A Career in Statistics: Beyond the Numbers

Gerald J. Hahn and Necip Doganaksoy, John Wiley & Sons, 2011, 360 pp., $69.95 (book).

As a statistician who spent time in industry and academia, I was interested in the paths outlined in this book. The authors have concentrated on industry careers followed by government statistical careers, with less emphasis on academic careers in higher education.

This is a real strength of the volume. When completing a graduate degree in statistics, it was difficult to find any role models or mentors outside of academia, although a majority of statisticians are not faculty members.

After an introductory chapter, the book has four sections covering what a statistician does, how to become a statistician, building a career, and academic careers and professional development. These sections are quite comprehensive and useful for those contemplating a statistical career.

As a female statistician, the section on women was great and made me wonder if, rather than those contemplating a statistical career, employment managers and managers of statisticians should also be an audience for this book.

The authors’ emphasis on good communication skills to complement statistical skills is one of this book’s most important messages.

The current job market for statisticians is excellent, but the job title and scope of the work are expanding; therefore, I would have liked to see a broader view of the field. It would have been great to have a current chart showing the distribution of statistical jobs by education and type to understand the landscape prior to reading the details of each type of career. I hope they will be discussed in the next edition of this useful book.

I. Elaine Allen
Babson College
Wellesley, MA

Lean Manufacturing: Business Bottom-Line Based

John X. Wang, CRC Press, 2010, 288 pp., $89.95 (book).

This book was written to show how to align a lean Six Sigma program and a company’s financial goals to improve a business’s bottom line. Each of the book’s concepts is applied by using a case study combining a beer distribution game and a gyrocopter robust-design game.

The introductory chapters cover how to use transfer functions to calculate production costs and understand the voice of the customer. Several chapters then cover how to match supply and customer demand using value stream mapping, probability distributions, time series analysis and risk management techniques. Finally, four chapters are dedicated to profitability metrics, the theory of constraints, kanban, jidoka and the use of pull systems in projects.

The book is successful in showing that it is possible to tie lean Six Sigma project results to generally accepted financial metrics. But, the book is organized in a manner that makes it difficult to tie the concepts together, which is the original intent of the book.

Overall, there are other books in lean literature that explain how to tie lean projects to financial metrics and do a better job showing how to implement lean from financial and operational points of view.

Brian Cocolicchio
New City, NY

A Practical Field Guide for AS9100C

Erik Valdemar, Dawn Holly Crabtree and Rudy "R.E." Hacker, ASQ Quality Press, 2011, 168 pp., $44 member, $74 list (second edition, book).

This book assists in the journey to implement and register the AS9100C quality management systems standard. The authors organized the book by taking each section of the standard and explaining the requirements for it. Also included in the book are explanations of ISO 9004, ISO 9000 and other International Organization for Standardization requirements.

The book also features a section on standard document requirements and internal audit questions, plus a management summary. After each major section of the standard, changes to AS9100C are identified by crossing out the old, and adding and underlining the new requirements.

The authors say what separates this book from others are the flowcharts showing the steps for implementation of the standard. These flow charts are included for each section and subsection of the standard. Whether this truly separates this book from all others is left to the reader to decide. Overall, this book would benefit managers and engineers who are directed to make the change to AS9100C.

Wayne Sander
Dove Quality Consulting
Dousman, WI

An Introduction to Green Process Management

Sam Windsor, ASQ Quality Press, 2011, 112 pp., $25 member, $42 list (book).

This book addresses the impact of green on the world of business. It gives the reader an understanding of what green is and what an organization can do to embrace it. The role of industry is to convert natural resources into products and services for consumption. Therefore, business and the jobs that industry creates are at odds with the environment.

The history of environmental concern has evolved. Protocols, laws, guidelines, conferences, standards, supplier-customer contractual requirements and environmental management systems now address aspects of the green movement. The concept and practices associated with being green now extend beyond products to internal processes.

The author summarizes current standards, certifications and references in a table and in brief text format. He cites 13 parallels between green and quality, and relates to Philip Crosby’s Quality Is Free in justifying why green is free.

Windsor also clarifies and summarizes the impact on the environment and provides a sample control plan in a matrix linking selected items, services and incidents with control and improvement efforts. Following this is a process flow map for implementing green.

Examples of managing green, with sample computations and metrics, are augmented with a road map to a green organization. He also suggests potential improvement projects and offers his conclusions about the growing popularity of green implementation. A glossary, carbon emissions survey form and bibliography also are provided.

Reading this book should provide a worthwhile beginning step in the journey toward achieving a greener organization. All quality professionals should read this book, if for no other reason than to appreciate the similarities in approaches, such as auditing. Green is in; learn more about it.

Russell T. Westcott
R.T. Westcott & Associates
Old Saybrook, CT

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