In The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, by W. Edwards Deming, Deming argues that the current system of management in business, government, education, and healthcare is flawed – that we must learn to cooperate, rather than to compete, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. In his eyes, the present style of management is a “prison created by the way in which people interact.” He views this “climate of competition” as being destructive to the organization. To combat this destruction, Deming devises a System of Profound Knowledge with the goal of transforming the prevailing style of management; from that of competition, to cooperation. His System consists of four parts, providing “a map of theory by which to understand the organizations that we work in.”
Six Sigma for Managers, by Greg Brue, provides its readers with a thorough understanding of the basic principles of Six Sigma and its implementation. To Brue, Six Sigma means many things for an organization. First, Six Sigma is a statistical basis for measurement, allowing the organization to quantify how well they are producing quality material by measuring the Defects Per Million Opportunities (DPMO). Second, it provides a philosophy and a goal for the organization to get behind, and be motivated by. Third, it provides a methodology through a five-step process, also known as the five “vital factors.” And finally, it provides a symbol of quality for the organization, and a sense of pride when the organization achieves its goal.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey presents a series of seven sequential habits, aimed at giving the reader the tools to move along – what he likes to call – the “maturity continuum.” By understanding where one stands on this continuum, Covey argues, one will be better suited to focus their efforts sequentially on the seven habits – and gain a greater interpersonal effectiveness. To covey, this book is a “principle-centered, character based, inside-out approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.”
This summary will cover the foundational concepts of the book and give an overview of the seven habits. Though this book is a “self-help” book, it covers many topics that can be helpful to project managers. To give a greater focus to this summary, this will also cover how this book is relevant to the practice of project management. Continue reading A Summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
In Philip B. Crosby’s book, Quality is Free, Crosby puts forth a method of improving organizational efficiencies and output by first understanding the true definition of quality, and then acting upon that understanding using many tools. In his words, this is the “art of making quality certain”. Continue reading A Summary of Quality is Free, by Philip B. Crosby