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Nonsense, go study Quality History

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Nonsense, go study Quality History

This topic contains 25 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Sullivan 11 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #26949

    Anonymous
    Participant

    I haven’t found a single thing in SixSigma that isn’t old news from QBA (Quantitative Business Analysis), CQE, ISO, AND Jurans Handbook. How long, oh Lord, will ambitious people keep reshaping old concepts and trying to get famous thereby. Just because Jack Welch likes it doesn’t mean it is anything new. Don’t get me wrong, it is the right stuff and it is good stuff but it is nothing new. Hanging the “SixSigma” name on it and selling it to the gullible for a profit is simply another profiteer sucking in the naive.

    Go read Quality History and get educated.

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    #65523

    Shelly
    Member

    Dear pathug,

    Are we to understand that since you understand everything there is to know about quality? Maybe some of us find it useful to have discussions, ask questions and help each other out. Maybe even Jack Welch did us a favor by popularizing our profession and helping to raise not only our salaries, but our status within business.

    Let’s try to maintain a supportive culture within our own profession. So some Arizonites have made a few bucks. We have jobs also, don’t we? I’m grateful for mine. I’m also grateful to continue to develop my skills.

    Shelly

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    #65528

    Jim Parnella
    Participant

    Sorry, Mr or Ms. Anonymous, but Six Sigma is a whole lot more than the conventional quality tools, haphazardly applied. You are correct in stating that none of the tools are NEW. Six Sigma however provides a roadmap, on how/when to use each tool. Conventional methods don’t do that. Furthermore (and most importantly) Six Sigma REQUIRES that projects actually affect the bottom line a significant amount. Conventional methods don’t require that. And in addition, Six Sigma requires accountability from the project leader. Furthermore, some (perhaps not all) Six Sigma training programs try to make the statistics simple, so that larger number of people can apply the methods.

    A lot of people have the objections that you have. Bus my experience is that those that do haven’t been exposed to the philosophy. I really can’t blame the naysayers since they just don’t know. I do wish though they would keep their comments to themselves.

    In a nutshell, here is what Six Sigma is all about:

    Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach to process improvement aimed at the near-elimination of defects from every product, process, and transaction. The purpose of Six Sigma is to gain breakthrough knowledge on how to improve processes to do things BETTER, FASTER, and at LOWER COST. It can be used to improve every facet of business, from production, to human resources, to order entry, to technical support. Six Sigma can be used for any activity that is concerned with cost, timeliness, and quality of results. Unlike previous quality improvement efforts, Six Sigma is designed to provide tangible business results, cost savings that are directly traceable to the bottom line.

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    #65529

    Jim Terry
    Participant

    Bravo, Jim!

    I agree whole heartedly and think that your description of Six Sigma is fantastic. I was reading all of the posts and even the latest articles and think you’ve nailed it on the head.

    I hope you don’t mind if I use your description around my business :-0, :-).

    Thanks for the discussion,
    Jim

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    #65531

    Jim Parnella
    Participant

    Jim,
    Thanks for the nice comments. And feel free to use whatever you like.

    Jim

    P.S. Your e-mail address is not correct.

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    #65535

    Sinnicks
    Participant

    This is my first comment on the matter. I’m sitting here wondering what I’m missing after being in the military and being looking at Dr. Deming. Then I read this Six Sigma stuff and ask, what the heck is this. Now your answer sounded great, but it seems you did not mention Dr. Deming who preceeded or lead other peopkle on the wisdom behind total quality. What else can you share with me, and what have you studied and accomplished?

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    #65536

    Sinnicks
    Participant

    He was right. People have tried to re-produce what is ageless wisdom, and in the process it has all gone wrong. Can’t you see what is happening to quality in this country?

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    #65538

    Jim Parnella
    Participant

    Mark,
    Yes, Dr. Deming is important to Six Sigma. He just wasn’t mentioned because the topic was essentially, “..what is different about Six Sigma?” I can assure you that Dr. Deming’s 14 points are taught in Six Sigma classes. Six Sigma is just another way of getting some of the Deming stuff done, albeit a more effective way.

    Jim

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    #65602

    Patrick Waddick
    Participant

    Thanks from me too, Jim, for the above description of Six Sigma.

    I can feel the frustration from those who have been exposed to one quality system after another and don’t see anything new with Six Sigma. The architects of Six Sigma will tell you that the tools and concepts are nothing new, indeed, but that it is the system and ordering that are new, and a question of where the emphasis needs to be in a given situation.

    When I was first introduced to TQM I was exposed to many useful concepts and tools, but there was no order or prescription for defining a problem (and the underlying process), measuring the performance, analyzing the gaps, improving, and controlling. But after having received the training on Six Sigma, passing the Black Belt certification exam and then leading projects, I became a strong believer in Six Sigma.

    What good is quality if it doesn’t improve your bottom line? Six Sigma does not allow quality to become the “flavor of the month” quality initiative. It seeks to find better ways of doing things so that all stakeholders are pleased with the results (customers, shareholders, etc.).

