10 Best Six Sigma Books of All Time by Six Sigma Gurus

There are thousands of six sigma books in the market but which one is the best? This article will show you great six sigma books you should keep within reach.

Why is Six Sigma Important?
From the inception of six sigma in 1920's by Walter A. Shewhart, people always say "Six Sigma is Dead!". However, we believe six sigma has changed the world in so many ways. 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 books 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.

Finding Best Six Sigma Books
In order to determine which six sigma book should be recommended, we conduct 2-step data collection as below,

Firstly, we check each six sigma book if it got endorsement or positive review from business leaders and six sigma gurus.


six sigma book


Secondly, 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".

Then, we combine the composite scores and rank six sigma books by total score. Finally, we remove out-of-print and obsolete books from the list. Please note that only one six sigma book from the same author will be included in the list to increase the diversity.

10 Best Six Sigma Books are as below:
  1. Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide To 100 Tools For Improving Quality And Speed , recommended by Jack Covert (President of 800-CEO-READ)

  2. Lean Six Sigma For Service , recommended by Mike Joyce (Vice President of Lockheed Martin)

  3. Six Sigma For Dummies , recommended by Stephen Covey (Author of 7 Habit Book)

  4. Six Sigma Way: How to Maximize the Impact of Your Change and Improvement Efforts , Most Influential Business Management Books by Time Magazine

  5. Lean Six Sigma Guide to Doing More With Less , recommended by Tony Mattei (Vice President of PepsiCo)

  6. Six Sigma For Managers , recommended by Mike J. Harry (CEO of Six Sigma Management Institute)

  7. Implementing Six Sigma: Smarter Solutions Using Statistical Methods , recommended by Ramon Leon (Associate Professor of Statistics at University of Tennessee)

  8. Six Sigma Revolution: How General Electric And Others Turned Process Into Profits , recommended by Michael Delaney (Senior Vice President of Daimler Trucks North America)

  9. Six Sigma Beyond the Factory Floor: Deployment Strategies for Financial Services Health Care and the Rest of the Real Economy , recommended by Steven P. Bailey (Principal Consultant at DuPont Engineering)

  10. Six Sigma Business Scorecard , recommended by Paul Harmon (Author of the book Business Process Change)

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 books you would like to share, please drop the line to bloggeradmin [at] supplychainopz [dot] com.