Tuesday, 15 September 2015

10 best books to help you pass your Six Sigma certification

 By Sarah Morgan

The business methodology of Six Sigma can help your business to improve output by identifying and then removing, the causes of errors.

We’ve conducted research into which books on the market are best to help you get your Six Sigma Yellow, Green or Black belt certification. We then cut them down to a list of 10, to ensure whatever help you need within Six Sigma, there’s a book here for you.

Six Sigma Yellow Belt

The Six Sigma Yellow Belt course, with no real prerequisites, can give you a broad understanding of Six Sigma practices and methodologies that you can implement into your business right away. More Yellow Belt info can be found here.

1. Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt Exam Secrets Study Guide: CSSGB Test Review for the Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification Exam by  CSSYB Exam Secrets Test Prep Team 
ISBN: 978-1516700301

It covers an enormous amount of topics. One of the most comprehensive books out there and is specifically designed to help you study for the exam. As well as being extremely well-researched, it highlights tactics and areas of focus that’ll be useful when in the Yellow Belt exam room.


Includes:

  • Practice questions
  • 5 secret keys to exam success
  • A vast list of topics like CTQ, Quality Function Deployment and Gantt Charts

How good is it?

It’s one of the best Six Sigma books on the market focused on exam tips, and could provide you with the exam technique that could make the difference in helping you get the knowledge to pass.

2. The Six Sigma Yellow Belt Handbook by H. James Harrington & Frank Voehl 
ISBN: 978-1932828245 

Crammed with years of practical Six Sigma knowledge, this helpful handbook is both practical and insightful. You’ll learn what skills are required of someone who is Yellow Belt certified and how that will contribute to the improvement of your business. Another great plus is the inclusion of how statistical tools are important to your business.


Includes:

  • What is at the heart of the Six Sigma concept
  • Statistical tools for Yellow Belt
  • A wealth of knowledge and understanding

How good is it?

It’s definitely a great Six Sigma book to have at your disposal. Although it’s primarily focused on Yellow Belt, it’s useful for any level of Six Sigma. It has the knowledge you need to get started and can also help experienced Six Sigma users with some general pointers.

Six Sigma Green Belt

When you take on the Green Belt, you’ll cover detailed measurements and analysis and learn further techniques to improve operations. A full list of topics and further info can be found here. 

3. The Six Sigma Handbook by Thomas Pyzdek & Paul Keller 
ISBN: 978-0071840538 

This handbook includes every aspect of Six Sigma from Green Belt and beyond which is what makes it so good.

The fourth edition is revised to reflect the continually progressing area of Six Sigma and comprehensively walks you through the methodology, covering improvement techniques in all possible areas.


Includes:

  • Green Belt and Black Belt certification online quizzes
  • Links to walkthrough videos covering several practical processes
  • Great coverage of the sometimes neglected Lean methodologies alongside Six Sigma

How good is it?

A great in-depth guide, giving you understanding that’ll definitely give you a head start in the exam. It will also help you on the job, with brilliant attention to a wide range of practical processes necessary for someone who is Green Belt certified.

4. Six SIGMA Green Belt Study Guide: Test Prep and Practice Questions for the Six SIGMA Green Belt Exam by Trivium Test Prep 
ISBN: 978-1940978789

Ever used an exam study guide that is too fluffy and takes forever to tell you what you’ll actually need for the exam? This is the antidote. It’s brilliantly streamlined for efficient studying, only giving you information that is truly helpful.


Includes:

  • 100 practice questions
  • A review of every tested concept in the exam
  • Fully explained subjects that’re easy to digest

How good is it?

The most efficient and straightforward study guide for the Green Belt certification. A sure way to prepare yourself to pass the exam.

Six Sigma Black Belt

The Six Sigma Black Belt is for those who are responsible for leading projects using the Six Sigma & Lean methodologies. More info on the Black Belt can be found here.

5. The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook: Tools and Methods for Process Acceleration by Frank Voehl, H. James Harrington, Chuck Mignosa & Rick Charron 
ISBN: 978-1466554689

Another useful book that can vastly improve your understanding of Six Sigma. Built on a strong understanding, it comprehensively tackles the advanced level of Six Sigma in the Black Belt.


