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Meaning of Sixsigma

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Meaning of Sixsigma

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  • #33795

    Freeman Hanks
    Participant

    I’m a Certified Sixsigma UFC Mixed Martial Arts All Weight Class World Champion who mentors 2 Sixsigma Master Blackbelts, 3 Sixsigma Brazilian JuiJitsu Blue Belts, 2 Sixsigma Ninjas and 1 Sixsigma White Crane Kung Fu Master for my company, Vick and Earl’s Quicky Mart and Bait.
         I’ve read a lot of posts here and am concerned that many of you are not getting the true meaning of Sixsigma. The following should be helpful.
         I remember back when I first introduced Sixsigma to my employees, and how difficult it was to get them to embrace change, give up their “gut instincts” and accept the Vision of a brave new world.  A world where there are no absolutes!  Getting them to abandon their belief in God was a challenge, but well worth it in order to reach our goal of 99.9997% customer satisfaction.  We now are not only consistently meeting, but consisting exceeding customer expectations in all facets of their convenience food and bait experience!  We’ve gone through some growing pains, with the layoffs and all, but we’re half way to a new goal of selling only cloned food items from Archer Daniel Midlands Corp. and Pepsico, and all non food items from China. 
          No employees elected to participate in our Sixsigma training program actually know anything specific about how to run a store.  No participant knows how to work a cash register, how to count back change, stock items, clean , floors, windows or bathrooms. In fact, there’s nothing that makes them uniquely qualified for any job.  But, you see, that is the beauty of Sixsigma.  They don’t have to know any of this because they are busy working on improving the processes by collecting data.  If they had any knowledge of what they were doing, it could corrupt the process.
          We like consensus builders.  Consensus builders are people who accept an externally imposed status quo.  It makes it really easy when it comes time to cut employee benefits, bonuses and merit increases.  It also makes it easier for them to adhere to rules we set.  Heck, they adhere to the Sixsixma belief system like Fabian Socialists.
        And yes, we’ve had a few setbacks.  Like the time these bikers came into the store for beer just as 3 Master Blackbelts, 2 Blackbelts, and 3 greenbelts were coming out of their meeting.  Apparently these bikers had never heard of Sixsigma and proceeded to kick the living you know what out of each and every Sixsigma Belt holder, MasterBlackbelts and all.  Thank god we upped the deductible on all medical claims the previous quarter.
        We’ll, I’ve got to get back to cutting costs.   I think you’ve been illuminated.    Hope this helps,
        Freeman Hanks
        Sixsigma UFC Mixed Martial Arts All Weight Class World Champion

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    #95080

    EnzoRikki
    Participant

    Freeman Hanks,I stumbled upon your summary of Six Sigma (SS) and I just wanted to say thanks for such a great post. At first i thought you did not understand the SS (rookie) or you have had a bad experience (sour grapes). However, I did notice that you’re only looking at the cold logical side of the SS. But I’m here to guide you down the path of the warm and spiritual SS. It’s like the Michael Bolton masterpiece “I’m Back On My Feet Again”. Yes, it is a secular song but it has a deep spiritual meaning.
    I’m a double Master-Black belt and I hold a post in a very elite Six Sigma group known only as KISST (Knights of Seis Sigma Templar) named for the ancient Knights Templars who protected pilgrims traveling to the Jerusalem circa 1200. What you need to know is that the SS is protecting the way to Total Quality just as the Templars protected the way of the pilgrims on their travels to Jerusalem.
    The SS is way for people, every day people who are illuminated, to create a system wide system of wide systemic like widening quality. We’re looking forward to the day when everywhere you go SS will be in place. It will be used in all facets of life from the Manufacturing Plant to the Pizza Parlor (is that pepperoni sliced perfectly at 1/32 of an inch? How many did you have to throw in the garbage?). I would go as far as to introduce this to the educational system, social programs, churches, the arts (performing and martial) and even the institution of marriage. Honestly, how many times can the little woman burn the toast before something is done.
    I say thanks and thanks again.
    Brother Enzo Rikki

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    #95112

    Rog
    Member

    Cough, Cough
    Excuse me but I just choked on something nasty. If you genuinely think you and Six Sigma are the guardians of the future of manufacturing then I’m off to be an artist.
    GET REAL
    Find everything you can about what life would be like in the year 2000 that was written before 1975. Those guys knew what they were talikng about too didn’t they?
    Did SS invent any of the following minor additions to modern life:
    Motor car, Aeroplane, Microchip, laser…..
    No. What made those things were people with vision emplying sound scientific method and the best tools they had at their disposal to achieve a defined goal.
    How much longer are guys going to claim to be responsible for everything.
     
