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The Six Sigma Handbook, Third Edition Hardcover – 1 Nov 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 3 edition (1 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071623388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071623384
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 3.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 526,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Thomas Pyzdek is a Six Sigma consultant with over 40 years of experience in the field. His clients include Ford, McDonald’s, Intuit, Boeing, Seagate, Avon Products, and many other companies. Mr. Pyzdek is a recipient of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Edwards Medal for outstanding contributions to the practice of quality management and the E.L. Grant Medal for outstanding leadership in the development and presentation of meritorious educational programs in quality. He has also recently received a Lean Six Sigma Leadership award from the American Quality Institute.

Paul Keller is Vice President of and senior consultant with Quality America, a Six Sigma Training company. Nearly 3,000 students to date have used his Six Sigma training program to achieve Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt certifications. Mr. Keller is the author of Six Sigma Demystified.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is full of valuable information on Lean Six Sigma.

It covers an extensive range of tools, techniques and charts required. It also doesn't focus on technology meaning you can use it alongside Excel which is invaluable.

Having said all this, the book is also full of unnecessary references and in places, waffle! You will find yourself reading it and pulling out the facts you need from large blocks of text.

In my opinion, this could have been structured better but it seems the authors are trying to get absolutely everything packed in to make it look like a historical piece. What you need is a) what is it, b) how to implement it, etc...you don't need to know the origins & creators since they are irrelevant to anyone trying to implement any methodology. Some authors seem to focus on this as a hero worship not realising the only ones interested, are actually them!

The authors also focus too much on pure six sigma forgetting that in business, you need to be flexible. This is the drawback in six sigma though as it works with structures that are just not compatible with "real" businesses i.e. the need to redeploy black belts after 2 years into the business and obtain "new blood". Whilst this is an idea, in reality this is unlikely since black belts could be redeployed to areas where their knowledge is never used bearing in mind companies have structures. This method appears similar to internal graduate programmes where they get exposed and later find themselves not requiring half of what they have learned since they take up a permanent position that doesn't require it!
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Format: Hardcover
I am in two minds about this book. It is an important work and I would not be without it. However, I would like someone to rewrite it, or write another book that makes this one unnecessary.

On the good side, this is a very thorough introduction to the tools and techniques of Six Sigma. There is an introductory section explaining the purpose of the method, and later sections cover people issues as well as technical aspects of Six Sigma.

On the downside, the text is really rather dull. There is a tendency to state the obvious, which has the unfortunate impact on this reader of provoking skim reading - which is not what this book was designed for. A knowledgeable editor could probably cut out about a third of the text by assuming that the reader knows the basics of business processes, such as "what is a sample survey".

At times, it goes into rather more detail than this reader would like. For example, in the "Analyze Phase" chapter there are detailed examples of a huge range of analytical methods that really belong to a workbook.

