• I can think of many examples of products that are one-off and have mostly subjective acceptance criteria.  In fact, just about anything that involves a lot of creativity falls into this category.
    Examples include:

    Custom architecture
    Design of anything where appearance is a prime criteria (e.g.; couture clothing or a customized car…[Read more]

  • Joyce,
    Here are a few places where a Six Sigma program can have problems:
    1) Six Sigma is basically for making large quantities of duplicate products in which the acceptance criteria for the product is objectively defined.  As such, it is very good for manufacturing entities that do that sort of business.  However, the further you get from t…[Read more]

  • I will agree with Chad:  the customers for employee reviews are the folks that use them, and in general those are managers.  While employees do use performance reviews, they are definitely the last ones in the customer line.
    W. G. Miller

  • My experience with Six Sigma comes from an EPC company whose Six Sigma program was generally considered an unproductive nuisance by the workers and many of the managers.  Anyway, here are some of my observations on what went wrong in that deployment.
    1) Read “Understanding Six Sigma Deployment Failures” by Mike Carnell (available on the Isi…[Read more]

  • John,
    Get a biotechnology job, learn how things are done in the biotechnology business, and observe the inefficiencies and error-likely procedures in the biotechnology business.  Also observe what it takes to change a  business procedure.  Once you have done that for a few years, you can decide if you want to make a career of process impr…[Read more]

  • A quick Google search didn’t turn up anything that would back up your statement that GE is scrapping Six Sigma.
    What is your source?
    W. G. Miller

  • wgmiller replied to the topic Six Sigma – Buy In in the forum General 13 years, 4 months ago

    I’ve seen this sort of thing tried.  It generally fails to get buy-in.
    You may think you are offering a personal financial carrot to process owners, but they will hear “Support my scheme or I’ll cut your pay”. 
    The process owners will think something to the effect of “Who are you to talk to me like that?”  They might even appear to support the…[Read more]

  • wgmiller replied to the topic Six Sex in the forum General 13 years, 4 months ago

    Use of the term “Sex Sigma” (or similar terms) to describe a Six Sigma program indcates the term users have rejected the Six Sigma program.
    I have heard stronger terms used to express rejection of a Six Sigma program, but this is a “G” rated forum.  If you start hearing such terms around your company, then you can conclude your Six Sigma pr…[Read more]

  • I suggest you start by going back to basic questions:

    Who said you shall install a Six Sigma program?
    What was the reason given for installing a Six Sigma program?
    Why are you installing a Six Sigma program?
    Realistically, what do you expect a Six Sigma program to accomplish?
    Note: Questions 2 and 3 are not necessarily rewords of the sam…[Read more]

  • Six Sigma is most applicable to operations that produce a large number of identical products that must all meet precisely defined criteria.  The further away you get from that kind of operation, the less applicable Six Sigma becomes.
    W. G. Miller

  • I’ll bite:
    What is a “bunny/pancake memo”?  Google didn’t help in this case.
    W. G. Miller

  • Management should not get entirely out of the way.  Management needs to monitor the program to make sure it stays focused on its charter goals.  Management needs to identify empire building, priesthoods, “one originator – six checkers” situations, and similar ills, and then management needs to take action as appropriate.  Management needs to in…[Read more]

  • wgmiller replied to the topic Type III Error in the forum General 13 years, 7 months ago

    You want to look at your company’s procedures for specific error type definitions, but here is what we use for computer program calculation errors:
    Type I:  The program does not run, even though all appropriate inputs have been provided (no answer produced).
    Type II: The program runs but gives an obviously false answer (e.g. calculated fluid pr…[Read more]

  • Tell your boss that if your calibration house isn’t certified, then neither are the calibrations they do for you.
    In your own defense, keep the documentation that says your boss insists on using an uncertified calibration organization.
    W. G. Miller

  • I’m not a Six Sigma expert, but I am a crusty old engineer who had the bad fortune to work in a company that had a poorly thought out Six Sigma program.  Here are a few applicable observations:
    Stan has a point – you do have a very great risk of being seen by the engineers as just another person who without actually doing what an engineer does ha…[Read more]

  • Are you also interested in projects from hell as viewed by the abused folks on the receiving (target) end of those projects?
    W. G. Miller

  • Careful – motivational speakers frequently go over as all talk – no substance.
    W. G. Miller

  • wgmiller replied to the topic Communication in the forum General 13 years, 8 months ago

    I will add my 2 cents to what Shooter said about thinking you can fool your employees – you should assume every statement you make to your employees will be critically examined, and news of any errors found will spread all over the the company like wildfire.
    W. G. Miller

  • wgmiller replied to the topic Failing Projects in the forum General 13 years, 8 months ago

    Brandon, et al,
    Your reply doesn’t cut it in the engineering world.  Using bad input data is considered a technical error in the engineering profession (as it should be).
    Remember, the average Joe/Jane doesn’t see the Six Sigma techniques, they only see the implemetation and results.  If the implementation and/or results are bad, then to the av…[Read more]

  • wgmiller replied to the topic Sis Sigma for Growth. in the forum General 13 years, 8 months ago

    Before you wonder why the skeptics think Six Sigma is nothing more than consultant’s marketing hype, I suggest you re-read your last post.
    W. G. Miller

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