## Elegance Rules

By the time you are reading this, you will have made your New Year’s resolutions, and I will have already broken mine. But I have an idea for a resolution that you might be interested in keeping, and one that could make your New Year happy and profitable. It is something that most Black Belts I talk to have never heard of. Before we get there, we need to talk about another powerful tool, with which you may be familiar.

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## If there is a difference, what is it?

Last month, I described a simple problem to determine which gear material resulted in longer wear. We reviewed the extremely powerful technique called Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and found a statistically significant and important effect on the average wear due to gear material. I also promised to tell you about an infrequently used next step that would make you a lot of money.  That is what we are going to talk about this month.

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## Nothing to be afraid of

For the last couple of columns, we have been analyzing a simple experiment where we look for the best choice for a new gear material. We have used analysis of variance (ANOVA) to detect a difference in the mean wear for the four different materials. In the last column, we performed a post-hoc test to determine which means were actually different from one another. However, to find the best solution, we need to know true costs, and to get that I need to know the variability associated with the different materials. At the end of the article, I’ll give you a chance to show off —the first one to e-mail me the correct cost analysis will get bragging rights and their name (or reasonably tasteful nom de plume if you prefer) in print.

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## Choosing the Right Material (finally!)

If you have been following my articles for the last few months, you know that we’re almost done with an experimental analysis and that today we will be doing the final step—making our company money. If you haven’t been following my articles, then you should probably be flogged with a soggy noodle until you admit to your other crimes in a tearful confession posted on YouTube.

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## Translating Plans into Action

I thought this month we would get away from the stats of the last few columns. Hey, quiet down! How can anybody read over all that cheering?

There’s something missing from most Six Sigma implementations—a gap that, if left unattended, leads to wasted time and money, as well as the failure of the effort itself. This topic will help you make and maintain the business case for doing Six Sigma, since it will become integral to achieving the business’s objectives.

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