Managing Statistical Engineering


Shainin, Peter D.; Shainin, Richard D.; Nelson, M. Timothy   (1997, ASQ)   Shainin Consultants, Inc., Carson City, NV

Annual Quality Congress, Orlando, FL    Vol. 51    No. 0
QICID: 10628    May 1997    pp. 817-832
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Article Abstract

A statistical engineering program should aim to solve an organization's most pressing business problems and to establish a corps of qualified statistical engineers. Developed by Dorian Shainin in the post-World War II aircraft industry, statistical engineering is a technical problem solving method that integrates the engineering sciences with statistics. Managers of these programs must understand three principles. First, quality is customer enthusiasm. That is, the customer is the person who defines quality, and enthusiastic customers help a company become world class. Second, there is always a Red X. That is, the Pareto principle holds for physical problems. Of the many variables that affect a response, there often is one that has a much greater effect than the others. Third, talk to the parts. That is, measure them. This paper gives an extended example on the effort needed to turn a steering wheel, demonstrating how the dictionary or binary search technique is a key element of statistical engineering. It is used in solution tree analysis of problem causes. Management can support statistical engineering by championing the most important problems. A typical business unit can work simultaneously on no more than five problems. Management should give statistical engineers the resources to work exclusively on these problems. Each top-five problem also needs an executive sponsor. Management should create training cycles for Journeyman and Master statistical engineers, so that their competency is distributed throughout the business.


Engineering,Shainin techniques,Root cause analysis (RCA),Problem solving

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