ASQ - Statistics Division

Using the Power of Statistical Thinking

Abstract: This paper contains observations on the role of statistics and practitioners in providing guidance to industrial organizations in the use of Statistical Thinking. The paper describes Statistical Thinking and relates it to process management. The paper gives an example from pharmaceutical production illustrating the integration of Statistical Thinking and process management. The paper contrasts statistically calibrated reactive behavior (SCRB) versus Statistical Thinking. SCRB occurs when a company uses control charts to identify when a process has changed so that they can return the process to its previous operating level. The paper uses the an example of a molding operation to show the advantage of Statistical Thinking over SCRB. Measurement is a critical component of Statistical Thinking. The paper shows how to use Statistical Thinking to evaluate and improve a measurement process. The paper concludes with the thought that Statistical Thinking must include relevant manufacturing and engineering knowledge to be effective.

Keywords: Statistical thinking - Process management - Measurement - Statistical Methods

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