Review "Planning ahead - step by step from the idea to the product".

Two thoughts come to mind as I unpack the book. Gosh, it's thick (over 700 pages). And why do people actually say "plan ahead"? Planning, even post-planning, should always be done in advance. Well then, advance quality planning is a long-established technical term. If I understand it correctly, it is the German translation of Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), which describes the product development and, in particular, the quality planning process of automobile manufacturers and their suppliers.

Jarosch's Vorausplanen is probably the most comprehensive work describing a chronological networked approach to product and process development. From my conversations with the author, I know that it was precisely the lack of a consistent and comprehensive work that was his impetus for writing the book. And - to the benefit of the professional community - his ambition to share his knowledge and immense practical experience. He covers a wide range of topics, from basic considerations of the goal and purpose of advance planning, its historical sources of impetus and methods, and contexts, to production control and process support.

The author describes classic quality assurance methods, such as QFD and FMEA, in detail. Practicability and context of introduction and use are more important to him than theoretical depths. It is noticeable, and my inquiries reinforced, that as a practitioner he has applied the methods he describes, and has also introduced some of them in the company or made them work and be accepted. His many examples are clear and varied, graphics and forms complement what is written.

A great deal of relevant knowledge and application experience about quality assurance is gathered in the work. It is aimed at experts in manufacturing companies, although the author also repeatedly makes references to the development of services and gives examples of this. My assessment is that those responsible for QA must be familiar with the topics and methods described here and, depending on their specific function, must also be able to apply them.

The large volume may be a hurdle for few readers. The book is rather not a reference book, it is recommended to go through chapter by chapter chronologically, because Jarosch makes many necessary cross references and especially the interconnectedness of the methods and process steps plays a major role for their effectiveness. He calls this "thinking and working in continuous structures". I like the fact that a digital edition of the book is available. Searching and finding terms in it is more convenient than in the printed version.

The topics of QM in transition, digitalization, and agility are clearly too brief for me in the book. A short chapter on "Agile forward planning" is not enough for me. But especially those who want to deal (more) with agility and agile quality management, and who want or have to deviate from established processes of advance planning and quality assurance, should in my view first know and understand them.

My conclusion: I think that anyone who is responsible for product, process development or QS in a manufacturing company and has a total of only 20 cm of shelf space for books should reserve 4 cm of it for this book - and work with it.

Planning ahead - step by step from idea to product by Uwe-Klaus Jarosch is published in August 2021 by Dietz Consultants Verlag, Wallenhorst.

Benedikt Sommerhoff
Head of Quality & Innovation

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Qualität e.V.
August-Schanz-Strasse 21A
60433 Frankfurt am Main

Tel: 069/ 95424-112
Fax: 069/ 95424-6112
Mobile: 0175-9322271