I came across the term since few years back through a MBA classmate. However, I never use it and know nothing about the test until recently where I really need it to test the internal consistency of a survey question I prepare for my Six Sigma activity. I believe most BB from engineering background do not aware the statistical tool as well.
Minitab 14 or earlier version did not offer feature. Anyway, it is now available in Minitab 15. You can download the trial version and try it yourself. Just follow the step below.
Cronbach’s alpha is very common in assessing internal consistency or reliability of survey / test question for social science and marketing data collection.
Rule of thumb, alpha value of 0.7 is commonly used benchmark. Alpha value > 0.7 suggested strong evidence of internal consistency exist in the survey instrument. The survey instrument is said to be reliable to provide consistent results.