Appraisals that are conducted in support of process improvement have traditionally been called assessments. Assessments have evolved into a remarkably powerful tool for process improvement in areas ranging from systems to services, hardware to human resources. Unlike audits, assessments are conducted from the inside. When handled correctly, assessments can help transform technical and managerial culture, dramatically improving both quality and profitability.
The authors begin their book with an expert overview of what assessments entail, when they make sense, how to set achievable goals for them, and how to lead them to success. Next, they "drill down" into each stage of the process, presenting step-by-step instructions and defining the roles and responsibilities of every participant. Coverage includes creating and training assessment teams; identifying assessment products; consolidating interview data and other onsite activities; presenting results; and using those results productively.