I’m in Chicago attending the IQPC 8th annual Design for Six Sigma conference. Today’s events included presentations from HP, Bank of America, Bechtel Nevada and Motorola. Joe Ficalora, of SBTI, chaired the day. For the DFSS enthusiast today was a feast. To anyone else it probably sounded like an acronym convention.

I really enjoyed the presentations by CMC Electronics, Bank of America and Motorola. Alexandre Boussetta, Director of Six Sigma at CMC Electronics quoted someone at his company who said “The hard stuff is the soft stuff”. Meaning it is the soft skills, it is the people management, change management that is the hard part of DFSS, not DFSS itself. Tom Judd of Motorola agreed, and said to the effect, “the tools part is the easy part, it’s the people that are tough.”

I enjoyed the practical illustrations of DFSS at Bank of America. Richard Paxton called them “real world applications of DFSS” where voice of the customer drove the projects. They included a project to simplify account moves from state to state, one that enabled real-time online banking, and a project that created senior citizen friendly banking centers.

The real value in attending these conferences is the people side of the equation — networking with others. There is a lot to be learned in the conference room as well as outside.

I’ll have more tomorrow. Stay tuned. (Day Two)

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