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Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos Hardcover – June 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0945320357 ISBN-10: 0945320353 Edition: 4th Impression

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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: SPC Press, Inc.; 4th Impression edition (June 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945320353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945320357
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Donald J. Wheeler has been actively planting the seeds of transformation in companies and organizations around the world for over 25 years. His classes have been credited with being the essential element in turning companies around and taking them from red ink to black. In less spectacular ways his seminars have been the foundation for establishing learning cultures within many organizations in various industries. Unlike so many classes where the emphasis is upon techniques, Dr. Wheeler's classes go far beyond mere techniques to teaching the way of thinking needed to use those techniques effectively. He has worked with over 250 companies in chemical processing, health care, medical equipment, information technology, steel and aluminum production, agribusiness, food production and processing, electronics, pulp and paper processing, automotive suppliers, government agencies, and banking. Dr. Wheeler has taught over 1000 seminars in the USA, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil and Malaysia. Over 60,000 students from the US and 32 countries on five continents have attended his seminars, which are held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Marketing research shows that word of mouth advertising brings in the majority of these students. We love it when our clients and students tell their friends and colleagues how good Dr. Wheeler's classes are! Along with his acclaimed seminars, Dr. Wheeler has also authored or coauthored twenty books which collectively form the definitive library for Discovery through Data Analysis. His books are being used throughout the US and in over 41 countries around the world. Dr. Wheeler has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Statistics from Southern Methodist University. He taught at the University of Tennessee for 12 years where he was an Associate Professor of Statistics. He is a Fellow both the American Statistical Association and the American Society for Quality, and he was an associate of Dr. W. Edwards Deming until his death in 1993. In short, Dr. Wheeler is the internationally recognized expert on Data Analysis and SPC. He has the knowledge, the experience, and the ability to communicate that knowledge and experience to others. For more information on Dr. Wheeler's books and seminars, contact SPC Press at 800-545-8602. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Dr. Donald J. Wheeler has been actively planting the seeds of transformation in companies and organizations around the world for over 25 years. His classes have been credited with being the essential element in turning companies around and taking them from red ink to black. In less spectacular ways his seminars have been the foundation for establishing learning cultures within many organizations in various industries. Unlike so many classes where the emphasis is upon techniques, Dr. Wheeler's classes go far beyond mere techniques to teaching the way of thinking needed to use those techniques effectively. He has worked with over 250 companies in chemical processing, health care, medical equipment, information technology, steel and aluminum production, agribusiness, food production and processing, electronics, pulp and paper processing, automotive suppliers, government agencies, and banking. Dr. Wheeler has taught over 1000 seminars in the USA, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil and Malaysia. Over 60,000 students from the US and 32 countries on five continents have attended his seminars, which are held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Marketing research shows that word of mouth advertising brings in the majority of these students. We love it when our clients and students tell their friends and colleagues how good Dr. Wheeler's classes are! Along with his acclaimed seminars, Dr. Wheeler has also authored or coauthored twenty books which collectively form the definitive library for Discovery through Data Analysis. His books are being used throughout the US and in over 41 countries around the world. Dr. Wheeler has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Statistics from Southern Methodist University. He taught at the University of Tennessee for 12 years where he was an Associate Professor of Statistics. He is a Fellow both the American Statistical Association and the American Society for Quality, and he was an associate of Dr. W. Edwards Deming until his death in 1993. In short, Dr. Wheeler is the internationally recognized expert on Data Analysis and SPC. He has the knowledge, the experience, and the ability to communicate that knowledge and experience to others.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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All managers should read this book.
Quinn A. Artz
This book is great at simply explaining the point of SPC aka TQM aka Six Sigma.
Paul Kavanagh
It's a very easy read - lots of practical examples and charts.
