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Stat Free Six Sigma: Focusing on Intent for Quick Results Paperback – February 14, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I strongly encourage the use of Stat Free Six Sigma as a primer for introducing Six Sigma methodology to your organization.
John G. Ernst, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt PractitionerStat Free Six Sigma: Focusing on Intent for Quick Results
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn and apply Six Sigma tools to improve business or other processes.
Fact-based decision-making has been emphasized in all business improvement methodologies, but never as much as in recent six sigma practices. However, it need not be highbrow statistics, which deters beginners, contend the authors of this book.
The authors have gone back to the basics of the Motorola practice by emphasizing six sigma's nonstatistical intent as a philosophy for breakthrough improvement. The title is catchy and makes one first surmise that one is totally freed from data. However, `virtually' is added in small letters to the title.
The evolution of six sigma has grown to include sophisticated tools of statistics, so much so that a beginner now equates six sigma with complex statistics. This acts as an impediment to the widespread adoption of six sigma as an improvement methodology.
In this context, the book seeks to bring into focus the basic intent of the tool for quick results.
The most important intent of six sigma as a philosophy, the authors rightly observe, is to enable an organization to channel corporate energy into continually creating value and intellectually engaging employees by challenging them for dramatic improvement. This is what Motorola's `six steps to six sigma' sought to do in its initial phase with resounding success. In later phases, dramatic improvements in the bottom line created a focus on lean, which the book does not touch upon.
The authors have attempted to express in simple language many quantitative expressions. The definition of six sigma is simplified to `an approach to achieve virtual perfection fast, and be the best-in-class in everything we do'. Six sigma performance is expressed as `designed tolerance divided by a process range greater than or equal to two', leaving how 3.4 parts per million is arrived at unexplained.
The method of project selection based on a project prioritisation index is explained in simple terms with examples. The DMAIC (define-measure-analyse-improve-control) sequence and its importance in systematic problem-solving is also rightly emphasised. The key DMAIC tools with least statistics are mapped on to the DMAIC sequence and a stat-free DMAIC tool application matrix is also a useful addition.
The simplified approach to comparative tests of means and variances is interesting for a beginner. However, it is an open question whether anybody at that stage can avoid looking to the t-table or f-table. The authors hasten to add a note saying: `For finer improvement in critical processes, more rigorous statistical tests must be performed.' However, describing only a `factorial experiment' and avoiding mention of the advantages of `fractional factorial experiments' leaves the beginner unaware of the possibility of saving on experimentation.
The link between six sigma and innovation is well explained and the skills of effective leadership of time management, process thinking, statistical thinking and innovative thinking are explained in simple terms.
The book, by and large, reaches its objective of `helping readers implement a six sigma initiative without fear of statistics, as well as refocusing energies to achieve the intent of six sigma, which is a lot of improvement very quickly'. But I would only recommend it for beginners and would-be champions. Regular practitioners may not accept its claim of enabling stat-free six sigma. It is, however, a commendable effort to demystify six sigma.
Although not completely free of statistical references, the book greatly simplifies the utilization of statistics. The abbreviated "significance tables" developed for "F" and "Chi Square" are extremely practical, easy to use and understand. Most of the statistical tools described are simplified and require no calculator or computer assisted calculations.
While training others to become "six sigma belts", I feel, as many of the trainees do, that explaining and justifying each statistical tool is time consuming and tends to increase "fallout" especially among non-technical people. Utilizing this "Stat Free" approach should significantly reduce training time and training cost, while increasing trainee retention.
As with other improvement project successes, this book has provided a true breakthrough for organizations planning on adopting Six Sigma improvement processes. This simpler approach should ease management fears of implementing a more traditional, statistically rigorous Six Sigma improvement initiative.
Stat Free Six Sigma has become my new Six Sigma "bible" that I strongly recommend to all "quick results oriented" business managers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent attempt to demystify Six Sigma concepts based on a common sensical approach to...Read more