"This book is a major milestone in our understanding of the science of improvement. It is destined to be a classic in the field. It offers leaders not only a comprehensive framework, but also dozens of useful specific suggestions for achieving new levels of quality and productivity." (Donald M. Berwick, Institute of Healthcare Improvement and author of Curing Health Care)
"The Improvement Guide is a rare jewel of a book packed with powerful ideas and knowledge; it should be required reading for every student and should be on every corporate bookshelf. This book fills a major void in the Quality literature by combining fresh insights, practical guidelines, and compelling examples on improvement in a captivating and easy-to-understand manner." (Paddy Meskell, senior vice president of human resources, Silver Diner Development, Inc.)
"The Improvement Guide provides a proven framework for quality as business strategy by linking improvement to methods of managing change. It clearly will assist leaders in making permanent improvements." (Robert Tusch, manager, Quality Development and Organizational Effectiveness, Exxon Chemical Company)
"The Conrad Company has been able to double its sales while reducing operating costs during the last five years. I attribute much of our success as an organization to the theories and methods discussed in this long overdue book. People who are interested in learning -- and in making improvements and money while having fun -- should take the time to study this material." (Robert Butts, president, The Conrad Company)
The Improvement Guide can be used by anyone in an organization to successfully integrate improvements into their system while achieving results in customer satisfaction, quality, lower costs, and productivity." (George Haefner, former president and CEO, Conegra Poultry Company)
From the Inside Flap
Making effective changes in how businesses are run has become a matter of survival today. Performance improvement is more than ever a key focus for business leaders concerned with long-term growth and success. Executives, managers, and consultants alike continue to search for practical methods and techniques that are clear and specific, easy to use, and able to produce sustained results. The Improvement Guide offers a fundamental approach that promotes integrated activities designed to eliminate quality problems, reengineer systems to reduce costs, and create new products and services to increase demand. Unlike other books that focus on such tools as flowcharts and cause-and-effect diagrams, this book demonstrates how to make change happen. With stories that illustrate core ideas for enhancing quality and productivity, the authors — all active consultants — introduce a new and flexible approach to improvement. Their easy-to-understand model uses a proven methodology for developing, testing, and implementing change that produces specific, identifiable improvements. Drawing from experience over the last fifteen years in such diverse settings as manufacturing, construction, healthcare, law, government, education, and the nonprofit sector, the authors provide an innovative blAnd of practical ideas, examples, and applications for improvement. To make the change process even easier, the authors have compiled a Resource Guide to Change Concepts containing a rich collection of ideas for improvement and examples of how they can be applied. It catalogues a variety of change concepts — such as smoothing the flow of work, scheduling into multiple processes rather than one, and building in consequences to foster accountability — and presents real-life examples of each, enabling even beginners to utilize the tested techniques of some of the world's most experienced practitioners.