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Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos Hardcover – Import, 1 Jan 2000
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About the Author
Dr. Donald J. Wheeler has been actively planting the seeds of transformation in companies and organizations around the world for over 25 years. His classes have been credited with being the essential element in turning companies around and taking them from red ink to black. In less spectacular ways his seminars have been the foundation for establishing learning cultures within many organizations in various industries. Unlike so many classes where the emphasis is upon techniques, Dr. Wheeler's classes go far beyond mere techniques to teaching the way of thinking needed to use those techniques effectively. He has worked with over 250 companies in chemical processing, health care, medical equipment, information technology, steel and aluminum production, agribusiness, food production and processing, electronics, pulp and paper processing, automotive suppliers, government agencies, and banking. Dr. Wheeler has taught over 1000 seminars in the USA, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil and Malaysia. Over 60,000 students from the US and 32 countries on five continents have attended his seminars, which are held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Marketing research shows that word of mouth advertising brings in the majority of these students. We love it when our clients and students tell their friends and colleagues how good Dr. Wheeler's classes are! Along with his acclaimed seminars, Dr. Wheeler has also authored or coauthored twenty books which collectively form the definitive library for Discovery through Data Analysis. His books are being used throughout the US and in over 41 countries around the world. Dr. Wheeler has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Statistics from Southern Methodist University. He taught at the University of Tennessee for 12 years where he was an Associate Professor of Statistics. He is a Fellow both the American Statistical Association and the American Society for Quality, and he was an associate of Dr. W. Edwards Deming until his death in 1993. In short, Dr. Wheeler is the internationally recognized expert on Data Analysis and SPC. He has the knowledge, the experience, and the ability to communicate that knowledge and experience to others. For more information on Dr. Wheeler's books and seminars, contact SPC Press at 800-545-8602.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As a young boy in Tennessee, I sometimes uncovered "white lightning" (moonshine whiskey) hidden in forests. MIght his East Tennessee roots give Wheeler his rare sense of humor and fascination with how data and KPI's can be used to "cheat?"
This book is very rich in actual examples of data being used to mislead as well as KPI's which actually promote THE OPPOSITE behavior intended.
Wheeler takes the reader through multiple "cycles of learning" in this short read which is easily completed in under 2 hours on a flight. But be warned; once you read this book you will want to reread it and apply the lessons many times.
Are your processes "predictable" or are they "unpredictable?" With his jargon free, reader friendly style, Wheeler explains clearly 3 kinds of "Voice of the Customer" specifications, as well as sharing multiple examples and pitfalls which leaders make converting data into knowledge.
If you suffer from "rare" but important defects, be sure to read the next to last chapter. Brilliant!
The cases on pages 86 and 131 will inspire you to gain new insights building on the easily understandable histograms.
A must read for any Lean Six Sigma Executive, Sponsor or Belt. I buy this book in boxes of 10; I often find my colleagues and contacts asking to have my copy!
I've been studying Dr. Deming's system of profound knowledge, and the bit about understanding variation has been on my TODO list. This book nailed it with a crystal clear introduction to Statistical Process Control (SPC), which Dr. Deming promoted based on his learnings from statistician Walter Shewhart when they worked together at Bell Labs. As Dr. Deming pointed out, an eighth-grader could do this; it's not supposed to be hard, so take the negative reviews of this book with a grain of salt. If you already understand and use SPC, you won't gain nearly as much from this book as a newbie like myself.
I remember reading Deming's Out of the Crisis and thinking that the terminology around SPC could easily be confused. "Control" is a very loaded term. Dr. Wheeler has come up with a new terminology, replacing "Control" with "Predictability", among other things. This is going to make it much easier for me to talk about without creating misconceptions.
Thanks Dr. Wheeler for making this topic so approachable and for framing it in such a compelling way, and for not being afraid to promote an entirely new terminology even when your book publishing company is known as "SPC Publishing". This reinforces your own personal belief in continual improvement.