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Power of Six Sigma Hardcover – March 16, 2001

52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Using a format similar to that in Spenser Johnson's Who Moved My Cheese?, Chowdhury (Management 21C) has created a fictional story that exemplifies the benefits of the business philosophy called Six Sigma. In Chowdhury's rendering, Joe, a middle-aged manager unexpectedly laid off from his position at a fast-food franchise company, is depressed and uncertain about his next move. He calls Larry, an old friend and former co-worker whose career is thriving. Over lunch, Larry explains how he has practiced Six Sigma, both to advance his career and to increase profits for his employer, and he teaches the program's basics to an initially skeptical, then wildly enthusiastic Joe. At the crux of this strategic program, advanced by GE's Jack Welch and instituted at many other major corporations, is a renewed focus on eliminating mistakes, waste and rework. Six Sigma is based on designated teams ("people power") that focus solely on solving a specific problem ("process power"), which may lead to efficiencies that please consumers and, by saving the company money, enhance the bottom line. What distinguishes Six Sigma from other popular quality management techniques, such as Total Quality Management and ISO9000, is that each team has a clear goal; moreover, employees benefit because companies usually tie a financial incentive to a team's goal. While Chowdhury's is not the first book about Six Sigma, what makes his stand out is its engaging and simple approach intended for a broad audience, from the assembly line worker to middle managers and CEOs of smaller companies. (Apr.)Forecast: Given the attention paid to Six Sigma, and Dearborn's ambitious 50,000-copy announced first printing, this book has a reasonable chance of hitting business bestseller lists if Dearborn can jump-start word-of-mouth and find ways to encourage managers to make the book required reading for employees.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


“This book will become a source code for those who want to understand and execute Six Sigma successfully.” -- Dave Ulrich, Professor of Business, University of Michigan

”… will do for your customer centered, profit driven defect reduction efforts what The Goal did for cycle time reduction and supply chain improvement.” -- Steve Gunther, Vice President, Six Sigma Deployment, Seagate Technology

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Business; 1 edition (March 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793144345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793144341
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Subir Chowdhury is Chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group, LLC-- a world authority in Quality leadership, strategy and methods. Hailed by The New York Times as a 'leading quality expert', and by Business Week as 'The Quality Prophet', Subir is the author of 12 books, including the international bestseller The Power of Six Sigma, which has been translated into more than 20 languages and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. Subir's Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is the first book on the topic and is credited with popularizing the DFSS philosophy worldwide. His latest book titled The Ice Cream Maker has been praised by leaders and media alike and has been distributed to every member of the U.S. Congress. Subir's latest organizational transformation philosophy, LEO, has been implemented and is being used by various organizations and industries.

Subir has received numerous international awards for his leadership in quality management and his major contributions to various industries worldwide. He is an honorary member of the World Innovation Foundation (WIF) and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame for Engineering, Science and Technology and Automotive Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Gold Medal, the Society of Automotive Engineers'(SAE) Henry Ford II Distinguished Award for excellence in Automotive Engineering and the American Society of Quality's first Philip Crosby Medal for authoring the most influential book on Quality. Subir has been twice honored by the U.S. Congress on the Floor of House of Representatives and the U.S. government presented him the 'Outstanding American by Choice Award' for his enormous contributions in the field of quality and management.