Includes:

  • Diagrams and illustrations useful to understand the more complex frameworks and processes
  • Insight from a well-respected and distinguished group of authors
  • Exercises, worksheets and templates to assist your continuous improvement

How good is it?

This is one of the best at covering the level of detail required in the Black Belt certification. It simplifies the Black Belt methodologies, helping you to apply them to your exam and to real-world situations.

6. The Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook (Six SIGMA Operational Methods) by Thomas McCarty, Lorraine Daniels, Michael Bremer and Praveen Gupta 
ISBN: 978-0071443296

This handbook does a great job of explaining the more difficult elements of Six Sigma, integral to passing the Black Belt. It aims to make you an expert in Six Sigma, explaining how to take on multiple projects and solve complex problems.


Includes:

  • A complete guide to understanding and writing financial reports
  • Project costing tools
  • Problem-solving tools like Design for Six Sigma and TRIZ

How good is it?

A very useful handbook to aid you whilst studying for the exam, as well as after you’ve passed, helping you use Six Sigma to solve tricky on the job problems. A great Black Belt resource.

General

There are many useful books out there that can help you generally with some, or all of the Six Sigma certifications.

7. Six Sigma For Dummies by Craig Gygi & Bruce Williams 
ISBN: 978-1118120354

It may seem too basic consulting a “For Dummies” book for help with Six Sigma, but it has great reviews and genuinely provides very useful information about the methodologies. If you’re studying for the Yellow Belt it’s a great resource to get you started. Its usefulness is not limited though, and does provide knowledge relevant and helpful to those studying both Green and Black belts and for those who want general Six Sigma guidance.


Includes:

  • Top dos and don’ts of Six Sigma
  • Plenty of thorough how tos
  • Top tips for those currently in the industry

How good is it?

Amazon have made it part of their “Best Books of the Year So Far” for 2015 - it also averages 4.3 out of 5 from 39 reviews. It’s a great read for anyone in project management, let alone someone taking a Six Sigma certification.

8. Six Sigma for Managers, Second Edition (Briefcase Books Series) by Greg Brue 
ISBN: 978-0071838634

Greg Brue is CEO of Six Sigma Consultants and is a Master Six Sigma Black Belt and aims this book at the busy managers of today. His expertise provides tips for those managers of how to use Six Sigma to be successful in your field.


Includes:

  • Clear definitions of Six Sigma terms and concepts
  • Specifics about tactics and improving your planning
  • The latest in practical insights and tips

How good is it?

Another of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Year So Far” for 2015. It provides an up to date perspective from someone who has mastered the field with tips that can help you pass your exam and help you on the job.

9. Six Sigma for Everyone by George Eckes 
ISBN: 978-0471281566

If you’re looking for a book that doesn’t over-complicate the concepts of Six Sigma, look no further. This is perfect for someone looking to improve their basic understanding of the Six Sigma methodology – perhaps sitting the Yellow or Green belt.


Includes:

  • Straightforward explanations of terms and principles
  • In-depth examples for further insight
  • 10 basic tools each team member needs

How good is it?

Reading this will give you a solid foundation of knowledge before sitting your exam. It’s excellent at serving its purpose for those not looking to go over the top with Six Sigma.

10. The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed by Michael L. George, John Maxey, David Rowlands and Mark Price
ISBN: 978-0071441193

An ideal reference guide for those studying both the Green and Black Belts. Contains excellent advice on how best to use the Six Sigma tools in different situations. With step-by-step instructions it can help you get a true understanding of how to carry out the processes you learn on the courses.


Includes:

  • Brief summaries of the 70 most important tools in Lean Six Sigma
  • Quick and easy reference guide to the DMAIC improvement cycle
  • Concise but thorough information in a pocket sized format

How good is it?

A handy book if you’re looking for something that isn’t too dense but still provides helpful information. It’s very useful when revising for either exam.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.