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Is SixSigma Training worth it?

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  • #29310

    Bill Franks
    Participant

    I work for a company who recently adopted the six sigma process and now it seems that another wave or flavor has been adopted to fix the problems. I had some training in TQM, CQS, Memory Jogger, TQC, etc. and one variable was the same “if common sense is applied to meaningful variables and analyzed over time for specific conditions some anomolies will dissapear”. However trying to apply this to complex components with a multitude of variability and subjective reasoning only seems to lead toward guestimation. I’m not in any way trying to be negative, but once again is the goal, as I see it, to say “I’m a black belt or a green built under the SixSima banner”, or if a person utilizes the tools in the above references as well as within your version of Total Quality, can one actually make a difference when you are faced with subjective or incomplete problem analysis data? Take Care

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    #74743

    Jerome Stuart
    Participant

    If you combine Six Sigma with JIT. You get a very effective production process through out a company. 

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    #74745

    Todd D.
    Member

    Bill,
    You asked, “can one actually make a difference when you are faced with subjective or incomplete problem analysis data?”
    I think that the tools you listed in your previous post are good (TQM, CQS, Memory Jogger, TQC…). However, I think that the Six Sigma DMAIC process is different from anything in the past. It is a methodology that has a framework: define the problem, set up a data collection plan, collect the data, make sure the data is valid (MSA), analyze the data for root causes (vital Xs)… You cannot continue into the Improve phase until you have verified statistically that you have found a vital X. Yes, all those tools you mentioned are good and useful in Six Sigma. I think that a properly executed Six Sigma project can solve any problem. I also feel that you will not have subjective or incomplete data if you did it properly with Six Sigma.
    Hope it helps…was that the kind of feedback you were looking for?
    Best,
    Todd

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    #74752

    Withheld
    Member

    Todd,
    I see it 180 degrees from you. 6S as I understand it draws entirerly from the past. The Deming circle was around long before today’s 6S acronyms, for example. The difference I see is the way dollars fit into today’s culture. In the past, dollars saved were a natural byproduct of improvement. The process was the focus and the savings was implicit. Today, the promise of dollars must exist if the project is to see the light of day.
    Beyond that, I see terminology as the only difference between today’s 6S and yesterday’s TQM, for example. I’m sure this observation will not be popular. If I’m mistaken I look forward to learning why.

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    #74768

    CJS
    Participant

    I would have to agree with Todd. While inside the methodology of 6S are tools that have been used for a long while, the major difference is the sequencing of events in a systematic and repeatable way. The “logic” of the DMIAC methodology applies to all types of problems whether in transactional or manufacturing processes.
    Most importantly, the DMAIC process has within it, leadership, executive, and organizational engagement processes (e.g. tollgates and financial tracking). When implementing a typical full package of 6S which includes the training of Belts to run projects, councils for performance review, and the financial tracking, you get a system that ensures that 6S will be driven into the culture of the copmpany. Once in the culture of the company, its returns will be exponentially greater.
    One last note is that 6S should be combined with other quality methodologies to form a complete “toolbox.” We also use GE’s Work-Out and CAP methodologies in addition to Bladrige. 6S will not cretate all the changes a corporation needs to boost performance, but it can improve the design, creation, and delivery processes while other methodologies work on beauracracy and organizational systems.

