Book Review: Six Sigma For Managers, ISBN-13: 978-0071455480

Authored by Greg Brue and published under The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., This short book is the perfect primer for managers looking to understand the basics of Six Sigma.  This book does a nice job of summing up the key elements of Lean Six Sigma in a simple format that won’t scare off casual readers.  The book is not detailed enough for a Black Belt to use as a project implementation guide, but it also wasn’t designed for that.  If you’re looking to learn about Six Sigma, or train your managers on the basics, you should consider adding this book to the reading list.  The book isn’t broken up into chapters like most books, so let’s break down a few sections.

Six Sigma for Managers

Focus on Results

In this section, the author discusses the roles of Six Sigma team members (belts) and the overall structure of the project.  The author states: “From the start of a Six Sigma initiative, commitment and communication are crucial.  To get results that count, the executive leaders must support and promote the initiative and provide information about Six Sigma and all developments.  The initiative also depends on the people who play the primary roles, who are responsible for using the Six Sigma techniques and tools to achieve results.”  The author then goes on to explain the role of Champion, Black Belt, Green Belt and Executive training.  The author states that all managers and above should be trained as project Champions.  This is a little different then what most experts recommend, but it isn’t right or wrong.  Managers and above must have some type of training so that they understand the concept of Six Sigma and what is happening within the organization.  Some companies certify everyone as a Six Sigma White Belt since that role is an “observer” role on a project.

Measure Smart

The next section we looked at focuses on the Measure stage of DMAIC.  The point that the author tries to drive home here is that some projects try to measure everything, and that “everything” can be a lot of statistical information to analyze.  Instead, the author suggests “Identify the crucial internal processes that influence the CTQ measurements, the process outcomes.  Then, measure the defects that profoundly affect the CTQ standard.”  MSI agrees that this is the correct approach.  The discuss them moves to looking for measurement discrepancies using a Gauge R&R and estimating the process baseline capability.  Select the critical-to-quality characteristic(s) in the process, validate the measurement systems, and establish the process capability.

With approximately 48 pages of actual content, this book is designed strictly for newcomers to the Six Sigma methodology.  That’s okay, the book is easy to understand and gives the viewer a good window into this continuous improvement theory.  Bulk copies of this book can be ordered directly through The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. starting at just $7.95

This book can help you with the following certifications:

Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification

Lean Six Sigma Certification

Six Sigma Champion Certification