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Six Sigma Evolution Clarified – Letter To The Editor

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  • #28689

    Cone
    Participant

    Mr. Laux’s letter to the editor is interesting, but wrong. Giving Mikell all the credit is a fable. I worked within the Government Electronics Group and I can tell you that tremendous gains were made and we had vertually no interaction with Mikell. I went on to work with Motorola’s Automotive Group, which has been documented as improving much more rapidly than the Government Group and Mikell was not even known there untill I introduced him to the management at the beginning of his tenure with the Research Institue. They changed absolutely nothing based on this contact.
    As anyone knows that has ever been involved in change, the real credit belongs to a lot of people. The training materials being used by the Academy, ASQ, BMG, and almost all of the big corporations come from a man from Automotive named Steve Zinkgraf – not Mikell as his “intellectual property” was basically unusable as training material. Go look at the stuff from ASQ, they were sloppy enough to even leave some files created by one of the founders of BMG in their training materials.
    Thanks to Mr. Laux for trying to perpetuate the misleading information of Mikell being the creator of this. He just happens to have been a great marketeer amoung a group of introverted engineers. If Mr. Laux would like me to show him the origin of his training materials, I will be quite happy to show him.

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    #71759

    Kim Niles
    Participant

    Dear Gary:I applaud your passion for Six Sigma and for your part in making Six Sigma what it is today. I also understand that you are angry in general over the success of Mikel Harry and the Six Sigma Academy. If you are the same Gary I’m thinking of, I understand you are also upset over related business concerns in some way connected with the Academy. I am not in any position support nor denounce anything you’ve said nor am I asking you to elaborate. I am simply asking you to take another look at the exact wording of the letter at https://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020131a.asp. I don’t see anything that is “wrong” in the text provided. I really like the second paragraph and the last paragraphs. I grant you that the forth paragraph is self-promotional but every statement when taken word for word does not look “wrong”. In fact, the next paragraph clarifies that no direct claim is taken.I’m sure that there is some truth somewhere in what you say or you wouldn’t be so passionate about it, but I ask you, where would Six Sigma be today if it were not for Mikel Harry and the Six Sigma Academy? Would GE and Allied Signal have taken to it and dramatically changed it’s course? I doubt it….we’d still be attending “Quality Circles” .

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    #71785

    howe
    Participant

    Anyone believe this was done by a single person?
    In the late 1970’s, Dr. Mikel Harry, a senior staff engineer at Motorola’s Government Electronics Group (GEG), began to experiment with problem solving through statistical analysis. Using his methodology, GEG began to show dramatic results – GEG’s products were being designed and produced faster and more cheaply. Subsequently, Dr. Harry began to formulate a method for applying six sigma throughout Motorola. His work culminated in a paper titled “The Strategic Vision for Accelerating Six Sigma Within Motorola.” He was later appointed head of the Motorola Six Sigma Research Institute and became the driving force behind six sigma.
    I do not.

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    #71786

    Cone
    Participant

    Kim,
    There is a difference between anger and a general distaste for lies.
    I am not angry over Cowboy Mike’s success. He has a good show and saw the market potential no one else saw. Every Sunday, we have a prayer for the burdens of poverty and riches, and I believe there is a whole lot of truth to it. I would not trade places.
    There is a continued story of self promotion coming from the Academy. Bottom line is Dr. Harry had  little to no influence at the implementation level at Motorola, AlliedSignal, or GE. And implementation is the only thing that matters.
     

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    #71798

    denton
    Participant

    I believe AlliedSignal’s program was much more influenced by Steve Zinkgraf than by Mikel Harry.  I spent a great year working with the MBB who ran AlliedSignal’s program, before he joined our company.  His training and background were from Zink. 

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    #71834

    Sta
    Member

    Zinkgraf ran the implementation for about 1/3 of Allied — Engineered Materials. I was trained in Automotive and I would tell you the same thing about Gary Cone. Mikell Harry was only two cartoon books to us, totally unusable. Gary worked with Zinkgraf to have consistent materials that were usable. I believe Zinkgraf did most of the creation, at least that is what Gary used to say. I learned 6 sigma here and Dr. Harry’s materials were laughed at because they were so useless. My Black Belt certification does have Mikell Harry’s name as well as Gary’s. I only value Gary’s.

