If Fort Wayne Indiana is the Six Sigma City, we just might see a Six Sigma County on the horizon…if Christopher C. Collins is elected as the Erie County Executive. He believes that good government can be achieved through good business. The Buffalo News reports:

Collins’ candidacy is built on his remarkable success in turning around several struggling companies. His clear goal is to graft the strategies that worked in those businesses onto Erie County’s often-dysfunctional government. Indeed, he specifically cites his desire to make Erie County the nation’s first “Six Sigma” county. Six Sigma is a business program of quality improvement and control.

I am all for the application of business improvement methodologies such as Six Sigma in government organizations. We are seeing a clear trend toward that now in government organization including the U.S. military.

Chris Collins has already had some negative feedback on his ambitions to become a “Six Sigma county.” Mike Miller, a Six Sigma Green Belt, shares his thoughts on what Six Sigma could mean to Erie County in his blog:

The whole Six Sigma analysis process is time consuming, resource oriented and costly. There are probably thousands of human-driven operational processes resulting from services provided by the county. To improve them all would take several lifetimes.

Quite the pessimist that Mr. Miller is. He is also stuck in the “Six Sigma only works for manufacturing” nonsense.

Proclaiming the desire to be a Six Sigma county as candidate Collins has done, only implied that he’ll start looking at processes from a business improvement perspective, using Six Sigma tools to do it. No one becomes Six Sigma overnight. GE has hundreds of thousands of human driven processes, and that didn’t keep Jack Welch from his Six Sigma objectives.

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