|Book Review: Quality Management System Handbook for Product Development Companies|
Quality Management System Handbook for Product Development Companies
Written by: Vivek Nanda. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2005. 332+xvii pages.
Quality management systems are becoming increasingly important and widespread across many industries. Anyone involved in supplying automotive or aircraft manufacturers is well aware of the International Standards Organization and Quality System standards and their supporting technical specifications. These standards have long been applied to the manufacturing and supply chain arms of a company, and they are now being extended to the new product development (NPD) process as well. This comprehensive handbook guides planning, defining, and implementing a quality management system in a company, or in an organization within a company, that is involved in new product development. Though it is aimed primarily at quality professionals, it will be of interest to NPD managers who must understand the basics of quality systems and the ways implementation of a quality system will affect their activities.
After an introduction to the concepts of quality and quality management, the author gives detailed descriptions of the five phases of quality management implementation: plan, define, refine, deploy, and improve. The author then provides six appendices of sample quality management system documentation and training materials. The material is in sufficient detail that, in combination with an applicable quality standard (e.g., QS 9000), a quality manager can use it to design and implement a complete quality management system. This level of detail is probably more than most NPD professionals need, but it does provide them with a reference that will help them work with their quality manager more effectively.
The discussion of quality practices in chapter 5, as a part of phase II (define), will be of greatest interest to NPD professionals. This chapter shows how NPD processes can be adapted to meet the requirements of a quality management system. It will be helpful to someone confronted with the task of making a new or existing NPD process compliant with a technical specification such as TS16949 in the automotive industry. A significant change for many NPD organizations is the need to formally document and approve new product requirements prior to beginning development and the need to formally document and approve evidence of compliance with those requirements prior to product release. The author provides detailed guidance for accomplishing this.
This book is used best as a reference. Because it is written as a handbook, it is very detailed and, to those who are unfamiliar with the language of quality systems, it may appear quite dense. It does not address specific quality standards, such as ISO 9000 or QS 9000, but it provides a more general approach that can be used to implement those standards.