The Analysis of Means
Peter R. Nelson, Peter S. Wludyka and Karen A.G. Copeland, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 2005, 247 pp., $85 (book).
All statisticians and quality practitioners are familiar with analysis of variance (ANOVA). The Analysis of Means: A Graphical Method for Com-paring Means, Rates and Proportions concentrates on the analysis of means (ANOM), a useful methodology that is not as widely adopted as ANOVA. However, as the authors are quick to point out, standard statistical software packages such as Minitab and SAS now include algorithms for ANOM, and implementation in MS Excel is not difficult.
ANOM may not replace ANOVA, but it has distinct advantages in certain experimental situations. The book elaborates on these: fixed main effects designs, some multiple comparison procedures, complete multifactor studies, as well as its application in conjunction with some ANOVA analyses.
A large portion of the book consists of graphical comparisons of means, and this is its most valuable component. Being able to both analyze and present results graphically always increases their understandability for nonstatisticians. The charts for multiple comparison procedures and analyses of interactions are particularly useful and easily applied.
The authors are clear in describing ANOM and, in some chapters, providing a practitioners’ guide. They also compare ANOM to more widely available procedures such as ANOVA or general linear models. This book would be a good addition to the library of any statistician or practitioner involved in experimental design and post hoc analyses.
I. Elaine Allen
Design for Six Sigma Statistics
Andrew D. Sleeper, McGraw-Hill, 2006, 854 pp., $89.95 (book).
Design for Six Sigma Statistics covers the use of statistical tools—all 59 of them—in solving design for Six Sigma (DFSS) project problems. The book is intended to help engineers bridge the gap between statistical theory and the practical use of statistics in completing DFSS projects.
The chapters are organized in order of increasing conceptual difficulty, from an overview of DFSS and data visualization at the beginning to the use of Monte Carlo methods for tolerance design and stochastic optimization at the end.
The book’s main strength is its detailed explanations of the relevant statistical theory and how to use MINITAB, Crystal Ball and MS Excel in solving statistical problems. Numerous examples describe how a particular statistical technique would be used, making the techniques both interesting and relevant to practicing engineers.
The main weakness of the book is its inadequacy to tie the statistical tools to a plan, identify, design, optimize and validate (PIDOV) roadmap. It may have been better to organize the book according to the PIDOV methodology. In addition, some of the equations were written using notation that could prove confusing to engineers who are used to seeing these equations in a more traditional manner.
Overall, the book was well written and would be useful both as a teaching text and a reference for Six Sigma students and practitioners alike.
Pearl River, NY
The Six Sigma Performance Handbook
Praveen Gupta, McGraw-Hill, 2006, 512 pp., $89.95 (book).
The Six Sigma Performance Hand-book: A Statistical Guide to Optimiz-ing Results is mainly built up by a sequence of chapters, each related to one phase in the define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) cycle. The text emphasizes the control phase, which is vital in sustaining the Six Sigma initiative. Furthermore, the book begins with a motivational section and ends with a discussion on efficient integration of lean into Six Sigma and a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
The structure of the book and FAQ section make it easy to read. Also, success factors as well as problems faced by small organizations are well presented and discussed within the Six Sigma methodology.
The book—according to the preface—attempts to develop statistical thinking, using statistical tools, to achieve better results and breakthrough improvement. Unfortunately, the statistical parts comprise the weakest portion of this book. Statements on statistical methods are dubious or incorrect, and in some cases it is just a cookbook. The book tries to cover too much, which results in some very brief text on more important topics.
The large interest in Six Sigma has resulted in an explosion of books. ASQ Quality Press is marketing approximately 100 books in 2006 with Six Sigma in the title. This book is not included in my top five list, but maybe in my top 10.
Luleå University of Technology
The Team Effectiveness Survey Workbook
Robert W. Bauer and Sandra S. Bauer, ASQ Quality Press, 2006, 96 pp. $24 member, $40 list (book and CD-ROM).
Bauer and Bauer state in the preface to The Team Effectiveness Survey Workbook that it’s designed to help organizations assess readiness to undertake team based initiatives, assess team effectiveness during implementation and track changes over time. The target audience is internal and external consultants and those responsible for team development and team based initiatives.
Surveys are powerful but underutilized tools in the workplace, and unfortunately many are poorly designed. At 96 pages, this book is not a comprehensive text on survey design for the seasoned professional. However, it’s a fast and friendly resource for those needing some survey help and guidance.
The workbook sufficiently describes the design process and implementation of a survey. The analysis and presentation of results are covered but limited. There is an early focus on the importance of initially defining the survey objectives and determining data analysis requirements.
The most time consuming and difficult part of questionnaire design is often question generation. Thus, this book dedicates the majority of its resources toward question and questionnaire design examples. More than 500 question examples are divided into 28 categories. Additionally, examples of complete questionnaires, cover letters, announcement letters and analysis results are provided. All example materials are available on the accompanying CD-ROM in MS Word format and can be copied and modified as needed.
I was skeptical such a small book could provide enough survey design information to be useful, but this little workbook can quickly and easily provide the basic tools and resources necessary to construct a successful workplace survey.
James R. Kotterman
Leadership for Results
Tom Barker, ASQ Quality Press, 2006, 192 pp., $24 member, $40 list (book).
Leadership for Results: Removing Barriers to Success for People, Projects and Processes is an enjoyable and thought provoking book. Barker provides a practical framework for leadership built around three themes: intentions, influence and information. These themes are intended to be used by leaders to improve their effectiveness and provide guidance to those wishing to learn about and develop leadership skills.
Barker draws on research and writings from a range of fields of study to illuminate his discussion of leadership. The writings used stimulate the appetite, widening one’s reading on leadership. Barker—in a refreshing manner—integrates the learning provided by Peter Drucker, Henry Mintzberg and Edward DeBono (among others) into an engaging guide for leadership.
Each of the themes presented are expanded on through various subthemes and illustrated with case studies and examples. Barriers to effective leadership, which are all too familiar, are highlighted and solutions presented.
The book is constructed so the themes can be adapted to the leadership of organizations, projects or issues. It can be read all the way through or dipped into for entertaining reading and thoughtful insights to leadership. The framework is presented in such a way that the information can be applied immediately. The book launches the reader into this through self-evaluation.
- Lean Kaizen: A Simplified Approach to Process Improvements, George Alukal and Anthony Manos, ASQ Quality Press, 2006, 192 pp., $33 member, $55 list (book and CD-ROM).
- Champion’s Practical Six Sigma Summary, Carl E. Cordy and R. LeRoy Coryea, Xlibris, 2006, 141 pp., $20.99 (book).
- Innovation on Demand: New Product Development
Using TRIZ, Victor Fey and Eugene Rivin,
Cambridge University Press, 2006,
254 pp., $65 (book).