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    #72245

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    All,
    There seems to be a lot of self promotion in all of this mixed with a little hero worship and some naiveness.
    First Motorola credits Bill Smith as the father of SS. They have it in a publication and Mikal isn’t in it.
    Lets look at Juran’s 1964 publication “Managerial Breakthrough.” I haven’t seen him get much credit through this. In 1964 nobody in this chain even cared about this stuff. The diagram on Page 7 is in almost every set of material I have seen and the only person, which I am aware of, that has ever given him credit was Greg Brue in his book Six Sigma for Leadership.
    The idea of running classes (video tapes) and then working a project, then more sophisticated tools and more project work, etc. Take a look at the Juran Work Book. Looks pretty familiar.
    Second. I believe Gary Cone and I attended Mikal first DOE training class at GEG. At that time it was the 1980’s (reference paragraph 3)and Mikal was a consultant brought in by Murry Allen in HR. Mikal owned his own company back then called Research Dynamics – I still have the books.
    The Allied deployment was not done by Zink. Zink did EMS. Bill Ross from Six Sigma Associates did Areospace. Gary Cone, Breg Brue SixSigmaCo.com) & Mike Carnell (SixSigmaApplications.net) did Automotive. The 3 from Automotive later formed Six Sigma International that later was merged to become Six Sigma Qualtec. Cone, Brue and Carnell are no longer a part of Qualtec.
    I still have the letter from Gary Reiner, CIO of GE and placed in charge of the SS deployment, that assigned the 8 sectors (of 13 total at the time) of GE to Brue, Cone and Carnell for implementation.
    As far as material, nobody really is the sole owner. In Automotive a lot of our stuff came from books such as Box, Hunter & Hunter. The Allied Automotive material relly became useful when Greg Brue, Jeff Glowacki, Miguel Hernandez, Gary Cone and Mike Carnell met in Atlanta in January 1996 and worked on the materials In the Hyatt Hotel.
    If we look at the effect of the material on the effectiveness of the training it is negligible. The people who do the site support are the one who bring it to life. If you do a little reading on the adult learning model there are 7 steps. You can really only get through the first 2 in a classroom. 
    The guy that asked the question “Does anyone believe any one guy did this?” My answer is no. Even in my chronology there have been a multitude of names left out. People like John Lupienski (mentored both Carnell & Cone), Shar Stocker, Scot Ashby, Jim Lambert, Skip Weed, Mario Perez-Wilson, John Hathaway, Regal Stewart (I am sure I misspelled it – I apologize), Pete Peterson, Marty Rayl, Tom Cheek and the list could go on a long time.
    To Gary’s point, Mikal did create the SS industry. Anyone who has ever seen Mikal do a pitch knows it is a one of a kind sales show. It was much better when he used 2 overheads.
    To the woman who responded to Gary. My condolences. I was embarassed for you when I read your response. 

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    #82462

    Menno van Doorn
    Participant

    Gary,
    You questioned Mr Laux’ letter to the editor about the contribution Mikel Harry maid on Six Sigma. You said he was wrong.
    Funny to read in the same article of mr. Laux that Carl Frederick Gauss was born in 1777 and died in 1885. He lived for 108 years! In fact Gauss was born on 30 april 1777 and died in 23 februari 1855.
    Menno van Doorn
     

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    #93895

    hestatis
    Participant

    Can you or anybody please let us know about Zinkgraf’s work, material?
    Eager to know about someone who was right there at the time of Six Sigma’s early periods and whose improvement approaches were more valued than Dr. Harry’s.
    Can you please share this information? What was the difference between two cartoon books that you have mentioned and Zinkgraf’s approach or methodology
    Regards

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    #112378

    Milton
    Participant

    Did anyone ever straighten out who deserved credit here?
    I was reading through the forum and saw Mr. Laux’s article and this. Which is right?

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    #112450

    Bradley
    Participant

    I understand Mr. Laux is no longer with them, so it would be interesting to know what he thinks now.

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    #125617

    John from Paxon Polymer
    Participant

    I received my black belt certification from from AlliedSignal’s Engineered Materials division in 1995 as part of the “first wave” of black belt training (though AS called it “Process Improvement Masters”).  The Mikel Harry “cartoon book” was mostly philosophy, really a collection of powerpoint slides.  Useful concepts, but not really methodology.  The detailed process improvement model was all Steve Zinkgraf’s, along with all the training material & methodology.  The 5 weeks training was rougly 2 days Mikel Harry, 23 days Steve Zinkgraf.

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    #145212

    Art
    Participant

    So, just what are you trying to say?

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    #145213

    Timothy O. Wullenschneider
    Member

    Art,
    You are responding to a post that is almost four years old.
    I doubt you will receive a reply
    Just my opinion.
     

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