Six Sigma Reference Guide Review


Corporate Quality Initiatives including things like Total Quality, Baldrige Award Teams, LEAN, and more have provided companies with methodologies to improve products and processes, reduce waste, and save money for the last few decades. But none has taken hold like Six Sigma, an initiative that has the ability to produce systematic improvements and savings through a structured set of processes. It has also created a huge market for consultants and authors … so it was only a matter of time until a Six Sigma guide showed up on the App Store!

The Hype:
J.P.E. Consulting, LLC is excited to announce the release of their new SIX SIGMA iPhone application. The application was officially released Friday, September 18, 2009 and is available for purchase on the iTunes App Store in 23 countries.

The SIX SIGMA iPhone application is designed to be a quick reference guide to the Six Sigma program methodology and tools. Additionally, the application gives a brief overview of the history of Six Sigma and the various roles of a typical Six Sigma program; while also incorporating various applicable Lean tools.

Many Six Sigma practitioners utilize printed paperback reference guides that sell anywhere from $12.99 USD to $24.99 USD, however mobile devices are revolutionizing the way people reference information and how they interact in business and society. With the SIX SIGMA iPhone application practitioners can have a similar version of this reference information on their iPhone and iPod Touch device for $6.99 USD. (Note: price dropped to $3.99 since introduction)


The Reality:
Six Sigma practitioners have used the QPC ‘Memory Joggers’ for years – I was certified as a Six Sigma Blackbelt very early in the adoption of the tools in the industry, and have had one in my desk for ages. So I assumed that this app would essentially be an interactive version of those great resources, and was additionally attractive as the starting $7 price is better than the ~$20 for the Memory Jogger and it would sit nicely on my iPod Touch.

Sadly it is so much less than that. What you get is a quick blurb about many of the tools and steps that you will need to understand to complete a DMAIC project. However, the content is woefully thin and incomplete, to the point that it is unclear who this is meant to benefit – those who have been trained will find it useless and will benefit much more from the QPC product, and those who are not trained will not be able to glean enough from the quick highlights to even understand the discussions of practitioners.


Since the beginning of the App Store there have been countless examples of ‘crAppWare’ – things that have an inherent appeal to a core group and take advantage of that appeal and the lack of trial versions (and refunds!) to make a quick money grab before people realize that this is not a good product. My only hope is that further updates will eventually make this a decent reference, but there is a LONG way to go. As one of the comments in the App Store said, the quality of this guide is WAY below six sigma!

Where to Buy: iTunes App Store

Price: $3.99

What I Like:
– Gets the tools and steps right.

What Needs Improvement:
– Way too little info
– Priced exorbitantly compared to content
– Serves no purpose for any potential audience
– Pales compared to the QPC Memory Jogger products.

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

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