     

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    #95115

    Ted B.
    Member

    Hello/Help
    I am an aging engineer trying to get a new job. Everywhere I look it appears that the employer is looking for Six Sigma experience. Exactly what is SS and what is my best approach to learning it.
    Ted B.

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    #95119

    DaveG
    Participant

    Visit https://www.isixsigma.com to learn more.

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    #95175

    EnzoRikki
    Participant

    Rog,Surely, you gest. I’ll do you one better. You should find everything you can about the year 2000 that was written in 1775, (1776 to be exact). Those guys knew what they were talking about too didn’t they?You ask, “people with vision emplying sound scientific method and the best tools they had at their disposal.” Read your history. All a man needs is a right angle and a compass to change the world. If a man can’t understand the SS throught this frame, he’ll always walk in darkness.EnzoRikki

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    #95225

    Freeman Hanks
    Participant

    EnzoRikki,
    I’d like to share with you a secret on how we at VEQMB ensure success of a major undertaking, for example, moving the Chips and Beef Jerky Rack from aisle 2 to aisle 3 (we’re working on adding ten more degrees if you catch my drift). 1. Establish a goal (predetermined outcome) (i.e moving the chip rack).
    2. Declare a problem (thesis);
    3. Publicly acknowledge the problem ;
    4. Establish a volunteer iron-triangle committee (i.e., professionals[staff]), team leaders [policy makers], and token parents [resource users] to resolve the problem;
    5. Hire a facilitator to guide the group to the goal;
    6. In a room, have the committee seated so they face each other;
    7. Start with introductions and ice-breakers of innocuous personal information to become a team;
    8. Have the group agree to “housekeeping rules”: work as a team to problem solve (compromise), to use consensus (no minority reports), and to debate issues within the group, but not outside, so that trust can develop;
    9. Brainstorm solutions (avoid time-proven methods, and never discuss quantitative data like costs vs. results);
    10.Have each member vote for from one to six potential solutions;
    11. Control or redirect questions (few facts, but lots on feelings);
    12. Develop a mission, vision, and strategic plan;
    13. Use colored markers on flip-chart paper, recording each member’s comments;
    14. Direct staff to write a quantitative, not qualitative “needs assessment” that emphasizes safety and protection;
    15. Break into facilitated work groups, each with predetermined tasks to decide from proffered “assumptions;” OR provide the group a “draft” proposal for discussion and approval (i.e., rubber stamp);
    16. Pressure non team players to quit, so the group can succeed;
    17. When an outcome is at risk, use a survey (pre-designed questionnaire) to gather data with only the planners knowing the actual responses. Provide only compiled summaries and announce the “committee-determined” outcome;
    18. Provide for public input (engage the public);
    19. Publicly publish (commit to) the plan, which is essentially the same as the draft;
    20. Celebrate the hard work and success;
    21. Use the outcome as the bible to follow;
    22. If the group refuses to be controlled, disband the group;
    23. Establish a new committee if the goal was not accomplished. Sincerely,
    Freeman Hanks, P.S.
    My wife just gave birth to twin baby girls. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to apply SixSigma to all aspects of their upbringing.

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    #95229

    Cynical
    Participant

     
    I like the post – Cynical and poorly written, just my style.  However, for future posts,  I believe that Isixsigma has a policy against quoting Michael Bolton songs.

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    #95230

    Anna O’Connell
    Participant

    Thanks, Freeman for a marvelous model of a problem-solving process almost guaranteed to take longer and cost more than the problem you are solving!  This is a classic bit of irony, right?  
    May I quote you in an op/ed piece on the process my local school board is using to solicit “community concerns”.  In that instance, all the small groups of concerned citizens have volunteer “trained facilitators” who are school district employees, all the questions and possible answers are defined in advance.
    Anna O’C

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    #95239

    sweettalker
    Member

    Someone isn’t paying attention.
    Consistently exceeding customer expectations in all facets is 1) unrealistic and 2) unprofitable. When you exceed expectations, the expectations rise. Most SS people I know would only strive to exceed customer expectations in particular areas, after ensuring the expectations truly are met on the “must be’s.”
    There’s nothing wrong with consensus building in the sense of patiently working with people, communicating with them on their level, and winning them over; rather than dumping on them and treating them like they’re the problem right from the get-go.
    Consensus builders are like football players who understand that you’re best chance of success is for everyone on the team to be running the same play. Every player has their own idea of what play should be called, but when the ball is snapped, all 11 better be running what was called and not the running 11 different plays according to what each of them thought should have been called.
    Processes aren’t improved just by collecting data. They’re improved by understanding the relationships between cause and effect and then controlling the causes to achieve the desired results. A Black Belt doesn’t improve a process without any kind of knowledge about it, the Black Belt applies “universal” communication tools that help the people who know the process communicate their knowledge to the Black Belt and to each others. I’ve had enough jobs in enough businesses (including selling bait) to have learned that even though people working in a given business know their own business better than anyone else does, co-workers virtually never really agree on how their business works, what needs to be done differently, or even how they do their own jobs.
    Finally, Six Sigma isn’t just about cutting costs. That’s usually just the most obvious major improvement. Six Sigma is also about creating a better work environment; where employees understand what’s expected of them; where managers can be more confident in their decisions because they’ve got more of the right information; where everyone can feel good about producing quality goods and services on the first try.

