Sunday, September 19, 2010

Book Review: "Design for Six Sigma as Strategic Experimentation: Value, Cost, Pace of Innovation" by H.E. Cook

5 Stars (out of 5)

The following is a book review of "Design for Six Sigma as Strategic Experimentation" by Harry Cook. The book was first published in 2005 by the American Society for Quality, Quality Press.

Actually, the book gets 10 out of 5 stars. Don't be fooled by the title, this book is much more than traditional DFSS. "Value Driven Strategic Experimentation: Product Performance Optimization" might have been a better title because the methods and tools described in this book address the major criticisms of traditional DFSS (too much focus on cost, value to the customer is not quantified, the tools are not integrated). Unlike traditional DFSS, VDSE uses BOTH product value and product cost to find the optimum design variable settings to maximize net-value, make tradeoff decisions between product performance attributes, and minimize performance variation. VDSE is what DFSS was intended to be, but never could be because of its reliance on "old" tools that were shoehorned together.

This book, like Cooks other book "Product Management" is the result of  an academic collaboration with industry which strove to provide tools to guide product managers through decisions that involve both technical and commercial feasibility. The book is written for the scientifically minded and mathematically inclined audience and is a seminal work for other "Value Driven Product Management" books. The specific contributions to the domain of product management include: (1) explains the role of product value in product management decisions, (2) offers analytical models for calculating product value, (3) offers analytical models for calculating the value of continuous product attributes, (4) offers analytical models for calculating the value of qualitative product attributes, (5) includes a methodology for creating experiments to find optimal settings for design variables, and (6) provides rigorous support for models based in economics, econometrics, game theory, and psychology. The book is clearly written, has an excellent bibliography, and uses real-world examples to illustrate main points.

In summary, "Design for Six Sigma" is an excellent contribution to the area of Value Driven Management and is highly recommended for quality engineers interested in being on the cutting edge.

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