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Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest

Six Sigma

Books: "Lean Six Sigma Using SigmaXL and Minitab"

A guide to lean Six Sigma statistics using examples from SigmaXL and Minitab

Published: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - 14:27

This paperback book will be easy to find on library shelves; just look for the one with the most dog-eared pages. Lean Six Sigma Using SigmaXL and Minitab, by Issa Bass and Barbara Lawton, Ph.D. (McGraw Hill, 2009) may become your most greatly used reference book. It’s a practical introduction to lean Six Sigma project execution and written in such a way that it can be used as a training manual for beginners or as a reference tool for Black Belts.

The road map used for this practical approach is W. Edward Deming’s five-step improvement process, define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC), a statistical and scientific method of improving existing business processes. A chapter is devoted to each of the five steps explaining how it is used in lean Six Sigma.

The book is based on years of teaching the lean Six Sigma methodology to audiences from many different industries. The authors provide varied examples using two of the most widely-used statistical software suites, SigmaXL and Minitab, to better help the reader understand how to execute a lean Six Sigma project.

Lean Six Sigma Using SigmaXL and Minitab explains how to:

  • Define the project goals, project manager, value statement, stakeholders, and risk
  • Schedule tasks using the Gantt chart, critical path analysis, and program evaluation and review technique
  • Capture the voice of internal and external customers
  • Assess the cost of quality
  • Gather data and measure process performance
  • Perform process capabilities analysis
  • Apply Lean Six Sigma metrics to determine baseline performance
  • Implement analysis techniques such as Pareto analysis, value stream mapping, failure mode and effect analysis, and regression analysis
  • Identify constraints via factorial experiments, and implement process improvements
  • Monitor production performance using statistical process control


Issa Bass is a Master Black Belt and senior consultant with Manor House and Associates. He is the founding editor of SixSigmaFirst.com. Bass has extensive experience in quality and operations management, and is the author of Six Sigma Statistics with Minitab and Excel (McGraw Hill, 2007).

Barbara Lawton, Ph.D., is a Six Sigma Black Belt and has been improving manufacturing processes using lean techniques and Six Sigma for more than 15 years, in various industries on three continents. Lawton specializes in data analysis, and is a keen experimentalist and problem solver, using a wide range of statistical tools. She currently works for one of the world’s leading aerospace organizations in the United Kingdom.


About The Author

Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest’s picture

Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest

Laurel Thoennes is an editor at Quality Digest. She has worked in the media industry for 33 years at newspapers, magazines, and UC Davis—the past 25 years with Quality Digest.