The book does attempt to cover strategic aspects of Six Sigma, and the integration of this method into business strategy. However, it is probably not well suited to the needs of senior managers who want to get to grips with the method for management purposes, without actually becoming a Green/Black Belt themselves. The "high level" perspective tends to lack any new insight, and go to great lengths to say something mundane, suggesting it is more appropriate to the neophyte in business than to the experienced manager. For example, the section on "External Roadblocks" to change takes three paragraphs to say that stiff regulation, plus worries about liability, make people prone to view change as risky.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great well written book, highly recommend
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent purchase, walks you through the concept, considerations and implementation. You can study at your own pace and take the exams at your leisure.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x991bfb4c) out of 5 stars 78 reviews
62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9977c5ac) out of 5 stars If I didn't already know about Six Sigma, this book would not have taught me 2 Feb. 2010
By David Elliott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book contains a lot of information, but it's very difficult to learn from it. I already knew the basics of 6 Sigma, so I was able to understand what the author was talking about. If I didn't already know the concept, it would have been like reading greek. The book never gives a simple overview of what 6 Sigma means. He explains the details of each piece of the jigsaw puzzle, but doesn't tell you what the puzzle will look like in the end. The book begins not with an explanation of what 6 sigma is, but with the benefits of it. He provides equations on limits of r, u, np, sigma, averages charts, and others, early on, but doesn't explain what those charts are until chapter 8. I kept reading and re-reading, thinking that I missed something. Another example: He uses the term "subgroup" in equations, examples, and descriptions of situations. The term "subgroup" is not defined until page 235. Sure, I tried to look it up in the glossary -- it isn't there. I tried the index, as well. It's not there either. Believe me, if you need to read a book in order to learn and understand 6 Sigma, look elsewhere. I admit, I didn't read the entire book. That's because I didn't learn anything in the first 250 pages.
43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9977c7f8) out of 5 stars A Must HAVE- But a hard read.... 22 Jan. 2010
By R. D. Hill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I took a very in-depth online Six Sigma certification class. This book was the required textbook for the course. It does thoroughly cover all aspects of Six Sigma, but BE WARNED!! It is dry reading FILLED with acronyms that I don't think even certified black-belts could remember all of. I was glad to see another reviewer comment on the writing style. I also found it poorly written. The author reminds me of a boss I once had- it's the classic "I'll just keep talking over everyone's head, until they see my superior intellect or I convince them of their own stupidity." I consider myself to be well educated, and one who picks up almost any project easily. I found myself scratching my head and asking, "SERIOUSLY? Is this guy for real??" While it probably is the definitive Six Sigma textbook, be prepared for the math, algebra, an alphabet soup of acronyms and more corporate "buzz word" speak than you can shake a stick at!
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9977c7bc) out of 5 stars Indispensable reference from the authority 25 Dec. 2010
By Stephen Salaka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thomas Pyzdek has been doing 6 sigma and 6 sigma training for many years. The reference manual is an indispensable tool for any SSGB/SSBB. It is extremely comprehensive and thorough and goes over each stage in the DMAIC road map, along with the tools, in a very high level of detail. If you are not enrolled in a SS training course or if you are new to SS, this is not a book you want to be using as a self teaching book - however, for everyone else (those who are SS certified or are going through certification), this handbook is a treasure trove of tools, tips, and techniques for everything six sigma related.

Remember, this book is not designed as a self-study guide (you could use it, but because it jumps into a lot of the more high level material, it would be confusing to many new to SS). This book is designed as a road map and a reference guide for those already familiar with the SS process and methodology and want to gain a better understanding of each of the DMAIC/DMADV process steps, as well as a very thorough overview and in depth discussion of each of the statistical tools. The biggest improvement of this book over the second edition was a more in-depth review of software tools as well as an expanded appendix reviewing statistical charts.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9977cab0) out of 5 stars Comprehensive Reference Work 14 Jun. 2010
By Tom K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first one-third of the book provides an excellent management overview of the philosophy, content and application of Six Sigma, including its relation to prior quality programs. The authors are up-to-date and highly experienced. They provide best practices advice on the gray areas of applications.

The second section, chapters 5-7, briefly skims the surface of project management and process mapping.

The bulk of the book is devoted to a high level review of all of the statistical tools a six sigma blackbelt might ever use, including Excel/Minitab tools, and practical applications advice.

This is not a course to learn six sigma, but a reference book for those who are trying to refresh their skills, prepare for an exam or quickly find a tool.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9977cb10) out of 5 stars Difficult to understand 1 Aug. 2010
By Manufacturing Whiz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although comprehensive in scope, this book fails at the details level. The author waxes eloquently on more or less obvious points, and assumes you know obscure detalis. I did learn quite a bit from this book, but I look at this as being in spite of the writing rather than because of it. Some topics (i.e.: Control Charts) were handled very well. Others (i.e.: Statistical Inference, DOE) left a lot to be desired. This can be a difficult subject to write about, but I felt the "Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbox" did a better job.
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