A Practical Guide to Statistical Quality Improvement: Opening Up the Statistical Toolbox is designed as a reference guide for the engineer, supervisor, and manager. The intent of the text is to present conventional statistical quality improvement tools in a user-friendly form. We have worked to take some of the "mystique" out of the statistics and help others put these powerful tools to effective use in a Total Quality Manage Management (TQM) environment. This isn't a text on TQM. TQM has three elements (as shown in Figure i.1): 1. Creating the environment 2. The continuous improvement toolbox 3. Employee empowerment This text focuses almost exclusively on the middle element, the continuous improvement (CI) toolbox. Further, Opening Up the Statistical Toolbox does not present a complete set of tools intended to "fill" the CI toolbox; only the statistical tools and some of the basic team process tools are covered. The CI toolbox, in reality, will never get "filled". A comprehensive toolbox will include extensive team process skills and technology specific tools complimentary to the statistical tools included here. THE THREE KEY ELEMENTS OF TQM THE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT TOOLBOX EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT FIGURE i.I.