10 Books to read for a Six Sigma Certification
To validate your level of received Six Sigma training, and to prove that you have the required level of knowledge about the Six Sigma business methodology to be able to work in a job where this is desirable, you can take on a certification, which in Six Sigma is called a Belt. So after passing the exam, the candidate will be a Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) or a Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB).
Once you have decided to take on your Six Sigma certification to learn Six Sigma Methods and techniques, you will probably decide to get a book or more to complement your Six Sigma training, as a written reference guide, or simply to learn and prepare for the exam to get your certification. There are dozens of books on Six Sigma that promise to help you understand Six Sigma and learn its techniques in-depth and prepare you for the certification exam.
Which book to choose of these depends chiefly upon your specific needs, your current level of knowledge and the course material you already possess or will get during your Six Sigma training. The following selection will focus on books which support your preparation for the certification exam:
1) The Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook
by Roderick A. Munro and Govindarajan Ramu (ISBN-10: 0873898915)
Published by the Six Sigma certification body American Society for Quality (ASQ), this book is, as the name claims, a handbook, containing explanations of all Six Sigma areas relevant for the Green Belt certification, such as the terms, processes, acronyms, & reference material. Even areas like project management, data analysis, statistics and lean management are covered. The book follows ASQ's Body of Knowledge for the Green Belt Certification and comes with 2 CDs which contain mock-exams, a video course, and a lot of helpful additional material.
This book will provide you with a good overview of Six Sigma, and it can be used as a reference guide to answer a lot of questions that may arise during your studies for the certification, but as it is intended to be a handbook, it is not a training manual for the certification. When you get this book, please ensure that you get the latest edition as its content is continuously updated to match the ASQ Body of Knowledge (BoK) for the Certified Six Sigma Green Belt -which is also updated on a regular basis. Latest edition of this book is from March 2015.
Here is the book to learn Certified Six Sigma Green Belt.
2) Statistics for Six Sigma Made Easy! Revised and Expanded Second Edition
by Warren Brussee (ISBN-10: 007179753X)
This book focuses on the statistical methodology and techniques used in Six Sigma and explains them in accurate but easy to understand language. All basic Six Sigma formula and tables including the DMAIC improvement cycle are explained and illustrated with real world examples. The book also contains some basic Green Belt training and a matrix for finding the right statistical tool to use in a Six Sigma environment.
Statistics are an important part of Six Sigma, and an understanding of statistics and the ability to use them in the right mode are very important to pass the certification exam. This book offers lots of aid and information in this area, and due to the plain, simple-to-understand style of the book, can be easily assimilated by the candidate.
Here is the book to learn Statistics for Six Sigma Made Easy.
3) Six Sigma Demystified, 2nd Edition
by Paul Keller (ISBN-10: 007174679X)
This book explains all the main aspects, techniques, and methods of Six Sigma in clear, concise terms. It aims to help you to develop your skills in Six Sigma by providing tips and advice on how to build the Six Sigma infrastructure and use the DMAIC methodology in your projects. Apart from lots of case studies and tables for calculation and assumptions, it also presents clear advice on when and how to use a specific problem-solving tool in your work project.
Though the book does not claim to be a training manual for the Green Belt certification, it comes with quizzes and even a final exam at the end, thus greatly aiding the candidate in their preparation for the examination.
Here is the book to learn Six Sigma Demystified.
4) A Guide to Six Sigma and Process Improvement for Practitioners and Students: Foundations, DMAIC, Tools, Cases, and Certification (2nd Edition)
by Howard S. Gitlow, Richard Melnyck, David M. Levine (ISBN-10: 0133925366)
Besides explaining Six Sigma roles, responsibilities, techniques and methodology this book focuses on the questions ‘what can Six Sigma do and achieve?’, and ‘how is Six Sigma executed?’ Understanding and mastering all of the 5 DMAIC phases, and handling the foundational Six Sigma statistics are the main goals of this book. Additionally, it has special chapters on pursuing the Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt certifications.
This book is not a training manual for the certification, but is recommended to understand what Six Sigma Process Improvement actually means, and how it's done. For that reason, it is a good choice of read for the examination.
Here is the book to learn Six Sigma and Process Improvement DMAIC Tools and more.
5) Six Sigma for Powerful Improvement: A Green Belt DMAIC Training System
by Charles T. Carroll (ISBN-10: 1466564695)
Six Sigma's DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) methodology is the central focus of this book. Familiarity with this methodology is the most important factor when you want to work successfully with Six Sigma. The reader is guided in stepwise manner through this course of DMAIC to achieve the aforementioned goal.
This training book is not focused on helping you pass the certification, but aims at a comprehensive understanding of Six Sigma & knowledge of the wider context in which it is deployed, as it will allow you to make better decisions. This will prove to be invaluable to the reader, whether in their exam preparation, or in post-certificate employment.
Here is the book to learn Six Sigma for Powerful Improvement.
6) The Quality Toolbox, Second Edition
by Nancy R. Tague (ISBN-10: 0873896394)
This book is a comprehensive reference collection of tables, definitions, techniques, explanations and tools. It's written and structured cleanly and is well organised so that information is brief but relevant, and can be found quickly.
This is neither a textbook nor a training course, but the candidate is required to be familiar with all the tools this Quality Toolbox contains, it is a good choice to read it as part of your preparation to pass your certification exam.
Here is the book to learn The Quality Toolbox.
7) What is Lean Six Sigma
by Michael L. George, David Rowlands, Bill Kastle (ISBN-10: 007142668X)
Lean Six Sigma is a combination of Six Sigma and Lean principles. The book contains lots of diagrams, charts, real-world examples and even cartoons to explain the four core principles of Lean Six Sigma.
The book, which is only 96 pages thick, affords you a quick and brief insight into what Lean Six Sigma is. Reading the book will not directly aid you in your exam prep, but will help you to view and integrate Six Sigma in bigger context of business methodologies and the ideas behind it.
Here is the book to learn What is lean Six Sigma.
8) The Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook
by H. James. Harrington, Praveen Gupta, Frank Voehl (ISBN-10: 1932828176)
The Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook is a guidebook about all the aspects of Six Sigma, and is very popular among people of all levels working in the Six Sigma field. Green Belt Students will benefit from the Green Belt Basic Skills section; while more experienced readers can learn how to successfully lead Six Sigma teams. Sections on topics about what computer software to use in Six Sigma and new statistical tools distinguish this book from other Six Sigma Handbooks.
This is a relatively brief (330 pages) handbook, but it contains a lot of information and has a modern approach to communicate them. Whether preparing to take the certification or as a general Six Sigma reference guide, this book is an excellent choice for candidates.
Here is the book to learn Six Sigma Green Belt.
None of the above mentioned books is a one-stop preparation resource for the Six Sigma exam. Learning the Six Sigma methodology takes more than rote memorization of lots of test questions from mock exams. One needs to possess a thorough understanding of the methodology involved, after which passing the exam should be a walk in the park.
These books will help you understand all aspects of the Six Sigma methodology and as long as you choose the ones which are suitable for you based on your previous knowledge, your needs and to compliment other training units, you'll improve your knowledge with relevant information on when to use Six Sigma.
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