ASQ - Statistics Division

Designing Experiments – An Overview – Mini Paper Taken from the Spring 2000 Newsletter

Abstract: Statistical experiments are commonly used to identify factors affecting quality and productivity. The analysis of data collected during these experiments is most frequently recognized as the analysis of variance (ANOVA). Unfortunately there is little attention shown, in the literature or in practice by the engineer, to the designing of experiments. That is, one needs to plan an experiment prior to collecting any data. This paper addresses certain characteristics of an experiment that are prerequisites to conducting a meaningful experiment. Different types of designs are discussed as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Keywords: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) - PDSA cycle - Replication - Repetition - Randomization - Signal-to-noise ratio - Completely randomized designs - Block designs - Latin square designs - Youden squares - Full factorial - Fractional factorial

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