James J. Kelly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The major theme of this book is Variation. Wheeler does an excellent job at explaining this important idea. Although these ideas have been around for over 70 years I have found no other book that even comes close to presenting this topic in such an accessible manner. Wheeler provides managers a rational way to look at daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly figures and tell whether the actions they take have resulted in improvement. This is the greatest value of this book - with an understanding of variation it is possible to define what improvement looks like when presented with numbers. This is sure to become a classic. Every person, Managers in particular, looking to improve any operation will be served well by reading this book. How many times has someone declared that an improvement has taken place only to find out later it was all smoke and mirrors? This book will provide the concepts and tools to be able to see through the smoke and mirrors. No more opinions, no more tap dancing, "show me the data" and we'll see if there is improvement.
Read it - you will see figures in a new light.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ben Ovshinsky on January 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am a non-technical, non-mathematician, steeped in Deming-oriented Continuous Improvement, which I teach at university-level. This is simply the best (and easiest to read) book on the subject of 'control-chart' based SPC. It's in a class all by itself. It's an enlightening book about Life. It will change the way you look at and understand phenomenon. I wish Wheeler would write a series of such books, treating the rest of mathematics in as enlightening and cogent a fashion.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. B. Potter on August 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Wheeler serves up the best concise easily understood description I have ever seen for both statistical process control and the Deming management philosophy. No executive or manager responsible for imporving an organization can afford ignorance of the information in this compact volume. A leader blessed with competent statisticians may find that Wheeler's book suffices without other material covering the matter in greater depth. Leaders lacking support from statistically sophisticated staff may feel a need to stiffen their understanding with Deming's _Out of the Crisis_ and _The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education_. Even without a thorough understanding of continuous improvement philosophy, Wheeler's book, properly applied to your business, should easily offer an RoI well over 1,000,000%.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Takalo Pasi on December 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Bought this book to get a glance to topic "process improvement" and to gain understanding in process improvement practices. Reading the book really impressed me, especially the way how the author manages to explain everything from the beginning. Considering myself as inexperienced in mathematics and in process improvement, this book really bursted my understanding of managing process variation!

Understanding Variation is a well-written book and easy to understand. I recommend it to everyone interested in process improvement!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By gocats33@iglou.com on May 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
My manager at work recommended this book to me as I was about to begin an SPC project. This book was a lifesaver. Wheeler has made SPC easy to understand. As a beginner, I found the work invaluable and I still use it for reference material today
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Wheeler has given a major contribution to the field of statistical process control in this work. With depth and breadth of material, Wheeler has created a simple yet powerful guide to a topic that at times can be quite intimidating to the statistically untrained. With his simple and illustrative presentation style, this book is easily accessible to all levels of practitioners - professional statisticians will enjoy and benefit from the book as well as novices in the field. While only taking two or three hours to read, it is a treasure-trove of information and we have successfully used it as a textbook in a basic seminar in statistical process control. I think this is an important and landmark piece of work, quite worthy to be mentioned in the same breath with works from legendary figures in the field such as Deming and Shewhart
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Deasy on November 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Don't get me wrong, this is a great book and an easy read, but it leaves alot of unexplored avenues. If you are buying this on-line realize that this is a quick read (120 pages, large type and graphics included). For one thing Wheeler does not clarify the use of capability in regards to Ppk and Cpk (in case someone out there is interested). Nonetheless, Wheeler does a great job of condensing a lot of conceptual material into a neat little book that anyone dealing in IPM, SPC,six sigma, TQM or other quality systems or analysis can appreciate (this is an especially good book for those who may need to train others in understanding variation). Wheller's examples are both entertaining and acurately tease apart some important concepts. We are indebted to his clear, concise verbage- I just wish he would expand on a few key concepts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jason Bourne on December 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book will introduce you to the prevailing practices of understanding data in business and how it is limited and weak . The process behaviour chart ( a.k.a control chart ) provides a better and more meaningful understanding of your data. This book will tell why and how . Buy this book its a very good introduction on how to make sense of your data. Dr. Wheeler did a very good job !
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