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    #95255

    EnzoRikki
    Participant

    Everyone knows the preamble to the Ten Commandments of Customer Service, “If you aren’t consistently exceeding customer expectations, then sooner or later it will have a draining affect on your bottom line.” You can’t put a “realistic” spin on SS by thinking for yourself. Once you get out of the proverbial “box” and start to think on your own, you’re no longer in the safety of the multitude. The Knights of Seis Sigma (KISST) have a saying, “Let’s think inside of the box.” What this means is that there is safety in working in an organized and structured process. This way you don’t get some yahoo, with a wild hair up his toilet area, arbitrarily moving the chips and beef jerky stand to aisle three without going through the proper levels. Empowering your employees to make changes outside of the trappings of SS builds rogue employees. There has to be a framework for change.
    Without a framework, it’s all fuzzy math and no sacred geometry.EnzoRikki

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    #95272

    sweettalker
    Member

    Of course there’s safety in working in an organized and structured process.
    However, I believe the Knights understand that following an organized and structured process does not preclude one from thinking outside the box, in finding new and different ways to apply the tools to new problems. If Six Sigma didn’t require creative thinking, the world would have had enough Black Belts 10 years ago.
    As a naturally disorganized, unstructured personality, I see two main things accomplished through the organized and structured process. First, it helps ensure that the people performing and managing the process truly do understand what they do before they try to change it. Second, if followed correctly, it facilitates communication of that knowledge to succeeding “generations” of employees in order to protect against repeating the mistakes of the past.
    Personally, I love solving problems in an unstructured environment. It’s just not conducive to having me focusing my energy on the top organizational priorities, it doesn’t help get me management support for my ideas, and it doesn’t help obtain the cooperation of co-workers who have come up with their own unstructured solutions.

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    #95297

    Chris Conner
    Participant

    Mr. Freeman.  Sorry for the double post.  Apparently this site needs to adjust their sigmas because I was typing my reply and the computer sent it automatically without my consent.  This has never happened before, but as soon as I am done here, I am going to assemble a team to brainstorm ideas on how we can create a macro type process to catch and report messages that were falsely sent.  More on that later
    I wanted to congratulate you on the birth of you twins and back you up on bringing them up PROPERLY with Sick sig(as we call it)  My wife and I have personally raised two boys with strict diligence to the Sick sig religion.  I don’t mean to boast but they are daily at about 4-5 sigma.  Sometimes a little lower during school breaks.  I think this itself says alot about the system we live by!!  Amen.

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    #95320

    bountyhunter
    Participant

    Dear Cynical,
    Yes, you are cynical and poorly educated, but your honesty is refreshing.  I wish this was eharmony, because I feel connected to you spiritually.  The fact that you replied to Freeman Hanks suggests that you are capable of reaching sixsigma nirvana.  I have personally visited Vic and Earl’s Quicky Mart and Bait, and can attest to their corporate integrity, although their prices are a little high at times.  (I prefer Walmart, as I think independent businessmen are destroying this country.)
    I have applied sixsigma to the art of human skip tracing, with amazing, but disappointing results.  I have discovered that fugitives that want to kill me do not care if I am a certified sixsigma blackbelt; they just do not want to go to prison. 
    I do not really have a question, but can somebody help me without insulting me? Wait, here is one… Does anyone have any Michael Bolton stories they would like to share?

