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Hardcover The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance Book

ISBN: 0470192410

ISBN13: 9780470192412

The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance

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Book Overview

Improve quality and productivity in most any organization Based on W. Edwards Deming's model, this guide offers an integrated approach to testing and improvement'one that is designed to deliver quick... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

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A must read for all Black Belts

This is a very practical and powerful guide for improvement. 1. The first revelation this book brings is: improvement is a change. From this viewpoint, the fundamental questions faced by the improver (e.g. Green Belts and Black Belts) are: (1) What are we trying to accomplish? (Define phase)(2) How will we know if a change will result in an improvement? (What are the key Y's?)(3) What changes can we make that will result in improvement?(What are the key X's and their settings to affect Y's)Appropriate tools from `6-sigma' tool sets can be used to seek answers to (2) and (3).2. The Guide emphasizes testing a change in small scale before full implementation so we can learn and improve the proposed change using the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. This significantly improves our typical `trial-and-error' approach.3. The Guide classifies improvement into 3 categories:(1) Eliminate Quality Problems (the aim of many `6-sigma' projects)(2) Reduce Costs while maintaining or improving quality (the goal of many internally focused improvement efforts)(3) Expanding Customer ExpectationsSpecific advises and examples are presented for each of these categories.4. Best of all is a list of 70 Change Concepts categorized under 9 sessions, e.g. standardization under Manage Variation, Synchronize under Improve Work Flow. Using these change concepts can significantly reduce the time to develop the specific changes. This book is very easy to follow and contains a lot of examples. It is a must read for all improvement practitioners including Green Belts and Black Belts.

Improvement viewed as a science.

Whether involved with improving products/processes within a business or coaching little league baseball, The Improvement Guide provides a practical and fundamental approach for improving performance. The book serves as an excellent reference for those involved with change, specifically, change that will result in improvement. A few of the items from the book which ring in my mind continuously include:Improvement can be viewed as a science (in fact, some of us do!).Three questions provide the framework for improvement: 1. What are we trying to accomplish? 2. How will we know if we if a change will result in an improvement? 3. What changes can we make that will result in improvement? While there are many opportunities to change, there are only 70 change concepts (included in the Appendix) available to us today.Any system for improvement will include five activities: 1. Establishing and communicating the purpose of the organization/team. 2. Viewing the organization/team as a system. 3. Designing and managing the a system for gathering information for improvement 4. Planning for improvement and integrating it with business planning. 5. Managing individual and team improvement activities. Leaders are required to implement change that will result in improvement and they draw their power from three sources (the informal leader gets his/her power from sources 2 and 3 below). 1. Authority or position 2. Knowledge 3. Personality and persuasiveness (caring about people)These items and many more, are introduced in the book via an easy-to-understand model that uses proven methodology for developing, testing, and implementing change that produces specific, identifiable improvements.

The Answer to Dr. Deming's question: "By What Method?"

Dr. W. Edwards Deming, whose management ideas and Profound Knowledge provide the theoretical underpinnings of this book, continually asked the question to anxious audiences: "By what method? How do you go about it?" As a professional in the quality sciences field, I believe this book has the answer to those questions as it relates to improvement. The Improvement Guide defines improvement and describes in complete detail workable, easy to use techniques that are effective and time-tested. The book is based around the Improvement Model, an expanded and improved version of the Deming-Shewhart cycle, whose historical roots trace are grounded in applications of the scientific method and applied scientists since Roger Bacon. The principle of testing on a small scale, learning using the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle, and building knowledge sequentially using the Improvement Model are some of the most practical and useful aspects of the book. Part I is written on an introductory level and provides lots of simple examples that guide the beginner through theory and practice. The heart of the book, and some of its most useful content, describes ways to develop, test, and implement a change. The insights provided, based on decades of experience and knowledge of the authors, are invaluable. They are followed up by thoroughly documented and easy to understand case studies that ring true using real life examples related to manufacturing, services, health care, and a variety of standard business and educational processes. Finally, the third section describes an integrated approach to various standard improvement goals and useful strategies for achieving them. This section also includes extremely insightful guidance for leaders trying to promote and enable improvement, and an innovative and thought-provoking section suggesting techniques for expanding customer expectations to increase demand for products and/or services. This section, too, is replete with examples and case studies to support and illustrate methods and concepts. This book should be studied by anyone, beginner or experienced professional, interested in a systematic method for improving processes, products, or services. I strongly recommend it.

A significant contribution to quality literature

In the extensive library of quality material, a select few items stand out for their practical approach to implementing powerful quality principles in such a manner to be understood by everyone. These authors, strongly tied to Deming principles, are consultants with Associates in Process Improvement, a national quality consulting firm, and have consulted on quality with numerous industries in the US, Canada, and Europe. They are heavily schooled in statistics and quality engineering and now add this valuable item to the elite group of quality tools. The book is driven by their simplified approach to the now well known PDSA cycle, preceding this with their three fundamental questions: What are we trying to accomplish?, How will we know a change is an improvement?, and What changes can we make that will result in improvement? After considering these questions, the authors then take the reader through the classic PDSA steps in this useful model of quality improvement easily adaptable in any business. Part 1 introduces and explains this model, part 2 further applies the model in exemplary business situations, and part 3 offers solid advice for leadership in a quality organization. The added resource guide, alone worth the investment in this work, further explains how different executives are applying in their business the numerous concepts that fill this excellent guide to improvement. This is a very useful addition to the library of any quality professional, and will be most useful to those newly entering the endless road to quality improvement.

A simple and easy to use methodology for making improvements

The Improvement Guide has brought to our business and my life a simple and easy methodology for making improvements regardless of the scope of the process.The guide is based on a systems approach to improvements, which allows a better understanding of how the improvements that you are working on effect your system. I teach an operations class and I use this book and its ideas as a semester long improvement project. The students have come to understand that an improvement must begin with an objective for the improvement and that you run a cycle (plan, do, study, act) to test your prediction. The students have commented they really enjoy learning this methodology and can easily apply it to their daily lives. The book is easy to read and has useful examples of real life improvement efforts. I use this book on a daily basis. It allows me the opportunity to manage our company's, my students as well as my own improvement efforts.
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