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    #74772

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Withheld,
    I will give you my perspective on how this SS as a product was generated and maybe it will help you understand some of this. There will be different opinions.
    The flow of tools came from Mot Government Electronics Group (I believe it is now a Sector). A lot of who you see as SS consultants were working there – Mario Perez Wilson, Mikel Harry, John Hathaway, Gary Cone, Dave Dippre and myself. Mikel was hired as a contractor to teach a DOE class. I signed up along with Cone (around 83). It really isn’t a good spot to jump into training in stats but I had a cursory knowledge of some stuff from college. Mike eventually became an employee and was kind of a free agent with Hathaway and Ron Lawson working with him. He was kind of sponsored by Ralph Ponce de Leon at an Executive level so we had some push behind us.
    There was a guy in training named Murry Allen that watched the stats classes and got the feed back on how things were going. There were a lot of people like me that didn’t get the hierarchy of tools because they typically were not presented that way. Murry drove setting up a curriculum that provided order so people like me didn’t screw it up. There were different tracks established for techs, engineers, mgm’t, etc. Mikel was the natural gathering point for the information. The tracks were really generated around the flow you used (typically) the tools in to solve a problem.
    The curriculum was really based on learning the tools in a logical order so that the output of one tool fed the input of another. An example is the flow of doing a t test. To get the correct formula you need to analyze the variances. Before you do that you need to understand the distribution of the data so you get the hierarchy of Normality testing > Variance testing to testing means. There was never an intention of creating new tools.
    The original Mot process was a 6 step process that was much different than ours. When Mikel moved to the SS Research Institute in Illinois he took the process with him (as he should have). At the institute he worked with a lot of other guys such as Tom Cheek (from TI) who now owns Statistical Design Institute (SDI – they do DFSS – doing the Lear deployment I believe). The methodology grew because it had some additional contributors. Remember the term synergy. This was never one persons contribution.
    The basic Philosophy of SS came from a lot of guys but Bill Smith is who Mot recognizes as “the Father of Six Sigma.” the idea of SS really isn’t different from design margin applied to a process. The idea being don’t ship defects to the customer – a pretty basic philosophy if you are interested in doing business long term.
    Since SS has been productized and comercialized it has had a lot of other baggage associated with it but at its core is the basic flow of tools. That is why you see it getting screwed up. All the different consulting groups had tried to differentiate themselves with the bells and whistles rather than just delivering results (not certifications – another rat hole this thing has gone down). Some help most are just inane efforts to make it something it is not.
    Regardless of who did create the SS product Mikel was the great purveyor of it. He did have what it took to get in front of Bossidy and Welch and get them to discuss the up side of quality. There have been a lot of gurus that have been successful at this to some degree but most didn’t last (ie how many people still drive their Fiero’s – now I am in trouble with you). 
    At Mot we all used to be required to carry a card that went through an alignment type exercise. Gave the Vision, key beliefs, strategies and initiatives. SS was only one of about 6 initiatives (I still have the card but I don’t know where it is). Cycle time reduction, teams, etc were also a part – it was an integrated approach. That is why we wrote our book because that part was missing. It is pathetic to get infront of some of these Executives and listen to them whine about not being able to do more than one thing – hence “flavor of the day.” The integration is key – SS is not instant pudding. Now we have all the latest and greatest consultants claiming Lean and SS as their brain child when it has been around for over a decade. Allied and GE both had the Lean initiatives as well (Allied had Lean deployed simultaneously with SS and GE had already done DFT before SS – the GE work out process and CAP really helped as well). The other advantage we had at GE was Welch was very visible.
    That is how I remember it. You have commented on my representing SS. This why I do not believe I do represent it. I do not believe it substitutes for Lean, ISO, QS, Teams, etc. It does play well with them but none of these are stand alone type programs. If you can’t put the pieces of the puzzel togrther you will never get the complete picture – you will always be suboptimized.
    I did believe that Lean was a better unifying program but recently I have run into some programs that have optimized cells at the expense of the facility because they have drastically truncated the value chain definition. It facilitates Womack refers to as “single point optimization.” I believe it is more difficult to screw up the deployment of lean and SS lends itsself to the single point optimization more than lean does but it goes back to defining the metric for success. It has to stay focused on the customer.
    I am sure this will trigger some flack. I can live with that.
    I hope this helps.

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    #74780

    Withheld
    Member

    Our differing frames of reference notwithstanding, it sounds like we agree on a lot, Mike. Your perspective, by the way, is a lot more credible than mine. You were there in the 6S foundation days. From that perspective, you seem to see some level of bastardization with the commercialization of 6S. I am a guy who went to the library to learn about “this SPC stuff” my customer (GE Aerospace) was getting ready to audit me on.
    What I learned stuck with me and caused me to want to learn more, but I *never* cared what it was called by others. It was, is and will always be mine.
    Concepts that I spent untold hours trying to understand are now being packaged in a nice little karate course, the result of which is the title, “Black Belt.”
    Although this forum is loaded with informed BB’s, I have yet to meet one in person. One of the CEO’s you mention, in fact, heads (ed) up a collection of transplanted expeditors whose depth of practical knowedge is much like scratch & sniff. They are little more than undertrained efficiency “experts” and do much more harm than good (although their efforts are touted as THE reason for $$$$ savings while tens of thousands of souls are filling unemployment lines and market share is dropping through the floor.
    But I digress… I respect your knowledge and your perspective on the issues since both seem deeper than my own. Take away the things that 6S borrows from the past and there would be nothing left but the title 6S. That is NOT an attempt to belittle the work of the fine names you mention as founders. They are to be admired for their accomplishments. It’s simply an observation.

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    #74782

    Jack Welch
    Participant

    I have to say, I found that history very interesting and very impressive. Thanks for sharing the details.
     

