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1.4 Learning Statistics for Six Sigma Using This Book

This book assumes no previous knowledge of statistics. Perhaps you may have taken a previous course in statistics. Most likely, such a course focused on computing results using statistical formulas. If that was the case, you will find the approach in this book very different. This book provides the following approach:

  • Provides a simple nonmathematical presentation of topics. Every concept is explained in plain English with a minimum of mathematical symbols. Most of the equations are separated into optional boxes that complement the main material.
  • Covers statistical topics by focusing on the interpretation of output generated by the Minitab and JMP software.
  • Includes chapter-ending appendices that provide step-by-step instructions (with screenshots of dialog boxes) for using Minitab Version 14 and JMP Version 6 for the statistical topics covered in the chapter.
  • Provides step-by-step instructions using worked-out examples for each statistical method covered.


Six Sigma management is used by many companies around the world. Six Sigma uses the DMAIC model that contains five phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Many different roles are important in a Six Sigma organization. Statistics is an important ingredient in such an organization. The purpose of this book is to enable you to learn enough so that you will be able to use statistical methods as an integral part of Six Sigma management.


  1. Arndt, M., "Quality Isn’t Just for Widgets," Business Week, July 22, 2002, 72–73.
  2. Gitlow, H. S., and D. M. Levine, Six Sigma for Green Belts and Champions, (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2005).
  3. Hahn, G. J., N. Doganaksoy, and R. Hoerl, "The Evolution of Six Sigma," Quality Engineering, 2000, 12, 317–326.
  4. Hoerl, R., "Six Sigma Black Belts: What Do They Need to Know?" Journal of Quality Technology, 33, 4, October 2001, 391–406.
  5. Snee, R. D., "Impact of Six Sigma on Quality," Quality Engineering, 2000, 12, ix–xiv.
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