Six Disciplines for Excellence
There are few books that can be used as a "How To" manual; Six Disciplines for Excellence is one of them. Six Disciplines not only documents what needs to be done, it shows how to do it by providing the processes and forms, including tables with roles and responsibilities. In addition there are hints and tips for quick reference.
The overwhelming attraction to this book is the focus on small business. Many of the "hot" reengineering programs are directed at large companies. Small business has few tools to achieve excellence, and even fewer that lay out a concise plan.
The information is presented in a step-by-step approach with detail and explanation of building one step on another. Those steps:
Many small businesses spend much of the time on surviving and don't realize that planning and achieving excellence doesn't require a large time investment. While proper time should be allotted for planning, Gary Harpst explains that some of these tasks should not take lots of time to complete. For example: status reports for Individual Plans (IP) should not take more than 5 minutes to write and 15 minutes to review. With fewer than 10 employees the investment is less than an afternoon. Not much of a time investment to make sure your employees are working on the important stuff.
The book is an easy read but certainly not a quick read. It is definitely not a "read once and file away"; it should be on the desk in plain view and over time become worn with dog-eared pages from continuous review. I recommend the book to any small business owner. Further I would recommend the book to any department manager that is looking for a structured approach to moving their department forward.
Steven G. Lauck, PMP