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    #74783

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Withheld,
    I agree with your perspective on the learning on your own and how it becomes more meaningful. The down side is that that process takes a very long time. The benifit I see to the comercialization is that if 90% of the BB trained walk away with nothing more in understanding than the basic MSA, Capability (issues with ST data) and FMEA then the quality of the solutions will improve dramatically. Particularly the MSA.
    When I took the first DOE class I was a QE or something like that it was just part of the job, when the titile (of the problem solving process) changed in the mid 80’s to Process Characterization, and then to SS the tools and the process have never really changed.
    The SS blitz has really taken a lot of this out of the closet. In the early 80’s when we were getting the SPC stuff started again I remember an old time QE looking at me and saying “This is that shit we did in the 60’s. It will go away.” The SS stuff has kind of killed off some of that ignorance. So that is a good thing.
    As far as understanding tools. I read some of these threads and there a thousands of people out there who have a lot better knowledge of the stats than I ever will. I am OK with that as long as I have a copy of Minitab and they have a toll free number. We were doing a Champion class and I was teaching witha guy named Jim Athon (now an independent consultant – and very good). But he was fielding a question about deriving a formula because they guy said he couldn’t comprehend the tool without the formula. Jim was capable of going there with him but he responded with “I don’t understand how fuel injection works but I can still drive my car.” The software has really enabled this type of program. It doesn’t make statisticians out of us but it does make the stats useful at any level and frees up the statisticians to work on problems that require a lot more sophisticated approach.
    I see the defenders of TQM fighting the SS thing. I have to believe that when the TQM thing started it was a pretty pure method. Some of the programs I run into are so convoluted they don’t offer much. I think it is a function of the person who is teaching it. SS will probably if it has not already seen some of that. Let me give you two examples of comments I have run into:
    “Why are we teaching quality tools to all those nonquality people?”
    “We can do SS without doing the statistics.”
    Not a very bright future when these were both made by people leading SS deployments.
    I don’t know how it all shakes out. In the long run Idon’t think we will be worse off for it and the up side is there have been a hell of a lot of very talented people who have latched onto the tools and are using them. Regardless of what happens companies may not care how you fix a problem but if you can fix one, you will always have a place in the company.
    Just my opinion. 

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    #74784

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    You are welcome.
    Remember it is very much how I remember it. There are already books and articles out there that have it differently. I am sure I will hear from many of them.

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    #74789

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Good answer. Thanks.

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    #74790

    Jack Welch
    Participant

    Well, its like I told the ex-wife..”it only matters what you, the kids and I know as the truth and you can tell the world differently because I don’t care. 
    Like your history..you were there, you know it as you remember best so skip the rest of them.
    I don’t know if there’s a 6S message in this message..but a history is lost unless its passed on. 

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    #74797

    CJS
    Participant

    Mike,
    You brought up a good point about training “nonquality people.” I think the success of many 6S programs was their plan to train people from the operations.The DMAIC logic provides the roadmap that a nonquality person can follow.
    The knowledge transfer of 6S into the operation is one of the most significant factors of 6S sticking. The effects of training operations people are these:
    1) buy-in: they make changes to their own operations and not some outside entity (project office) doing it to them
    2) assymalation into the operations after a tour-of-duty
    3) their knowledge of the tools that they can use to run their day-to-day operations
    4) their ability, after having been a GB, BB, or MBB, to better champion projects

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    #74798

    CJS
    Participant

    While the certification of belts can be pooh-poohed as an attempt by consultants to offer new services for a fee, certification does provide a couple benefits relating to the standardization of a BOK regarding 6S.
    First, while each organization may need to tailor the skill set of their BBs based on their business needs, the certification at least provides some security regarding the base knowledge that a BB possesses.
    Secondly, a standard BOK makes it easier to compare BBs and programs across organizations.

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    #74800

    Dan the Man
    Participant

    For training to be worthwhile you have to send the right people.  I have seen companies send people who hate math and stats to six sigma training and as soon as those people got back to their offices they threw the math out the window.  Then the companies wondered way their SS program was a failure.  Many people are inclined to be SS BB but don’t want to be bothered with the math and stats.
    It can’t be both ways.

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    #74803

    Tierradentro
    Participant

    I totally agree with you.  However, where I work, it’s really not an option.  All employees within the first 2 years of employment must obtain their GB and move on up from there.  It’s an expectation.  I am just starting my training in a couple weeks, however everything in our business is centered around Six Sigma, even the training itself!   What I find even more interesting about the training I am going to receive, is that the project I am assigned is definitely a DMADV and not DMAIC, yet I won’t receive that training. Moreover, I am still not sure how to even apply the process to the 6sig methodology.

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    #74805

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    People just seem to like the hype.
    The fact is SS is work. Not fancy or exotic.