    Yes, Six Sigma has evolved from the work of Deming, Juran, and others into a more prescriptive roadmap on how to do things better, faster, quicker, etc.

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    #79169

    Mike Cunningham
    Participant

    A lot of people have the objections that you have.  Bus (s/b But) my experience is that those that do haven’t been exposed to the philosophy.

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    #87027

    bdd35
    Participant

    Where does it all end? Fewer jobs, more stress, greater profits. I’m all for the corporate model but when is enough, enough.
    Do you like the corporate-driven society now in place? Be honest with yourself. Longer commutes, lousy, segregated schools, little happiness found in “things.”
    Time to change, gentlemen.
     
     
     

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    #87046

    BP1
    Participant

    To bdd35 – You mean better, faster, cheaper isn’t all there is?  Unfortunately, your questions have been, and probably will continue to be, ignored.  So is it possible to apply six-sigma to the quality of the community?

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    #93903

    Aerik
    Participant

    There are a lot of good questions raised in this thread – I like it.

    Six Sigma new vs. not:  I think that it’s fair to say that the structure of application proposed by Six Sigma is at least kind of new – a lot of you probably have more experience than me, but my take on this is that these tools, which obviously existed before, could be and were used to the same ends by individuals with the wisdom and vision to do so.  Six Sigma makes that a formal structure.  Sometimes, I think that maybe that formal structure is carried too far.  “Traditional” Six Sigma is applied to manufacturing processes – that is the easiest application, and what most people think of, but certainly these tools and philosphies can be (and are) applied elsewhere as well.  Something I’d like to see emphasized more is flexibility.
    Profits over people, etc;:  I think it’s great to see someone asking this question.  This has to do with our application of Six Sigma (or any quality tools or business processes/policies) – we choose these results, because they’re the ones that are most obviously necessary.  Modern society and business philosophy says that the primary responsibility of a business is to create good financial returns for it’s shareholders.  Well, sure.  And we do that – like applying Six Sigma to manufacturing processes, we work hard at improving the bottom line.  But, something that is not so obvious and is a harder sell is that businesses, like individuals and governements, have other obligations as well.  In the name of improving profits, a business is likely to only do nearly the minimum, what laws and “best practice” prescribe.  We need to also promote “good citizenship” for our companies – to take into account into our decision the future and the impact on society.  As quality professionals, you all have probably seen decisions taken that made you cringe – short terms gains at the expense of the long term.  “We’ll deal with that later” they say.  I think we need to promote “future thinking” and “sustainability”.  Instead of making stockholders rich next quarter or next year, let’s make sure that our company is still providing good value to the shareholder in 50 years – and that it’s a company they can be proud to own a part of.
    Man, I should go into marketing…
    Best Regards and Happy New Year to all.

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    #93905

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    Happy New Year, Aerik.
    I don’t think that the “structure” is even a little new.  When I was first exposed to Six Sigma my reaction was that it was what any engineer with a little common sense would do.  Look at the steps:

    Define – Decide what you’re going to do
    Measure – Be sure it’s realistic
    Analyze – Figure out what knobs you can turn
    Improve – Figure out the best knob to turn
    Control – Make sure somebody doesn’t turn the knob back
    I mean, that stuff isn’t rocket science!
    But I think there are three things that, together, set it apart:

    The structure is very well defined.  In particular, there are a few things that need to be known at the end of each phase.  This helps the practitioner avoid glossing over the key issues.
    There is a huge bucket of tools that folks are trained in.  There are so many tools that the Black Belt can’t imagine that all of them could be used on any given project.  This forces him to realize that he has to apply some judgement rather than blindly turn the crank.
    At every step of the way, the team is expected to articulate it’s findings and decisions in a very clear way.  This not only provides a lot of visibility into the project, but it forces the project team to think through their decisions.
    Just my two cents.
    –McD
     

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    #96068

    Marco
    Participant

    SIX SIGMA DOES NOT EQUAL COMMONSENSE, HOW MANY OF YOU ‘GURUS’ HAVE READ ANYTHING BY DEMING, TAGUHCHI, CROSBY ETC. READ ON, THIS IS COMMONSENSE! 
    Demings 14 points of management 

    Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
    Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
    Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
    End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
    Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
    Institute training on the job.
    Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul as well as supervision of production workers.
    Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
    Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
    Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
    a Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.b Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.
     

    a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual merit rating and of management by objective.
     

    Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
    14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

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    #96069

    Marco
    Participant

    Think of continuous improvement as a giant oil tanker sailing from the oil fields to the refinery, it requires small, constant adjustments to the rudder to keep it on the most efficient course. But, we assume the tanker is firstly going in the right direction, if the tanker is heading for the rocks it doesn’t matter how many small adjustments are made to the rudder, the tanker will hit the rocks.