Subir received an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India, a graduate degree from Central Michigan University (CMU), and an honorary doctorate in engineering from the Michigan Technological University (MTU). Both IIT and CMU honored Subir with their Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The London School of Economics (LSE) has established the 'Subir Chowdhury Fellowship on Quality and Economics' to be given to a post doctoral Fellow each year to study the impact of poor quality in the advancement of economics of a nation, which is the first of its kind in the world. The SAE International has established the 'Subir Chowdhury Medal of Quality Leadership' to be given each year who bring forth innovation and broaden the impact of quality in mobility engineering, design and manufacturing. His philanthropic interest is evidenced through the Subir & Malini Chowdhury Foundation, which brings focus on the needs of society and those less fortunate in the world. Subir lives with his family in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book starts out fine enough. It describes the frustration of being laid off, feeling worthless and wondering how do you go home and deal with the reality. Then the book promises something revolutionary that will improve the company, fatten the bottom line and involve everyone from the CEO down to the guy in the mailroom.
This book is high on the quantitative and low on qualitative. Sure, there's a theme about improved quality, but what I mean by 'qualitative' is that we never ever see how the guy in the mailroom fits into the revolution. This is a problem that bean-counters like the author can't deal with and don't seem to want to deal with.
While the Blackbelts are supported by the Greenbelts, and the Masters are in 100% support ... what's to be said about the guy in the mailroom? While the Black belt is counting the mailroom letters, and timing the mail delivery ... what is there to say about a disgruntled mailroom clerk who doesn't feel like he's a part of the new program? Why does this matter?
It matters because a lot of mistakes and quality problems are due to sabotage and lost interest; it's not always about measurable processes. "The Power of Six Sigma" suggests that a few new machines and the dedication of the Masters will overcome whatever resentment or frustration that rises up against the implementation of Six Sigma. No! This kind of stuff you can't measure with statistics or negate with new machines.
In the book, the proponent of the Six Sigma program explains how he solved a problem by hiring someone to "just answer the phone." This adds one more mundane, rotten job that stands to only counteract the Six Sigma success once burnout sets in, and the phone person gets abrasive and less attentive with customers. Face it!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading "The Power of Six Sigma" and enjoyed it more than I had expected. My company is starting to implement Six Sigma and I wanted to get a jump on my other fellow employees. I read it over the course of a week during my lunch break, and because it is not overly technical enjoyed doing so. I always hated textbooks back in school because it seemed they were written by experts for experts and not for real people. I'm not a mechanical engineer and I'm no statistics expert but I have used statistics software before in school and now have a working knowledge of the concepts of Six Sigma. In addition to learning the basics such as what greenbelts, blackbelts, and executive champions are, I now understand terms such as DPMO, Critical to Quality, DMAIC, Standard Deviation, and the importance of assigning numbers to measurements. The explanation of the DMAIC process was also helpful, and although we don't make pizza or burgers we can apply the main concepts and adapt them to our business and develop our own strategy for how Six Sigma will work for us. We have recently chosen our first project and because I had read the book I could explain the main concepts to my line workers. Once they knew what we were doing they opened up to us and we quickly found the cause of the problem. Our shop guys always seem to get nervous whenever someone from the office comes out to the plant to examine a defect. But if they all knew about Six Sigma and understood that we were not out their to challenge their job, but instead to improve quality, things would go a lot smoother and quality would be better. I am now a big fan of the book!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was looking for a book that would explain Six Sigma, and how i works in a simple way. I didn't want read about statistics and all the tools in Six Sigma, just how the statistics and tools apply in a "real" Six Sigma project. This book was just what i was looking for! The way that the book is written is very good. It's a story about two old friends that have been in the same company for a long time. One of them very successful, the other one not. The successful one has been working as a Black Belt for some time. He explaines a Six Sigma project over lunch, there is always a dialogue between them, the non successful one is asking questions, just the questions I would have wanted to ask, and he is getting more convinced about The Power of Six Sigma the more he gets to know. This is a great book to start with if you want to know more about Six Sigma!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am an officer in a small corporationand read this book for possibly distributing across the company. So it was important to find a book that stays at the '30,000 foot level' and remains generic enough to apply to any company. The discussions abot REWARD and CAREER PROGRESSION and use of CONSULTANTS were too specific to the point of quoting dollar figures on rewards, and this did not reflect the aproach we have chosen given our culture and finances. The Black belts are said to be rewarded by 2-3% of a projects savings which is estimated to be 10k per project. In our opinion such decisions should be left to each company. It is stated " matter of factly " that the best green belts will become black belts and best black belts will become master black belts and the best master black belts will be executives. What about companies with a flat structure?. In addition it is stated that master black belts are hired consultants that come in and lead the black belts. All that is presented as standard procedures and that is not the way we see it best for our business. Also we will have many more green belts than black belts or Master black belts. Oddly there is a jeering directed at GB's which is not directed at BB's or MBB's not that there should be any at all. The Gb's are referred to as worker bees and that they can work themselves up to BB's. It is important to promote team work in the company. I do not want to create a Caste system instead. This definitely WILL NOT work for distributing across our company. I am glad I read it carefully before we created a huge problem.
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