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    #74806

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    John,
    If you get stuck log on or if you want email me I will do what I can.
    [email protected]

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    #74807

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    CJS,
    I am not sure if the remark about certification was with regards to several remarks I have made. First I am a consultant and have been doing the certification process since 95.
    The point I have tried to stress is that in the initial deployments the objective of the deployment was operating results. Certification was a tool to get the skill sets in place to do that and provide companies with a ROI for their training dollar. Basic business decision.
    If you look at a lot of what is offered right now the goal is certification. The business has turned to producing BB, GB, & MBB’s. They are being certified without projects. They are trying to operate in companies that are not willing to commit to improvement. Results are the product not certifications.
    Just my opinion.

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    #74811

    Dan the Man
    Participant

    I think you should consider yourself fortunate for the opportunity to receive GB traininng.  I know people who would kill to get the training, especially if it were paid by their employeer.
    My experience iss that GB training is very worthwhile, especially if you yourself don’t have a disciplined problem-solving approach.  Learning how to objective solve problems is a wonderful skill.  I can’t count the number of college grads or even Sr. managers I work with daily who have no idea how to objective solve problems.
    Don’t worry, I doubt your BB or MBB will let you flounder.
    Mike, whats your take on my comment! 

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    #74819

    john beaudoin
    Participant

    Mike, my experience is that most any consulting firm wants you to believe as a client that they were the creator’s of the program, or have been involved since the beginning.  The guys at the Air Academy told us in class that they invented it, that it was based on the teachings of Demming, Shewhart, and Juran and combined with their statistical prowess as a bunch of retired air force personnel that worked with optimization in the military.
    What kind of historical evidence is there to prove one persons case or another.  I’m not doubting your word, but until today, I never heard of Mot.

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    #74820

    CJS
    Participant

    Mike,
    The post regarding certification wasn’t in response to any one particular post; rather, it has been something that I have been mulling over each time I get a flyer in the mail for training and certification.
    Your point is valid regarding certification without projects. The certification should include knowledge, project experience, and demonstrated results. In addition internally, the belts should be measured on observed change management and  interpersonal skills.
    I think, more succinctly, the point I attempted to make was that, as a discipline matures, certifications and standards begin to emerge. Think accounting, law, and medicine–very mature disciplines. As the Six Sigma discipline matures, there will be an identifiable minimum standard of knowledge (e.g. law–>bar exam, accounting–>CPA exam)and experience (e.g. medicine–>residency). Therefore, I think that certification, in general, is a good concept, and when applied appropriately provides legitimacy to what may seem like a fragmented and immature discipline.

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    #74821

    john beaudoin
    Participant

    Bill, you have generated a lot of conversation.  This topic has come up several times in the past.  One of the main reasons it becomes an issue is because of the expense of proper training, the variation in how companies implement the program, the training itself varies among various consultants, there is no standard certification process among all companies using 6-Sigma, there are 2 types of belt sets, standard and transactional, and maybe a few other issues I failed to mention.
    Many colleges teach TQM, Statistics, etc., but do not quantify these as 6-Sigma programs.  Many Statistics classes are good at teaching theory, but not application.  In addition to 6-Sigma, there are Lean Thinking models to follow, such as the Toyota model, there are ISO programs, which frow what I heard are a joke in that they only require you to document your existing processes, etc.
    Now, here is the point… If you have knowledge of how to flow chart (I mean to do are really thorough and detailed job here), you are able to brainstorm with a group and identify all of the inputs to a process (usually in creating a CNX or Fishbone Diagram, and asking the 5 – Whys), if you can identify which imputs are considered Noise, and normal variation, which ones are constants, and which ones are controlable variables, if you can perform a DOE model (Design of Experiments, where you change variable, sometimes multiple ones at a time and measure the effects of the output), then you can reduce variation in your processes, put them into control (requires use of control chart with 3 Sigma Control limits), and you can compare your controled process to your customer specifications.  If you can identify special causes, look at their effect on the process, and possibly improve your process by making a positive special cause reoccur, then you can really make headway in improving your business.  If you can identify costs and prioritize issues by using the FMEA (Failure Mode Effect Analysis Tools) then you can focus on the most pressing issues.  If you can Pareto defect causes, you can use the 80-20 rule to remove the largest sources of defects.  If you know your measuring systems can produce replicatable measurements (MSA Gage Capability), etc. etc.
    THEN – You don’t need 6-Sigma Training.  If you can’t do some of these, or don’t know what I’m talking about, then you will benefit from 6-Sigma Training.
    Bottom Line – Someone in the discussion said that it is important to send the right personnel to training.  You must have a vested interest in improving your area and a willingness to spend 20% of your time on projects.  You must have a company where Management fosters the growth of 6-Sigma, provides the time for those to do the projects, and has a vested interest in insuring roadblocks to completing projects can be removed.  If you have this environment at your work, it is worth training the selected individuals, if your work has the deep rooted belief that this is a FAD and it will go away, then you will not get support and the training will be wasted (Not for the individuals trained as they can switch to a company that cares, but wasted in terms of the company paying for the training).
    This is My Opinion.

