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Managing Quality reviewed


Title: The Universal Manager series - Managing Quality
Author: Helen Howard
Publisher: Scitech International in partnership with NEBS
Date: 2000
Price: £24.99
ISBN: 0 948672 08 0
Format: Paperback, 144 A4 Pages

The book is designed to support candidates working towards the NEBS Management Diploma, and the Management S/NVQ Level 4. According to the back cover "It is designed to support both the professional development of experienced
middle managers, and the formative development of management students and recent graduates. Each dossier provides an authoritative, clear sighted and occasionally provocative survey of a hot management topic"

The Preface states that Appendix 3 of this dossier contains information about the NEBS Management Diploma. Unfortunately considering this is a Quality Manual, there is no Appendix 3. The book moves straight from Appendix 2 to Appendix 4, and the information about the NEBS Management Diploma is contained in Appendix 4.

The material is divided into six areas: Background, Quality Planning, Commitment to Quality, Quality Standards, Quality Control and The Impact of Quality Management. Each area consists of about 20 pages: Quality Planning for example is
divided into Mission, Policy, 3 types of Quality Plan, Analysis, Objective Setting and Action Planning. Because of the lack of space, each of these subjects is dealt with in general terms , but some examples are provided in most cases.

Positive Issues

  • There are 26 activities
  • There are "Pause to Reflect" moments
  • The book is well designed

Negative Issues

  • Some of the material is too brief, e.g. a number of the case studies are only a dozen lines long, scarcely long enough to get the feel of the organisation being discussed
  • The material is over-simplified

The "Resource Appendix" is a list of articles and books, only two of which are more recent than 1995. There should have been much more material in this section. It might have included a list of contact addresses for further information e.g. the DTI, and the EFQM (European Federation of Quality Management). It might also have included a list of appropriate websites - most of the
Quality Gurus quoted in the text, e.g. Crosby, Peters have their own extensive and valuable websites. There are a handful of websites referred to in the text e.g.

The Universal Manager website is worth a look. It has a few downloadable articles about each aspect of the Universal
Manager study programme, e.g. seven articles about Quality Management. It also has a distractingly fun area of desktop games called Executive Toys, as well as some material on Learning Styles and Personal Development Planning.

Managing Quality could be a useful introduction for those with absolutely no knowledge of Quality Issues who feel they need some material to scan through to give them a general overview.

Managing Quality was reviewed by Chris Green.

Other reviews in the series:

Risk Management and Financial Performance
Managing for Knowledge and Business Planning
Planning and Controlling Projects


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