The views expressed in these introductory reviews are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the books under review are the copyright property of the respective authors.
Published here June 2013

Introduction to the Books
Book  1  - An Introduction to Project Management
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations
Book 2 - The Six Sigma Handbook
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations
Book 3 - Facilitating Project Performance Improvement
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations

Book 2 - The Six Sigma Handbook, 3rd Edition, Pyzdek & Keller, 2009

General Observations and Recommendations

While, like project management, the practice of quality management obviously involves the art of people management, it is, and in our view, generally under represented in most projects. For example, how often is "quality grade" recognized as a separate variable independent of "scope" in most projects, but instead buried in some vague notion of "performance", or automatically expected at some unspecified level or standard? Therefore, it is well worth the while for project managers to pay some attention to the Six Sigma concepts. Indeed, it will be noted that Chapters 2, 4, 5, and 6 of this book pay special attention to the subject of projects associated with Six Sigma initiatives.

Interestingly, this sequence of quality improvement as represented by "Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control" (DMAIC) is not unlike the sequence of the project management process groups: "Initiating-Planning-Executing-Monitoring&Controlling-Closing. However, the application of Six Sigma depends on the availability of sufficient data to work on, something that is not necessarily available on short-term, fast-paced, unique projects. That's because its application is highly dependent upon the science of repetitive data observations and collection, the application of mathematical and statistical techniques, as well as analysis and problem solving.

This book is well illustrated with tables, charts, illustrations and equations. It provides extensive, in-depth coverage of the subject matter. However, many of the pages are heavy with text containing overly long paragraphs, and acronyms whose definitions get lost in early paragraphs. It also includes strange words like "muda" that turns out to mean waste in the value production stream including all types of defective work.[8] For those without the appropriate background, it represents very heavy reading.

R. Max Wideman
Fellow, PMI

Table of Contents  Table of Contents

8. Ibid, p321. Wasted time, motion, and materials are all muda. Muda also includes designing goods and services that don't meet customer's needs. One may conjecture that there is plenty of muda around in project management - it is just that it has not been recognized!
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