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    #74826

    Sambuddha
    Member

    My $0.02 worth:
    Is any training worth it? How would one know it was worth? The proof of the pudding is in the eating….. isn’t it so? 
    For those who have a vision to improve, a plan to implement and the will to go through the somewhat comfort-shattering, painful changes that is often warranted in a Six Sigma program/training, I believe, it can be a potentially rewarding experience.
    For those who have sponsors/champions in the SS rollout, who do lip service in accepting that change is required but have a mindset like Dilbert ( Change is great, you go first..), they can make SS efforts (and for that matter any training) worthless by their lack of support and apathy.
    And Mike, your article on role of Champions could not be more relevant.
    Common sense hasn’t become anybody’s monopoly, yet. Thank God! So, it is up to us to decide what we want to achieve thru’ SS training, can it deliver what we want, and if it can, are we ready to commit ourselves to the success of the program? 
    If the commitment and plan are not there, you are taking creative energies of people you lead and instead of channelizing them into a forceful stream, you are creating a directionless puddle.
    Who wants to be in a puddle?
     
    Best,
    Sambuddha
    p.s. This message is not just in reponse to Bill Franks comments, it is my opinion in general

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    #74830

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Dan,
    I think you are correct. It goes to that change model (please don’t take this badly) that there are 3 groups those that jump at an opportunity to be part of the change, those that resist and those that sit on the fence. The general model is one third in each catagory and the company culture affects the size of the group. Perhaps the company culture in this particular company is retarding the chance to join?

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    #74832

    Fontanilla
    Participant

    John,
    Excellent presentation. I hv not undergone six sigma training but I know and I hv applied all other quality Tools in practice for solving problems.
    It all boils down to using a systematic approach to defining the problem, data collection, analysis and validation , generation and evaluation of alternatives and implementing corrective action on a sustainable basis.
    Dan
     

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    #74833

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Thank you.

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    #74854

    B Franks
    Participant

    Great opinion John.  I wasn’t intending to spark so much interest in the subject, but when I stumbled across this website and forum, I thought “Why Not”….let’s see what the global industry believes versus a few individuals in the company whose interest may not be the same as mine.
    I have been dealing with variances for many years now and they’re just like colds….they come back sometimes sooner than you would like.  It always seems that production schedules are the driving force and “defects are part of business”….”b$#@ sH#^” is what I say, however to truly find root cause it takes time and commitment from all….especially those up the food chain.
    For years pitch after pitch on IF these reductions are implemented, we’ll benefit (we=manufacturer, suppliers and our customers) from inventory holding costs on recycles, handling of only defective units and not returning good ones with our sub tiered suppliers because of not fully understanding the “Why’s!”.  In addition our data would allow for proactive responses to our customers if a defect should repeat on a product delivered.  Facts can be given if the data is accurate.
    Anyhow…as I first stated I’m not negative, but very much of an optimist and IF SS is the right way and those above me see the benefits  and BELIEVE in it, than all I can gain from taking the training is education and knowlege and the utlimate of self satisfaction that each day I tried to the best I could do, utilizing the current tools available, along with the right team members, to benefit the interests of the company I work for.
     

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    #74874

    john beaudoin
    Participant

    Thank you,
    As to the variation cold virus, part of 6-Sigma is to design robust processes so this doesn’t happen.  For example, if you discover variation due to poor employee training, so you retrain all of your employees on the process, what you will see is a vast improvement that starts to deteriorate over time.  Training sometimes is a temporary fix.  If you can design a process that has little room for individuals to make a mistake, you will see your improvements sustained.
    Good Luck with your program implementation.

