Please reference this previous question.  This question and answer examines how to select a “good” Six Sigma consultant.  In summary, you must consider the consultant’s credentials.  In the consulting business, credentials are everything – plain and simple.  If a consultant does not have the necessary credentials, they should not be considered (for anything).  Following is a partial list of highly generalized considerations:

Formal Education (degrees, research)
Informal Education (seminars, conferences)
Publications (books, articles, papers)
Media (television, films, videos)
Certifications (professional)
Licenses (professional)
Work Experience (technical, management)
Teaching Experience (formal, informal)
Client History (list of names and contact information)
Consulting Experience (advisory, problem solving)
Citations (books, articles, documentaries)
Awards (personal, professional)
Board Positions (current, previous)
Letters of Recommendation (stature of signatory)
Military (rank, duties, discharge)

Every customer wants to receive information and data from a highly credible source.  This provides them with a sense of confidence, security, and well-being.  They have an inherent right to know the quality of those sources.  If a consultant is not willing to declare a verifiable set of biographical information and openly present their professional data, then one must take serious note of his or her authenticity (and intent).  For example, we often see physicians, attorneys, and engineers post their credentials (for all to see and study).  Such overt “advertisement” brings an element of comfort to those that engage their services (knowledge, skills, opinions, beliefs, and assertions).

As a microcosm of this issue, consider the discussion forum.  Many naïve individuals post questions at this site hoping to receive sound advice that is fully qualified.  In far too many cases, the ensuing discussion quickly becomes laced with information, data, and opinions that are highly suspect (at best).  In some instances, the conveyed knowledge is just plain wrong.  Recall the validity of Dr. G. Taguchi’s “loss function.”  He justly asserts that poor quality (at a personal level) is ultimately transmitted to the societal level.  He calls this phenomenon “loss to society.”  Such thinking should given us pause to consider the implications of our counsel to others – especially on Internet websites.

To illustrate the later point, a tactical investigation into this issue was undertaken by Mr. Reigle Stewart under the codename “Guess Who.”  The forum topic was entitled “Setting the Record Stright” and first posted on August 7, 2003.  According to Mr. Stewart, it was his intent to “call out” several of the so-called “six sigma experts,” provoke some discussion, and then ask them to reveal their true identity and post their credentials.  As might be expected, no one gave their true name and no one posted their credentials.  Nothing more needs to be said – the situation speaks for itself.

About the Author