Here’s a synopsis of a recent conversation I overheard:

“We do Six Sigma, but we don’t call it that.”

“Why not?”

“It would scare people off.”


“If we called it Six Sigma, that gets interpreted by people as this strange, large, project “thing” with lots of data and statistics and change and being monitored and a lot of other negative things. So we don’t call it Six Sigma.”

“What do you call it?”

“Oh, whatever we want. Streamlining project or waste reduction project or fix-it project. It really doesn’t matter; once we get the team involved, we follow the DMAIC methodology. We just don’t get hung up on titles or special jargon.”

“Does it work?”

“Oh yes, it’s very effective. Just don’t call up our company and ask whether we’re doing Six Sigma!”

Question of the day: Does Six Sigma by any other name smell as sweet?

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