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    #74897

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    John,
    Sorry about the late answer but the string got kind of convoluted with a couple different discussions.
    First Mot (which I should not have used out of respect for Mr. Galvin) was a slang term for Motorola. My apologies.
    As far as Air Academy inventing this. First I have ever heard of that from anyone. Regardless of who reports on this it is typically credited as comin from Motorola. The typical discussion is “from where in Motorola?”
    I would be interested it anything they have to back that up.
    I think I mentioned it in my initial response that Motorola University had a publication titled “Bill Smith Father of Six Sigma.” So that piece is pretty much a mute point.
    The part about who did what at Motorola is difficult to document because it was more of an evolution than a revolution. I think it was Jack Welch (from this site) that said you will find a lot of peoples fingerprints on it. That is correct. You do not see much on Shar Stocker, Skip Weed, Dr George Peters, John Lupienski, Pete Peterson, Dr. Martin “Marty” Rayl or Scott Ashby but they did play a big part as well as I am sure a lot of others did that I never met. I see guys like Keki Bhote being mentioned. He was at Motorola but I never saw anything that related to SS until recently – his focus seemed to be more on the Shanin stuff. His son, Adi was on the 139 with Mario and me. Adi contributed at lot – we cooked abot 5 gallons of flux in an oven one night trying to raise the specific gravity (a factor in a DOE) and filled the room with so many fumes we were lucky the place didn’t blow up. Mario did analyze it in Lotus so no we haven’t always been blessed with the easy to use software we have now.
    You don’t hear much about Marty but he was also part of the ABB deal.
    Tom Cheek (from Statistical Design Institute) was a part of the DFSS development stuff. He worked at TI and was part of the alliance with Motorola to develop it.
    I do have the original books from Mikel’s classes and the books are listed as his company being Research Dynamics. This was when we called it Process Characterization and that was the year the SpaceShuttle blew up (I don’t recall what year that was). If you can find copies of Mario Perez wilsons original book “Machine Process Capability” you can see the process we used on FMU-139. I don’t know the names of all the guys at Air Academy but I will bet money none of them worked with us. We did supply so the Air Force (we made bomb fuses) but the stuff we put together came from internal.
    GR&R was interesting. I was working in the circuit board shop at Motorola Hayden Road facility. I rejected some boards for thin fused tin lead thickness. The facility manager, Mike Mowrey refused to accept them as defective and took the position that my measurement system was defective. I found the GR&R stuff at the Motorola facility at 52 nd street. He was right we were defective. There was a lot of push back on using it but you will find it in Marios book (original). The guys who came up with GR&R used to be listed inside the front cover of the AIAG MSA manual. You check the manual for Air Academy names if you like. I don’t believe there will not be a Motorola name either.
    The part a lot of people miss is that there were different versions of SS. Motorola University used to teach a “6 steps to Six Sigma.” It was drastically different from the brand that we called Process Characterization at Government Electronics. When we finished the Allied and GE deployments that was big issue for us. We were constantly being compared to the product that Motorola University offerred (particularly around time) and the product we offered. Very rarely did people get into the curriculum to understand the difference. This is not saying one is better than the other but what was delivered at Allied and GE was different.
    Allied was deliverd by 3 groups (groups of people). Zinkgraf had Enineered Material, Bill Ross had Aerospace, and Cone, Brue and I did Automotive (we had to cover 62 sites). Don’t remember seeing anyother consultants doing the delivery. MPE was delivering a Lean program at the same time. TQM was well established and there were deploying ABC internally.
    At GE Brue and I worked for Gary Reiner, CIO, and were assigned to cover 7 of the 12 sectors. I can verify that with a  contract signed by Gary and the letter he sent out announcing who would be working with who. John Hathaway worked with Med Systems but I don’t know if he was at the sector level or corporate. I am constantly amazed at how many people claim they were the “primary consultant” for GE. Greg and I had 7 out of 12 with hathaway that is 8 out of 12 by my calculations that is 66.7%. I doesn’t leave much for the primary to cover. At that time we had not pulled together SixSigma International so Hathaway was an independent.
    I don’t know if that answered your question. Like anything else this is what I saw at Motorola but I was always working in the factories so I probably missed some of the overall. It is like anything else you just have to look someone in the eye and make a decision if you think they have any integrity or not and choose what you want to believe. At the end of the day who really did what won’t make a difference but the ones that take credit for what other people did still have to look at themselves in the mirror. There are even some of those that know they are wrong and can still to the mirror thing. They are the dangerous ones.
     

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    #74906

    john beaudoin
    Participant

    Thanks Mike, I always thought Motorola was the 1st company to implement 6-Sigma, but I thought in one of these discussions about 6 months or so ago that someone was claiming a company before Motorola was using 6-Sigma, but I never heard of the company before, so if it is true, I don’t think it was a fortune 500 company.
    My instructor from the Air Academy was pretty new to their organization when he did our training, Kevin Weiss.  He was from GE, and had been involved heavily in their program.  He was also an engineer on the nuclear propulsion unit of a submarine in the Navy before joining GE.
    The following is from the Air Academy Website:
    Air Academy Associates is a leading-edge, Six Sigma quality management consulting firm which provides innovative consulting and training services, public workshops, statistical publications, training aids, and software to a variety of clients throughout the United States and abroad. Air Academy was first established in Colorado Springs in 1990 by Stephen R. Schmidt, Mark J. Kiemele, and Ronald J. Berdine. Since its creation, the company has gone on to become a leader in Six Sigma training focusing on the areas of Knowledge Based Management, Statistical Process Control, Design of Experiments, and Advanced Statistical Tools for industry.
    12 years is a long time to be involved in 6-Sigma, even if you weren’t the first.  What is really amazing is that it has taken this long to be a term that some people may recognize (there are still a lot of individuals that I run into that haven’t heard of 6 Sigma).

