Book Review: Statistics for Six Sigma Made Easy ISBN-13: 978-0071797535

Today we finished reading Statistics for Six Sigma Make Easy by Warren Brussee (ISBN-13: 978-0071797535).  Like several other books we’ve reviewed, this book tries to take a complicated subject like Six Sigma and break it down so that it’s easier to understand.  Mr. Brussee takes a slightly different approach however, since this book is more about statistical processes rather than the Six Sigma methodology in general.

This second edition of the book was published in 2012, and the information inside is just as relevant today as it was the day it was published.  Mr. Brussee spends his time in the introduction on the basics of this process improvement method as well as his background and experience.  Chapter one then leads into management’s role in implementing Six Sigma in an organization.  This section is well laid-out as it immediately jumps into the process sigma level and having an understanding of what sigma represents.

While the book does discuss belt-levels to some degree, it seems the author was focused more on the process rather than focus on the confines of the DMAIC process. That’s not to say that DMAIC isn’t discussed.  In fact, it’s the entire subject of chapter 2.  This book is about tools however, and where it really shines is at the start of chapter 3.  Part 2 of this book (Chapters 3-7) discusses some of the key tools used in any Six Sigma project.  From FMEA to using a Fishbone diagram, the author has found a simple way to explain complex instruments. 

The layout is done quite well.  For example, in chapter 4 the author starts by explaining WHAT you will learn in the chapter.  He then moves on to explain simplified instructions for HOW to implement what you are learning.  The chapter is concluded with a case study and a “What we have learned” section to help reinforce the learning objective.

Another chapter we found especially useful was chapter 8, Getting Good Samples and Data.  This can often be one of the most difficult tasks on a project.  We love how the book discusses the Hawthorne Effect, something rarely discussed in Six Sigma literature (Including our own).  As the author discusses in the book, “As soon as anyone goes out to measure a process, things change”.  Having an understanding of this is so important if you want your project to be successful.

Since this book is designed to focus on statistics, it goes on to discuss all the elements you would expect in a Six Sigma book like (Variation, Probability, Normal Distribution, and testing for statistically significant change.

Final Thoughts:

MSI is adding this book to our recommended reading list for all members interested in the statistical elements of Six Sigma.  We found this book simple to read, yet packed with useful information.  For anyone who isn’t comfortable with statistics and probability, this book attempts to make the subject easier to digest.  You can find this book on Amazon using ISBN-13: 978-0071797535.