Using Design of Experiments

How to Institute DOE in Your Company (link broken – removed) by Davis Balestracci:

DOE works, but I don’t need to sell that to the readers of this newsletter. But as certain as we all are, no one can deny that design of experiments faces resistance even in environments where it is a proven tool. Every research scientist or engineer who has had a major success from DOE can tell you story after story of how management still wanted problems solved one-factor-at-a-time.

Design of Experiments (DoE) was developed by R.A. Fisher in the 1920s (related terms: factorial design, multivariate expertness). Six Sigma was the first general management approach that specifically highlighted the use of Designed Experiments for improvement. Still the use of factorial designed experiments is much less than it could be.

A Brief Overview of DOE from the Macomb Intermediate School District (link broken – removed) which has a high school course on the topic.

Design of Experiments can seem complicated but at the core it is fairly simple and powerful. By applying the proper techniques it allows you to gage the effect of several variables and, very importantly, the interactions of those variables with a small number of experiments (or tests or pilots).

George Box is a wonderful author (and friend) who can write for mangers who are not knowledgeable about statistics and statisticians. Statistics for Discovery does a good job of explaining how organizations should use experiments to improve.

While the adoption of DoE is still growing slowly, an increasing number of organizations are using DoE to improve. In the past most companies (in most industries anyway) did not have to compete with others that were using DoE to improve. But as more adopt DoE as one more tool to help increase the pace of improvement those that fail to take advantage of this tool will find themselves at a serious disadvantage.

Related links:

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