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    #96148

    Dillon
    Participant

    Marco,
    I understand where you are coming from based on some of my past experiences….my only comment to you would be that I am a Lean Sigma MBB who has read some of the work by the individuals that you have listed and that apparently, you have not worked with a good GB/BB/MBB.  Commonsense always comes into play regardless of whether you are following the DMAIC methodology or Deming’s 14 points.
    Doug

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    #96153

    Marco
    Participant

    Sir
    You miss my point. Any organisation providing goods and services does so to give Customers what they want. (I know this is a no brainer but stay with me). If you work in one of the above ask yourself one question, who do I work for? The answer must be your Customers i.e. the ones who buy your goods or service and put money into your bank account. One of Demings fundamentals is to remove slogans from the work force, this doesn’t just mean not having those no-brainer posters on the wall but having all of the ‘quality’ tools intrenched in the organisational structure and culture ie common sense, which, thanks to the likes of ASQ in North America and the IQA in England has been lost. So called ‘Quality’ professionals from the West have adopted the buzz words and slogans and taken business and commerce financially to the cleaners, and, in doing so, greatly discredited the ‘quality’ industry. Six sigma by it’s very nature is a fire fighting tool, used to remove problems in existing process or product that has already been designed, true ‘quality’ is inherent in the design of any product or process, along with all the other design inputs (see Pugh). In order to provide a product or process one must first have a Customer in mind, once a Customer has been indentified we can then design our product to give Customers what they require. We do this by indentifing in the Cusotmer duty cycle (how the Customer will use the product in real life) the damaging cycles (noise factors) that affect our design, we then use material selection and/or geometry (control factors) to make our design insensitive to the damaging cycles, if we don’t fully understand noise/control factors we can use DoE. By labeling common sense design activities with labels such as six sigma, tqm, aqp, apqp etc we are separating basic design principles from true design ie as soon as something is labeled quality it is no longer is the responsibility of the design owner but passes to the ‘quality’ department. One does not have to use six sigma to understand process variation, if all known factors are identified and actioned in the design stage. Whats the point of spending lots money designing a product, process or service to fail and then saying ‘we are spending lots of money producing lots of waste, lets spend lots of money fixing it’, it is complete madness.

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    #99434

    None
    Participant

    This process was just brought to our company seven months ago.  We are now expected to save a few million per group, however, the individual groups have had no six sigma training.  We are a service industry with several departments within.  It was simple for the departments who produce the final product to identify and achieve savings, however when you got down to applying six sigma to the departments who support the production departments, the savings were slim, mostly because all savings had been accounted for by production.  This made it difficult for the support organization to find a fit for six sigma.  I equate this difficulty to holding a elementry school teacher accountable for saving the school a million per year.  She could save a little by purchasing students books and school supplies with out-of-pocket funds, but not much will be saved in modifying the way she teaches.  And if each year she is expected to increase that savings, 2 million next year and 3 million the year after that, eventually she will run out of methods to squeeze out more savings.  The majority of her savings are dependent on the school board making modifications.  And if the teacher spends most of the day trying to come up with more ideas for savings, she will soon be spending less time doing what’s more important, teaching.  What I am saying is that when it gets down to the person on the bottom of the deck, six sigma savings are limited.  Big companies are letting go of good people because of this.

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    #117739

    Another Anon
    Participant

    I’ve just see six sigma quoted in yet another [new] change management methodology somebody is trying to prompt to a big European organisation on the back of their PhD. I have not doubts that Bill Smith knew his stuff and all credit to him for doing his job. However, I get tired of hearing [some] management consultants quoting one methodology after another and continually failing to deliver anything.
    It is not the methodology that produces good work, it is people doing the work. I don’t doubt there are excellent six sigma consultants but I suspect that they would be excellent whatever methodology they used. As for the rest… are they making a living off the back of the success of others?

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    #117741

    Darth
    Participant

    Wow, great response to a 2000 thread. Took you five years to figure out the perfect response.

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    #117742

    Another Anon
    Participant

    Sure. Quality is timeless!

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    #117744

    Markert
    Participant

    Hey Darth, leave the guy alone. He and I just bet who was going to win the 2000 baseball World Series. {I would have said ‘the 2000 American Presidental Election, but some may still dispute the outcome of that event.}

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    #117753

    Another Anon
    Participant

    Ok, point taken. I was irritated by [what I think was] an inappropriate quote of six sigma and let vent in this thread. I have posted a new message in the subject “An appropriate quote for six sigma?” should you wish to make comments there.

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    #152834

    John Samuel Cyrus
    Participant

    “How long, oh Lord, will ambitious people keep reshaping old concepts and trying to get famous thereby.”
    Dear all,
    I appreicate this statement above. Until the Lord Jesus intervene and turn the knolwdge to the wisemen into foolishness and backward things will be like that. He will come and judge according to every one’s work and the liers will be found out.
    Thanks
    Cyrus
     

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    #165639

    Sullivan
    Member

    Alas. Not even one person talks about the Quantitative profits from six sigma!!!!!

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