March 26, 2011

Here is a list of some of the best books on quality and performance improvement.

A book that can help make the penny drop regarding the importance of change and improvement isWho Moved My Cheese by Johnson & Blanchard

A great detailed book on quality tools is The Quality Toolbox by Nancy Tague

An indepth look at the Deming Cycle PDCA is The Improvement Guide by Langley, Moen, Nolen, Nolan, Norman & Provost

The best book to read on the behind the scenes at a company using the Baldrige Criteria (on which the NHQA is based) to drive improvement is The Making of a World-Class Organization by Spong & Collard

The book by Spong and Collard shows how they improved two Boeing divisions each by 400 points out of 1000 on the Baldrige scale, a huge achievement. See the charts below. Ok, I hear you say, “so Boeing is a huge company known for excellence so it was easy for them”.  Well just before they began using Baldrige in 1991 Boeing was looking over the next few years laying off 10,000 employees, were 6 months behind schedule and had a $1.2 billion overrun! By using the Baldrige Criteria (the NHQA is based on Baldrige) they went from that difficult position to winning the National Baldrige Award in 1998 and being recognized for world class excellence. This book is an excellent insight into how they did it. You can to and you have the National Housing Quality Award to help you!

  • Three excellent best-selling books on business performance and strategy are by Jim Collins. They are, in ideal order of reading:
  • Good to Great
  • Built to Last
  • How the Mighty Fall (2009)
  • A book on the nuts and bolts of Performance Management is
  • Performance Management by Gary Cokins (2009)

Finally a book that provides a good overview of the Baldrige Criteria (the National Housing Quality Award is based on Baldrige) is The Executive Guide to the Baldrige Criteria by Leonard & McGuire.

NEXT TIME, Change Management 

Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the home building industry as well as construction engineer, site manager, and in training, auditing, and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental, and safety management awards for clients. 

Denis is co-author of The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence.