How Many SPC Books and Formulas Do You Need?

Improvement Insights Blog

How Many SPC Books and Formulas Do You Need?

Most people are terrified of statistical formulas. How many do you need to know? I think my answer will surprise you.

“I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“Next to my desk at the office I have dozens of books about Statistical Process Control and Quality Improvement and all the other stuff. How many of those formulas do I think you all need to know?

“My answer is zero. The software will do all of that for you. You do not need to know a single formula. I go to these conferences and I talk to people and I talk about control charts and people all start to get anxious about, “Oh my god, do I have to learn any formulas?” I say, “No. No you do not. That’s not your job. That’s the software’s job.”

“So do you need to know formulas to make Quality Improvement and to control processes? No. You need to be able to know what’s normal variation. You need to know that what we’re trying to do is reduce variation or we’re trying to move the center line up or the center line down. That’s it.

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Don’t learn all those formulas unless you just want it for unknown reasons. Let’s make a hassle-free America. Let’s go out and improve something this week. “