Dilbert on the Fusion of Lean and Six Sigma

Dilbert on Six Sigma and InnovationHe’s at it again. But this time I laughed out loud, I’m sorry to report.

What are your thoughts?

Comments 8

  1. Greg Moore

    What is a "defect"? Does it mean an inaccuracy, or a falling short of perfection (accuracy and perfection are two quite different things). Now in the case of Dilbert, I find his remarks to be perfect, since they are in line with the 100% accurate prediction that "all organizational systems are doomed to miserable failure", which is proved daily by a glance at the financial pages, or a casual reading of classical literature.

  2. Michael Marx

    I must admit I chuckled a bit at this one too. It’s funny because it rings true for anything that your boss thinks is important and you think is a waste of time (plus it’s not based on unreliable data – like the Nov 26, 2006 Dilbert).

    By the way, if you are looking for that controversial comic that is no longer available on, CafePress lets you see the archives for 90 days. Visit:

  3. Brent Howardson

    Scott Adams "nails" what people think. At the end of the day if you don’t follow through with and deliver on your process improvement efforts (Six Sigma, Lean, etc…)it really is just words.

  4. Greg Moore

    Ted Taylor
    Hi! Thank you for your response concerning the validity of data. Of course, data is (are?) only one subset of truth. The cartoon made me curious about 6-sigma; I delved into the website attempting to find what it is all about. it seems the basic concept is to help an organization learn the truth about itself. I could not find enough information to see if 6-sigma had a good working definition of "defect", or understood the difference between accuracy and perfection. For instance, my daughter and her entire unit were laid off at a major corporation, even though they themselves and her individually performed well above standards. Local Company data was presumably accurate, but ignored in favor of other data. However, she immediately landed a lower-paying but far better job, based on undefinables: reputation, trustworthy character, cheerful personality. If the company persists in their methods, they will prosper for awhile, but eventually alienate too many good workers, leaving deadheads to run the thing; and when that happens, watch for a takeover. Without a good definition of "defect", doom is always around the corner.
    Now to be honest, I am a jazz musician, so my notions of "perfect", "accurate", "product" and "satisfied customer" are quite different than those espoused by Smokestack Village; but I thought you might like a different perspective. Sincerely yours, Greg M.

  5. Ted Taylor

    Greg Moore:

    Your comment is idiotic: “…all organizational systems are doomed to miserable failure.”

    Why do we even try then? Why go to work if we’re doomed for failure? Why do anything?

    And your support of your statement?
    1. daily glance at the financial pages, and
    2. casual reading off classical literature.

    Wow. I’m convinced.

    For every one failure listed in the papers, there are thousands also listed who are succeeding. Do people slip and make bad judgment calls or bad decisions, of course. Are we not all human? But hopefully making decisions based on data rather than intuition and gut feeling will help alleviate that situation.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Ted Taylor

  6. black belt boy

    Just like the saying goes.
    There are 3 types of lies….lies, *$&% lies, and statistics.

  7. Rambling Sid

    Goodhart said that all data is unreliable once it is used by the six sigma community for improvement purposes.

  8. Andy

    Six Sigma’s primary focus is on the reduction of variation.

    This is a particularly stupid way to approach any type of technical development (chemical, drug, IT etc).

    Six Sigma has hastened the decline of productivity in my industry because it has stifled innovation (variation) and exchanged the scientific method with statistical design.

    If I see "black belt" on a resume, that resume is going into the trash. I am DONE with this pseudo-religion.

    There. I feel better now.

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