From the inception of Six Sigma in 1920's by Walter A. Shewhart, people always say "Six Sigma is Dead!". In fact, Six Sigma is thriving and has become the building block of practitioners in operations management, supply chain management and service management.
To provide six sigma book recommendations, we search on various lean and six sigma blogs and forums. What we've found is that most recommendations are done lightly. They don't take into account of the most important principle of six sigma, namely, "Voice of the Customer" or VOC.
Some bloggers use sales rank in lieu of the actual VOC but is it acceptable? We dig deeper and find that sales rank is not the actual sales record but it's the combination of 2 main factors such as book categories and probability to generate sales. Moreover, these data are not very transparent.
In order to determine which six sigma book should be recommended, we turn to a technique called Altmetrics. Altmetrics are a set of metrics used to measure the impact of books, scientific articles, videos, presentations etc. Moreover, Altmetrics use data that are available to public. In this section, we will demonstrate how we collect Altmetrics and how they reflect Voice of the Customer.
Worldcat: Worldcat is the world's most comprehensive network of library. When you access Worldcat site, you can search for publications that you would like to read and it will show you how many copies are available and where the publications are stored.
Worldcat reflects the "Voice of Library Staffs" who are trained to spot, acquire and store quality contents.
Google Scholar: Google scholar shows how many times each publication is cited by scientific articles, trade publications and books.
"Citation Counts" reflects the "Voice of Authors and Writers". A book with high citation counts means it's widely accepted by peers (one citation is equivalent to one vote).
Amazon.com: the last Altmetric we're going to use is "number of reviews written on Amazon.com"
We know for the fact that business people buy the books on Amazon.com then the number of positive reviews (3 star or more) of every edition of a book will be used as the last metric (one positive review is equivalent to one vote). Again, book reviews reflect the "Voice of Practitioners".
After that, we combine the composite scores and rank each six sigma book by total score. Finally, we remove out-of-print and obsolete books from the list.
The results of "10 Greatest Six Sigma Book of All Time" are presented as below,
1) The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed by Michael L. George, John Maxey, David Rowlands and Mark Price
2) The Six Sigma Way: How to Maximize the Impact of Your Change and Improvement Efforts by Peter Pande, Robert Neuman and Roland Cavanaugh
3) General Electric's Six Sigma Revolution: How General Electric and Others Turned Process Into Profits by George Eckes
4) Implementing Six Sigma: Smarter Solutions Using Statistical Methods by Forrest Breyfogle
5) Lean Six Sigma for Service : How to Use Lean Speed and Six Sigma Quality to Improve Services and Transactions by Michael L. George
6) Six Sigma For Dummies by Craig Gygi and Bruce Williams
7) Six Sigma for Everyone by George Eckes
8) Six Sigma for Managers by Greg Brue
9) The Six Sigma Handbook by Thomas Pyzdek
10) What is Lean Six Sigma by Michael L. George, David Rowlands, Bill Kastle
We sincerely believe this book recommendations will be useful to your future endeavors and we will update the list on regular basis. If you find useful six sigma book you would like to share, please drop the line to bloggeradmin [at] supplychainopz [dot] com.