Preface to the Second Edition

The first edition of this book appeared in 2010, so we decided to produce an updated and expanded second edition. The purpose of the book remains unchanged—to show how, using the three principles of Visual Six Sigma, you can exploit data to make better decisions more quickly and easily than you would otherwise. And, as you might expect given their power and utility, these principles are also unchanged. However, production of this second edition allows us to take advantage of some interim developments that make the implementation of Visual Six Sigma even easier, further increasing the scope and efficacy of its application. It also allows us to improve and enhance the content and form of the first edition.

The staying power of Six Sigma as a methodology can be attributed to the fact that it can provide a common language for, and approach to, project-based improvement initiatives. Nonetheless, as we pointed out in the first edition, there is a clear need to evolve the mechanics of Six Sigma both to accommodate the greater availability of data and to address the fact that, historically, approaches to analyzing data were overly concerned with hypothesis testing, to the detriment of the hypothesis generation and discovery needed for improvement. We believe that Visual Six Sigma can foster this evolution, and this is part of our motivation for keeping this text current.

At the same time, the past five years have seen the explosion of “big data,” at least ...

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