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    #74918

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    John,
    Thanks for the information. I am aware of Air Academy. I was on their website after your first response because I wanted to see if that was a position they were taking as a company. I also went through the names and checked with a couple other Motorola people to see if they recognized them and they did not. It does not mean conclusively they were not.
    I am having to be very careful on the responses on this one because we are in law suite territory again. I have write out what I intend to say and have my attorney review it before I can post it. It is expensive to get them to look at something on a weekend but it is cheaper than a lwasuit.
    Let me state it this way. People tell you things and we have to sort through them and decide who is telling the truth, who is not and if they are not what was the intent. If you decide someone was not truthful on an issue that is of little or no consequence they you might want to check how far out on a limb you are willing to climb if they are your support.
    The other issue is if you believe someone is taking credit for work that was done by someone else and they know it are how much of what you do should you be willing to share with them. There were some strong feelings about this among the multitude of people who were involved at Motorola. Obviously you can’t track everyone who proofread or typed every little piece of information but there are large pieces of the pie that came from a lot of different people and you may or may not see the credit given.
    There is one point I really wish to make very strongly. I liked a lot of things that Dr. Deming did. Other than some very basic tools that he used and the 14 rules, etc. the contribution really wasn’t intentional or significant. He is a part of the foundation just as Juran and Shewhart were. The guy who does not get recognized and I have repeatedly listed his book is Juran. He wrote the book “Managerial Breakthrough” in 1964 (38 years ago). It is the book that distinguished between Control and Breakthrough and they are two very different concepts. It is the fundemental stategy to a SS project. His chart on page 7 is what the whole idea behind this are. There is only one current author, I am aware of (that phrase is a dead give away an attorney has reviewed something), that has given him credit for this strategy and that is Greg Brue on page 109 of his book “Six Sigma for Leadership.” That is the type of thing I am refering to in terms of respecting someone elses contribution.
    I think you do a lot of very good responses. Well thought out. Thanks.
    This whole rant represents only my opinion and is not necessarily the opinion of the management of this website…….. (That was sarcasm not a requirement of iSixSigma. A lame attempt at humor – sorry Mike). 

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    #74922

    Mikel
    Member

    John,
    The notion that Air Academy invented this is ridiculous. They got involved in the Six Sigma Research Institute when Mikel Harry ran it for Motorola. Several parts of Motorola had already made significant progress using all of the tools before this adventure. Nothing noteworthy came of it.
    In Black Belt circles I know the AA stuff is refered to as Six Sigma Light. Light on content, light on software, light on implementation. Their results are questionable.
    Mr. Carnell – your reference to Mr. Brue as an author is an insult to authors. His book is the absolute worst book on any subject I have ever read. You keep hyping him but his work and his results are poor. Magna does not think much of him, Dura laughs about him, and the folks at Navistar wonder if he ever did anything but stir up management (emphasis on stir with no result). You must be on his payroll to be willing to damage your credibility by the continued love affair you seem to have. I bet he never read Juran’s book. Do you know where the content on the CDRom that came with his book came from? I do.

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    #74930

    john beaudoin
    Participant

    In defense of the Air Academy, I want to say that in looking back, they probabably did not state that they invented six sigma, but in leaving the training, my perception was that they may have.  I vaguely remember them talking about some of the founders of their company and some of the authoring they have done.  They also talked about the history of Shewhart, Demming, Juran, etc. They also talked about the Motorola people as being one of the early successful implementors.  But I do not recall them giving credit of the very first 6-Sigma program to anyone else either. 
    Stan, please respond with some of your background and experience.  This will help all of us to quantify the knowledge you have to make some of the comments you have posted.
    Also, I can’t speak for other companies that the AA has consulted in regards to 6-Sigma, but I think they have done a great job with Sony Corporation of America.  If you think otherwise, please explain.

