Six Sigma – IAGTM

I recently got a text message from my son.”Mom . . . Pick me up ATEOTD.” Unable to decipher the text message abbreviation I’m forced to do what any mom what do . . text back . . . What?”At The End Of The Day” comes the reply with a big UGH! It’s like a foreign language. I’m sure the kids are doing it to drive me mad. But then, maybe it’s just their new language.

I started thinking about how the whole text abbreviation thing is sort of like what Six Sigma must sound like to those who have not had the chance to participate in training. “After identifying the CTs and completing a SIPOC, you should start on your FMEA.”  I can see how that might sound like gobble-de-gook to an untrained ear.

When we use Six Sigma tools and methods on a daily basis, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own world that we forget that everyone may not be as proficient in the new vocabulary as we are. I’m trying to keep this in mind when I address a group of people who are new to Six Sigma and have started saying “high level process map” instead of SIPOC and “risk analysis” instead of FMEA. I think people appreciate the effort. Over time, the Six Sigma jargon will become second nature. Until then, you will probably hear them say “Six Sigma. . . IAGTM.”

Comments 2

  1. Daniel

    I really have to agree. Especially the abbreviation mania makes things worse than just the usage of terms like fishgrate or kano diagram. And for people who are new to this topic, we really have to pay attention to get them in instead of shut them down.
    But on the other side, in a trully 6S company, at least middle and top management should understand what the 6S people talking about ;)

  2. Sue Kozlowski

    I laughed when I read your post because – it’s so true.  As a new practitioner, I proudly used all the new acronyms in every possible sentence.  I got a lot of annoyed looks and a request to "slow down!"Now, when I teach classes, I try to address this in a couple of ways.  I admit right up front that I might let a few abbreviations or acronyms slip – and ask the participants to call me on it when I do.  Also, I hand out a glossary of terms that includes words, phrases, and acronyms, for those who’d rather look it up than call it out.Only by making the process user-friendly can we engage new learners.  Gianna, you’ve done a nice job in reminding us about this issue, IMHO!(In My Humble Opinion)–Sue K.

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