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    #95372

    Rog
    Member

    EnzoRikki,
    Can I see Six Sigma in the context of a right angle etc etc…oh yes. I can see fossils in the context of geological time and wooden objects in the context of the trees that provided their raw materials. I can also recognise useful tools that are good for limited tasks as well as general manufacturing concepts.
    On another tack…how do you know how big a box you are thinking inside if you don’t think outside of it? After all was it not the musicians who thought outside of the basic 12 bar blues structure that brought us the great Michael Bolton. (I never said all of outside of the box thinking was accepted as good by everyone).
    Seriously…It’s a genuine example of the fact that if there is no out of the box thinking there is no progress. Any effort is worthwhile, successfull or not, providing that you learn from it. If you are in a business where you cannot affors to fail…stay inside the box. If you don’t think outside the box someone will ultimately overtake you. That’s probably why we have reserach departments and don’t do experiments on the products that we are selling to our customers.
    I agree with you…Six Sigma is inside the box thinking..almost by definition. That is why I made the comment that if you believe it to be the sole future of manufacturing you are very much mistaken. You are only ever limited by your ability to see.
    Now I must go and move the world with this big lever that I developed. I came up with the idea whilst re-arranging some beef jerky I found in my larder. It might not work but I’ll learn a lot from trying it out. after all…’tis better to have tried and failed than ne’er tried at all’.
    I never realized I was a hairy ***ed yahoo. Thanks for the enlightenment. I quite pleased to be one too…Hey Freeman my son wants to learn fishing where can I get your stuff from daddy-o – I like a store with attitude…(though I find it hard to quantify that statement).
    Rog
     

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    #95374

    Et Al
    Participant

    Hmnnn…this reminds me of the story of boids, linked as follows:
    http://moresteam.com/workforce/wf806.cfm?userid=null

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    #95378

    Rog
    Member

    Et Al,
    Thank you…at last a good example of what I have been trying to get through to some Six Sigma folks. Six Sigma did not build the very successful Toyota organisation.Good, unambiguous and focussed management did. Why was the management this good? I expect because they had a clear vision and worked together in every aspect of their business with an understanding of this common goal and core values. Six Sigma may have helped when it was appropriate to use it and I support SS in every way where it is used appropriately. What I cannot support is the blinkered and overstated view that SS encompasses every aspect of good management and good process optimization that many of us have been practising for years.
    As I have gone through my BB training and last few years of implementing SS I have seen many projects where the root cause has not been a lack of or bad data or bad processes but has been bad management. Often simple processes were just not robust and often unacceptable standards had become the norm. I have seen a few projects where SS genuinely helped improve a process that was not controlled and not understood and that is why I think it is an excellent tool when used appropriately.
    Quality standards like ISO9002 etc bring some core values and an unambiguous, documented structure. Are they a cure for all problems?….absolutely not and neither is SS. Are quality systems and SS part of the future?…undoubtedly.
    What is the ‘Meaning of Six Sigma’?…lets call a spade a spade shall we…..it’s a structured, data and statistically based method for process improvement…..that’s all.
    Rog

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    #95382

    M Bolton
    Participant

    Guys,
    I have worked in  the music industry for many years and studied it for the last 2 years using the fabulous Six Sigma method. I have reached two conclusions as to what will make me a quadruple platinum album and will have this on the shelves by the end of the year.
    One is an album of cover versions of the best selling hits of the last two decades.
    The other is a me in a slightly more mature ‘boy band’ with some great soul songs penned by a computer that I programmes with the best riffs of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
    Hope you love it as muchh as I do.
    PS My kids love the store Freeman and I’m bringing them up to be just like me.
     

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    #95383

    Diaconu
    Participant

    Dear Sweettalker,
    In reading your first paragraph about constantly exceeding customer expectations your first imply this is fruitless and unprofitable and go on to say that the effect of exceeding customer expectations is to make them rise.
    If I raise the expectations of my customers to a level that I can achieve and my competitors can’t isn’t that a good thing ?
    Mia

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    #95388

    sweettalker
    Member

    The short answer is “YES!”
    It’s fruitless and unprofitable to consistently exceed expectations in all facets. To understand this, I recommend reading John Krupar’s article at: https://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c040112a.asp
    While you must meet the “Must Be” expectations, there is little or no return for exceeding expectations in those “facets.” In these areas, you’re wasting money trying to exceed the expectations. The biggest ROI for exceeding customer expectations is with the facets (features) Krupar refers to as “Delighters.” It may or may not be profitable to exceed expectations on the one-dimensional features.
    Raising your customers’ expectations to a level that your competitors can’t achieve is a good thing. However, once the expectations rise, you face the difficult challenge of going even further in order to exceed those expectations. That’s not a reason to stagnate where you are – it’s just very difficult to always stay ahead of those expectations. It’s great to strive for, but in reality it’s unlikely to happen.
    Consistently exceeding customer expectations in all facets would require being the best and staying the best at absolutely everything. If someone tells me they are consistently exceeding customer expectations in all facets of their business, I will be a bit skeptical about their understanding of VOC, their metrics, and their ego.

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    #95459

    Diaconu
    Participant

    sweettalker,
    I read the article and understand your perspective now that I am a little more enligtened. Interestingly I used to work for an organisation whose sales revolved around golf days. Not only did it probably not benefit their sales it caused huge resentment amongst the non sales staff in the business who did not get the same opportunity to hold such ‘productive meetings’ with clients.
    Thank You
    Mia
     

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