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Books On Performance Improvement by Harrington

The Harrington Management Systems team has written more than a hundred and ten different books on performance improvement. We show here the books written by H. James Harrington.

H. J. Harrington is a prolific author, publishing hundreds of technical reports and magazine articles. He has authored or co-authored over 60 books.

Harrington’s books are published by McGraw-Hill, ASQ’s Quality Press, Paton Press, Taylor & Francis, and CRC Press. His books have been published in Chinese, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French, Romanian, Hebrew, Swedish, and Korean.

Business Process Improvement

These are books that are primarily focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of processes. Originally, this methodology was focused on white-collar process efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability. It is now being applied to all processes within the profit and non-profit making organizations.


This is a series of books focusing on improving the total innovation management system. The over-all governing book is Total Innovation Management Excellence (TIME).

Problem Solving

Problem-solving tools and methodologies have been the bread and butter for quality professionals over the years. They are designed to define the root cause of the problem and then develop a practical solution.


The ISO located in Geneva Switzerland is the coordinating body of local standards organizations with the mission to establish the standards that are necessary in today's interconnected world. The primary focus of the standards in this category is on the innovative Management Systems areas. The 2 key documents that are presently released are 56000 and 56002.

Performance Improvement

This is a group of books that focus on improving organizations' efficiency and effectiveness. It is primarily focused on how to solve problems. The 7 basic tools and the 7 problem-solving tools that originated in Japan make up the foundation this category is based upon.

Change Management

The dynamic, fast-moving world we live in, our businesses and employees are continuously faced with a changing environment, work profile, and organization culture. An effective Change Management program greatly reduces stress and allows the organization to advance at a much higher rate and with greater success in implementing a project. Change Management transforms resistance into resiliency.

Total Improvement Management

Books in this category describe a group of methodologies combined together in a logical fashion to bring about significant improvement in the way an organization is functioning and reacting to its customers. There is a heavy focus on the organization to become more customer-centric.

Project Management

All initiatives, except for very minor ones, should use project management approaches to ensure that the project gets done on time, within allotted costs and still performs to its specifications and requirements. Too often organizations treat project management as something a special neutral group of highly trained experts manages.  However, Projects Managers are needed to manage projects/programs within the organization. These books are prepared in a very simple format so that it is easy to install a project management methodology as part of the program planning and its execution. The books in the category primarily concentrate on Project Management methodology.

Six Sigma

This was a small set of statistical tools when it originated in Motorola. When General Electric started implementing 6 Sigma the number of tools and methodologies included in 6 Sigma was greatly expanded to include most of the improvement and control tools. It's made up of 4 levels of certification they are:

  • Yellow Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Black Belt
  • Master Black Belt

Each of the belts indicates a specific level of competence related to the opportunity identification and problem-solving methodologies. Millions of dollars in savings were recorded when 6 Sigma was used in General Electric.


Effective understanding and use of teams has allowed organizations to greatly improve the quality of their solutions. It's a rule in the team environment that one plus one equals 3. Teams combine people where they share ideas and build on other individuals' ideas. This is true in both blue-collar or white-collar type environments.

Performance Planning

Many individual plans need to be brought together in order to have an effective operating organization. Some typical plans are the business plan, the performance improvement plan, the strategic plan, and the operating plan. When an organization has conflicting plans and goals their overall efficiency and effectiveness are greatly decreased. These books help the organization bringing the individual plans together into a total organization plan.

Organizational Restructuring

With the rapid worldwide customer base growing in leaps and bounds, technology changing faster than you can read about it, and continuous demands for an ever-higher education level for employees, it is necessary to periodically look at the organization's structure to ensure it is providing optimum results. But all too often organizations are reorganized to meet key executive personal interests rather than optimizing the organization's performance. Never reorganize unless you can measure a specific improvement in the organization's key performance indicators. All too often organizations reorganize to address a problem and they create 2 or 3 more. Every positive move triggers an equal negative force applied in the opposite direction. Be sure that you adequately evaluate both before you make a change. IBM's numerous reorganizations when John Opal was President  and Chairman of the Board is a good example of moves to demonstrate action that did not result in progress.  The books in this category help you avoid such mistakes.

Strategic Planning

Too many companies try to do all things related to their business operations and as a result, they do them all poorly. Organizations need to define their core capability and competency and then restructured their resources so that they maintaining a competitive advantage. The strategic plan allows them to focus on their key competencies in harmony with changing customer needs. The strategic plan focuses on the organizations' resources so that the core capabilities and competencies change to reflect the changing needs of the customer. To keep the limited resources focused on their capability and competency, non-critical processes are often sub-contracted. These books are designed to help the reader define the core business drivers and then develop a plan to take maximum advantage of them.


Everyone's talking about innovation and ignoring creativity. You cannot have innovation without having creativity. Every employee should be trained on how to recognize improvement opportunities, evaluate them and take action to get the value-added once implemented. It is important when you estimate value-added you look at the total chain not just at an individual link. As people become more creative the organization becomes more innovative. These books address how to stimulate individual creative capabilities.