book gives real-life examples of how the quality principles we learn are utilized in recognizable companies such as General Electric, United Parcel Service, Hewlett-Packard, and Yahoo!. This brings the material into focus and gives us good examples to use when explaining the benefits of implementing quality principles. The video clips on the CD bring this material to life.
As an information technology student, I was able to use material from this book in a few of my presentations and papers. I also appreciate the broad view of quality. For example, Chapter 4 focuses on planning quality and gives us the lifecycle of a hamburger, definitely a different view of quality for me. And any team looking to improve quality in its organization can use the self-assessment tool in Chapter 16.
The purpose of this book is to help students view quality from a variety of functional perspectives and in the process gain a better understanding of the problems associated with improving quality. It explains the fundamental concepts of quality, as well as how to implement these concepts in our organizations.