What is the Best Six Sigma Book?

Many people think six sigma is too hard to understand. In this article, we will show you the list of six sigma books that everyone can study and learn.

Background

From the inception of six sigma in the 1920s by Walter A. Shewhart, six sigma is thriving and has become the guide for business for quality improvement teams to improve process capability in the production system and tools for improving quality in other fields.

Nowadays, there are many six sigma institutes that offer six sigma certifications to educate new users and many books for certified six sigma green belts, six sigma black belts and master black belts to choose from. There are also six sigma books for specialized application of six sigma in areas like healthcare or supply chain management.

To survey the landscape of six sigma books, we search on various lean enterprise blogs, six sigma blogs, forums and websites of experts in six sigma certifications. What we've found is that most recommendations are done lightly. They don't take into account the most important principle of six sigma, namely, "Voice of the Customer" or VOC which is traditionally done via user interview questions.

In order to determine which six sigma books should be recommended, we conduct 2-step data collection as below,

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

- Secondly, we turn to a technique called Altmetrics. Altmetrics are a set of metrics used to measure the impact of six sigma books, scientific articles, videos, presentations etc. Moreover, Altmetrics use data that are available to the public. In this section, we will demonstrate how we collect Altmetrics and how they reflect Voice of the Customer.

1. WorldCat: WorldCat is the world's most comprehensive network of the 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.

2. 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).

3. 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 stars 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 books by total score. Finally, we remove out-of-print and obsolete books from the list.

In short, we use objective evaluation with metrics such as citation count and customer reviews and only books about six sigma endorsed by industry leaders are included on the list.

7 Best Six Sigma Books are as below:
  1. Six Sigma For Dummies by Craig Gygi and Bruce Williams

  2. Statistics for Six Sigma Made Easy! by Warren Brussee

  3. Lean Six Sigma For Service by Michael L. George

  4. Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide To 100 Tools For Improving Quality And Speed by Michael L. George and John Maxey

  5. Six Sigma Way: How to Maximize the Impact of Your Change and Improvement Efforts by Peter Pande and Robert Neuman

  6. Lean Six Sigma Guide to Doing More With Less by Mark O. George

  7. Six Sigma Revolution: How General Electric And Others Turned Process Into Profits by George Eckes
Can you use these books about six sigma in other areas like lean enterprise or supply chain management? Do you think these six sigma books are good for green belt certifications or certified six sigma black belts?

About the Editor

Ben Benjabutr is the editor of SupplyChainOpz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience in various functions in supply chain magement. In his free time, he enjoys reading business and management books. You can learn more about him here or connect with him via TwitterQuora and Google+ or drop him a line via e-mail.