The views expressed in these introductory reviews are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the books under review are the copyright property of the respective authors.
Published here June 2013

Introduction to the Books
Book  1  - An Introduction to Project Management
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations
Book 2 - The Six Sigma Handbook
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations
Book 3 - Facilitating Project Performance Improvement
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations

Book 2 - The Six Sigma Handbook, 3rd Edition,
Pyzdek & Keller, 2009


For those who may not know, Six Sigma is a rigorous, focused, and highly effective implementation of proven quality principles and techniques developed from the work of many well-known quality management pioneers such as Deming and Crosby. It is a philosophy that seeks to apply scientific method to the design and operation of management systems and business processes that enable employees to deliver the greatest value to customers and owners. It is different from the earlier "Three Sigma Performance" in that the former applied only to manufacturing processes, whereas the "Six" variety is applied to all important business processes.

Since project management is an important business process, it is relevant to our interest. However, because the scope of Six Sigma is much broader than that of project management, and its impact more far reaching, it has developed into a virtual cult that champions progressively: "Green Belts and Black Belts" and seeks to influence managers at all levels.

Nevertheless, authors Pyzdek & Keller observe that:[7]

"Despite its name, Six Sigma's magic isn't in statistical or high-tech razzle-dazzle. Six Sigma relies on tried and true methods that have been used for decades. By some measures, Six Sigma discards a great deal of the complexity that characterized Total Quality Management (TQM). Six Sigma takes a handful of proven methods and trains a small cadre of in-house technical leaders, known as Six Sigma Black Belts, to a high level of proficiency in the application of these techniques. To be sure, some of the methods Black Belts use are advanced, including up-to-date computer technology. But the tools are applied within a simple performance improvement model known as Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control, or DMAIC."

About the authors

Thomas Pyzdek is a Six Sigma consultant with 30 years experience in the field. He is a recipient of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Edwards Medal for outstanding contributions to the practice of quality management. Paul Keller is Vice President and senior consultant with Quality America, a Six Sigma Training company. He is also author of Six Sigma Demystified.

Book 1 - An Introduction to Project Management  Book 1 - An Introduction to Project Management

7. Pyzdek, Thomas & Paul Keller, The Six Sigma Handbook, 3rd Edition, published by McGraw Hill, 2009, p3
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