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Productivity Press


Validating a Best Practice

This book is a tool for improvement and benchmarking

Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 12:00

(Productivity Press: New York) -- Sharing best practices across industries and functions is an accepted approach to continuous improvement. The benchmarking trend of the 1990s has evolved with the help of competitive analysis, performance excellence awards, and other corporate recognition programs into an ongoing documentation of what works. Bob Camp introduced benchmarking against a best practice based on his work at Xerox in the 1980s.

Case studies abound documenting best practice functions and processes. Some case studies use the words “Best Practice” without evidence that the process, results, or methods are, indeed, superior. What is missing is a comprehensive model for assessing and writing a best practice that provides sufficient information to use as an effective benchmark. This bookValidating a Best Practice: A Tool for Improvement and Benchmarking, by Yves Van Nuland and Grace L. Duffy (Productivity Press, 2020), provides that comprehensive model.

New book by Yves Van Nuland and Grace L. Duffy

Today’s consumers expect products and services to be of high quality, reliable, and user-friendly. This is the result of years of continuous improvement and innovation by producers. Although many organizations strive for excellent results, there is still room for improvement. Unfortunately, leaders don’t always have methods and tools to measure or assess that degree of excellence. If leaders could use a tool to discover how good their approaches and methods are, and how excellent their achieved results are, they could plan further improvements. The goal is to achieve excellent results. The tool described in this book guides leaders to achieve that excellence.

Ebook available now. Click here for Table of Contents and chapter abstracts of Validating a Best Practice.

About the authors

Yves Van Nuland, Ph.D.
After his studies of Ph.D. chemistry at the University of Leuven (Belgium) (1977), Van Nuland worked at the Belgian FDA (1978). Next, he was laboratory and quality manager at PRB (chemical industry) (1979–1988) and quality manager at UCB Chemicals in Brussels (1989–1994). As a self-employed consultant-trainer, he gives support to his customers on subjects like excellence models (EFQM and MBA), business process management, KPIs, and company culture. He is coauthor and editor of the book Excellent: A Guide for the Implementation of the EFQM Excellence Model.

Grace L. Duffy, president of Management and Performance Systems
Duffy provides services in organizational and process improvement, leadership, quality, customer service, and teamwork. She designs and implements effective systems for business and management success. She is author of:
• The Quality Improvement Handbook
• The Executive Guide to Improvement and Change
• Executive Focus: Your Life and Career
• The Public Health Quality Improvement Handbook
• QFD and Lean Six Sigma for Public Health
• Modular Kaizen: Dealing with Disruption
• Tools and Applications for Starting and Sustaining Healthy Teams
• The Encyclopedia of Quality Tools
• The Quality Improvement Pocket Guide
• Modular Kaizen: Continuous and Breakthrough Improvement

Duffy has more than 40 years experience in successful business and process management in corporate, government, education, healthcare, not for profit, and small business. She is a recognized specialist in leadership and executive performance. Duffy uses her experience as president, CEO, and senior manager to assist organizations and individuals in performance excellence. She is a frequently requested keynote and conference speaker on organizational and professional performance. She is an active coach and mentor to senior leaders in large corporations as well as entrepreneurs, focusing on strategic alignment of individual skills to organizational outcomes.

Duffy holds a masters degree in business administration from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in archaeology and anthropology from Brigham Young University.


“Much of the field of quality focuses on the unrelenting reduction of variation that is then documented and established as standard process or practice. Duffy and Van Nuland are visionaries in identifying the critical need to reduce the variation that exists globally for companies trying to consistently establish best practices and for developing their “BEST” tool. This tool has the potential to become the global standard for the way best practices are developed and compared, elevating the effectiveness of this practice by an order of magnitude.”
—Bruce DeRuntz, Ph.D., College of Engineering, Southern Illinois University, Director of SIU’s Leadership Development Program

“This book is well written and much needed for organizations to assess and improve their processes. The BEST-method enables organizations to assess whether their processes contain the critical elements that provide a good and ultimately BEST practice. This method helps users to identify key resources to enable process management and improvement, as well as connecting to the organization’s strategies. No matter what industry or type of process is being evaluated, the BEST method can be effectively used. It provides an innovative approach to truly assess a BEST practice, encouraging process, results, enablers, and formats.”
—Sandy Furterer, Ph.D., associate professor and associate chair at the University of Dayton in the Department of Engineering Management Systems and Technology


About The Author

Productivity Press’s picture

Productivity Press

For more than 25 years, Productivity Press has developed the largest catalog available anywhere of publications and learning tools about lean methodology, continuous improvement, and operational excellence. It is currently the premier source of authoritative information on organizational transformation. Productivity Press is an imprint of CRC Press, a premier global publisher of science, technology, and medical resources. Its aim is to broaden thinking and advance understanding in the sciences, providing researchers, academics, professionals, and students with the tools they need to share ideas and realize their potential. CRC Press is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.