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    #74931

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Stanley,
    We have done this before. I am not on Gregs payroll. We each have our own companies and for the most part targrt different customers (my current focus is on engineering contracts as opposed to deployments) we do however compete from time to time on a deployment contract.
    You missed the point on the book. The point was Juran wrote a book that created the underlying principle for SS. The differentiation of Control and Breakthrough. An idea cannot be copyrighted so the concept is fair game. I consider it a measure of a persons ethics when they provide acknowledgement to someone who’s work is possible outside the mainstream of common knowledge ie. it is fairly well known that Shewhart did control charts however jurans stuff on Managerial breakthrough is less mainstream. Anyone who reads the stuff that is written by many of the SS authors has obviously been influenced by the book and the chart appears in several companies training materials with providing any recognition to Juran. I personnaly have an issue with people and companies that do this.
    I see your comments on the Dura and Magna deployments and wonder if you have asked Greg to sit down with you and go over the results numbers. Since we are not in business together I do not have access to those numbers and I should not have access to them. I have never known Greg to be shy and I am sure he would be willing to discuss them with you. His contact information is avilable on SixSigmaCo.com.
    Greg has read the Juran book. It was a major part of our defense in an early Intellectual Prorperty law suit.  
    Navistar, I will be glad to address with you myself since it was done by Six Sigma International (SSI) and Greg and I were co-Presidents. I do have the numbers that were generated by Navistar not us. Signed off on by the Navistar financial community. I had the Chatham, Ontario, Canada facility. In the second year of the deployment we moved the SS Champion over to focus on the Lean deployment that Barbara Wheat was running (I have the numbers for the Lean deployment as well) and the plant Controller was the new SS Champion. He changed a lot of what was done to cover the financials. We still created enough savings dollars to make the payback a success by anyone payback/ROI criteria. If it is an issue where you don’t buy the numbers, that will be your issue with Navistar. As a company SSI never generated savings numbers. BB’s were always required to have the financial/accounting part of the company either generate the numbers or sign off on what was generated.
    You are creating the impression you know a lot about these companies. Have you worked for them or is it hearsay? If you really believe the things you are saying about Greg it sould be easy enough to pick up the phone and talk to him about it.
    Yes I do know where the CDRom files came from. I am not sure how you think you would know.

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    #74948

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    John,
    I have no gage on AA or Sony Corporation of America. Please do not assume I am questioning that.
    I ran into a guy from Sony in a conference I taught in Southeast Asia who felt there were no results in his area. As you can see from this website the feelings are always mixed and the confidence interval on a piece of attribute data when n=1 – well?
    My issue was always someone taking credit for someone elses work. It never sits well with me.
    Thanks for the clarification.

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    #93006

    ed rosa
    Participant

    As an investor, I look at stock charts as demonstrators of the final effect of SS, DMAIC, ABC and other initiatives.
    I just wonder how Henry Ford created an enduring empire without all these fancy tools……
    The nice peak seen on GE’s chart during Jack Welch’s tenure, tells me that the outstanding financial performance, claimed in part to SS initiatives, was truly  the result of  JW consistently doing  daily random audits in each plant, effectively applying  “Jack’s Whip” as the “extreme motivation tool”.  The paradigm was changed: those famous pics of CEOs sitting back in their high offices, overlooking the Hudson, “apply no more”…. 
    That should be the final answer to the question: Is SS training worthwhile ?
    ed
     

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    #93008

    rast67
    Participant

    Always the same question is a different way.  One of these days the majority of people will recognize that it is not Six Sigma its self that brings on change, nor can Six Sigma claim all credit for business improvement.  If all business unit managers/leaders did exactly what they were supposed to do, Six Sigma would be unneccessary.  Henry Ford used tools found in the Six Sigma tool bag, and I am sure if he had known about more tools he would have used them too.  Since the first day of business people have been using Six Sigma tools (not only in business but also in military conquests), they have just been calling them different names.  ALL that six Sigma does is educate the lay-person to a degree as to what type of tools are out there to improve processes and show them where best to use them.  To your question”Is Six Sigma Training worth it?”, you may as well ask if ANY seminar is worth it, is any education worth it, is personal growth worth it.  If you want your business to succede then I would suggest you invest into your people, irrelevant if it Six Sigma or a typing class.  Just as a typing class is not suited for every business unit, so is Six Sigma not suited for everyone. 
    Rast67, Heidelberg Germany
    MBB

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    #93009

    N.GOPALAKRISHNAN
    Participant

    sixsigma training is like a religious practice which needs the faith that SIXSIGMA training will defenitely help in removing what is not wanted and improve the process of contious improvement.My experience has been SST helps to identify  the reasons for failure in a very systamatic manner and also gives you a satisfaction that you achived the result with data. The most important difference being you try and arrive at a solution very logically and sst makes you THINK.
    Many would have achived resuls by various methods but with out knowing that they are following SS methods.SST gives the maximum mental satisfaction since results are achived at optimum time and optimum cost.

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    #93012

    ed rosa
    Participant

    I just got excellent replies from Rast67(zehr gut, Rast!!) und Gopalakrishnan ( microlevel ) . Need more replies!
    I hope I can get Jack Welch to join us, probably from his yatch anchored by a pristine cay in the Marshall Islands, and comment on my statement made in the earlier e-mail.
    ed
     
     
     
     

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