Don Linsenmann, VP Business Process Excellence & Corporate Six Sigma Champion at DuPont delivered a superb presentation on Tuesday. If the only two people I heard this week were Don Linsenmann and General Colin Powell, I would have been satisfied.

Once again, Don reviewed the faces of Six Sigma with his Rubik’s Cube analogy. Each color/side of the cube represents a face of Six Sigma: Strategy, Leadership, Management, Methodology, Technology, People.

Don explained that today we have a new challenge – the 4×4 Rubik’s cube. It’s not linear like the 3×3 cube, it’s exponential. This generation of Six Sigma does not focus on defect reduction, or cost reduction – It is all about value.

He passedan actual4x4 cube around the room, giving people a shot at solving one side. The United Airline attendee did very well, she got 7squares on the blue side. The Home Depot guy tried real hard and got all but three of the Orange side. Then a smart engineer got all but one square of the green. It was a good lesson in complexity. All the while Don entertained, taught and shared his insights into what it takes to build a successful Six Sigma deployment:

Critical success factors for Six Sigma

  • Leadership commitment
  • Resource commitment
  • Data/technical rigor
  • Mechanism track results to the bottom line
  • Integrating all the pieces/innovating opportunities

Seven Key Innovation Tools

  • Value chain analysis RMA/RVA (Rapid Market Assessment/Rapid Value Assessment)
  • Rank order priority list
  • Multi-generational offering plans
  • Technology road map
  • Comprehensive program management
  • Program staffing resource matrix & project budget
  • Stage gate management and project execution

DuPont deployment stats:

  • Validated over $3 billion in Six Sigma savings.
  • 22,000 Green Belts (out of 24,000 employees) – That’s 92 percent of the company!

There is no doubt DuPont is committed to driving Six Sigma clear into the 22nd century. Who knows, by then Black Belts may be synthetic intelligences manufactured by DuPont with the purpose of carrying out all Six Sigma projects to perfection…. and in their spare time, they’ll wear LYCRA stretchy pants and play with Rubik’s Cubes… just for fun.

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