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Six Sigma Makes A Comeback

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  • #52693

    Terry Burton
    Member

    Industry Week published an article recently called “Six Sigma Makes A Comeback.”  What are your reactions and thoughts about this article?
    I think it’s similar to “Breathing Makes A Comeback.”  If Six Sigma is deployed correctly and successfully, there should be no need for a comeback.  It all comes down to how Leadership and the Organization chooses to put the rubber on the road. 

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    #185682

    Mikel
    Member

    I think that would be Business Week and it is a bunch of drivel.

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    #185712

    Terry Burton
    Member

    Sorry all and thanks for the correction Stan.  The article appeared in Business Week, not Industry Week.  No matter how much we try to prevent them, defects are everywhere !

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    #185726

    Helper
    Participant

    I read the article.  It was a fluff piece.  I am not sure TBM and SSA are getting that much new business!!!  Is anyone else seeing elevated hits to their websites and a greater number of inquiries?  I am curious.

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    #185745

    Mikel
    Member

    Two things are true in the marketplace -1) There are a butt load of people claiming SS credentials looking for
    jobs. I could pick up a dozen extremely good people tomorrow and I
    have the resumes of at least 400 people right now. Most are posers. 2) There is an emerging practice where several different headhunting
    firms are advertising the same job. There is a lot being written about
    this out of northern California. It is one of the blessings of the web.

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    #185752

    Terry Burton
    Member

    At the risk of offending some folks, I couldn’t agree with you more.  Its the 80/20 rule:  About 80% of the Belt people “know how” to do everything and talk a good game, but only 20% are the real doers who get it. You need to look through the 400-500 resumes these days just to sift through the bull and find a few real competent people.

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    #185753

    B Johnson
    Participant

    And just how do you do that Terry? How do you “identify the real competent”? Sounds good but I would like to hear specifics.

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    #185754

    Terry Burton
    Member

    B Johnson – We’re off the subject but I’ll be happy to provide a brief answer to your question.
    The comments by Stan and I reflect the fact that a lot of folks get their hallway pass (a Belt) and use it only on their resume.
    Its not an exact science by any means.  We take people very deep in the interview process and evaluate their broader deployment knowledge (e.g. SS expertise, executive leadership skills, teaming and facilitation skills, project management skills, communications skills, change management skills, selling and development skills, industry reputation, etc..  We also take the time to check people out – Not their references but via our own contacts.  We share past client experiences as if they were current clients and ask what they would do in certain situations.  The interview team just does their best to find a great candidate.  Most of the time we’re on, and sometimes we get a surprise down the road. 
    I think everyone agrees that the Business Week article was bunk.  I’ve been around long enough to seeelements of Lean and Six Sigma repackaged and pitched by several buzzword labels.  Its all about improvement – Before, during, and after a recession.

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    #185758

    Mikel
    Member

    The good news is the consulting market is shaking out as well. Many
    who entered in the last decade just to get rich, got rich and are now
    broke. Good riddance.To add to Terry’s note, there are some company’s certifications that
    are just @#$%. Those get weeded before any time is wasted on them.

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    #185759

    Terry Burton
    Member

    You’re right Stan.  After three+ decades I don’t understand why organizations spend millions of dollars on training the masses with these firms and then stop there.  We’ve also seen a lot of the “get rich quick – training factories” come and go and that’s good news for us – Because “Belt Processing” is about all many organizations have done with Lean/Six Sigma. 
    We’re 20 years old for several reasons.  One is unquestionably our Lean/Six Sigma deployments or other improvement projects with consistent, “real” benchmark results.  We’ll be around after the shakeout for sure.

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    #185763

    Mikel
    Member

    Terry I agree with your points but you are being awfully generous
    when you say we and our with relation to twenty years. I don’t think you’ve been here that long.

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    #185781

    Terry Burton
    Member

    Hey Stan,
    The “We” and the “Our” and the “We’ve” was referring to our Consulting Firm.  We’ve built a successful practice around Lean, Six Sigma, Supply Chain Excellence, Product Development Excellence, Operations Excellence, Reengineering, TQM, SPC, JIT, ERP, Cultural Transformation, Productivity Improvement, and other strategic improvement initiatives for the past 20 years (long before ISIXSIGMA existed).  No Comebacks here – We will be around for 20 more years if I have my way about it (ha ha). 
    Sorry about the confusion, Stan.  You’re always a great, professional contributor on here.
    PS – ISIXSIGMA is a great site and a great resource !

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    #185783

    B Johnson
    Participant

    You’re analysis of one’s competency seems rather thorough.
    So what you are really saying is that “certification” in the SS industry really has no meaning – one must do due diligence on specific experience to really tell one’s competency. It’s not unlike an engineering degree. We went to school, passed the tests but didn’t really know how to do anything until we had been at it a while.
    Thanks.

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    #185787

    Terry Burton
    Member

    Not quite right B. Johnson.  That’s what lack of standardization gets us.  There’s the generally accepted SS certifications that follow the Motorola and other industry accepted models.  There are shysters offering “accelerated” and “multiple seat discount” “no project necessary” SS certicications.  You can’t get your engineering degree in 3 weeks over the internet and the same holds true with a legitimate SS certification.  There are on-line SS certifications.  Some require testing, some do not.  I know of one individual who had the BB in the next cubicle do most of the work for his certification.  Experience and application counts a lot.
    Buyer beware.  There’s a lot of people who’s Six Sigma activity ceased when they received their “Belt.”  Others have picked up certification from a sub-standard source.  I had an VP of Quality send in his resume claiming to be a “Grand Master Black Belt.”  During the phone interview (I had to find out what a Grand Master BB was) he said that he never went through a formal certification, but has worked with all of these tools for the past 35 years and has annointed himself.  How’s that one?

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    #185788

    B Johnson
    Participant

    I guess that is my point Terry. There really is no standard. Even among the 20 +/- boutique training firms that have been around a while – each has their own approach; and it’s not very visible. So, those can’t really be compared. It’s pretty much a free-for-all.

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    #185789

    Mikel
    Member

    I’ll be here for another decade- hope you make 20.

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    #185798

    Mikel
    Member

    Not true.Go for one that has it’s roots in Motorola and AlliedSignal and the
    results wil be there.

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    #185818

    Craig
    Participant

    Grand Master Black Belt?  Wow.  Maybe he has grandchildren who are MBBs.
    At least the Grand Poobah in the Water Buffalos (Flintsones) is an elected position.

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    #185819

    Mikel
    Member

    His business card reads – GMBB/FOS

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    #185851

    Terry Burton
    Member

    Well said Stan.  I was fortunate enough to pass through those Motorola Allied certification roots with one of the original instructors.  We have improved significantly upon those original materials and that’s the standard we use with our clients.  There are a lot of opportunists out there peddling training.

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    #185855

    B Johnson
    Participant

    So how does one know the “roots” of any particular provider? Motorola & Allied were a long time ago with a number of people involved – instructors at Allied were with TAG, right? Where might they & the material used there have gone? How is one to know?

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    #185856

    TAG? Nope
    Member

    Harry, Schroeder, Zinkgraf, Cone, and Carnell. Maybe Antis, I’m not
    sure but he doesn’t play in this space anymore anyway.TAG was an invention of the academy in the 97 timeframe.

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    #185910

    jskidz
    Participant

    I foubd this discussion thread very useful and entertaining.  I think some of the posers with inflated titles are unfortunately in senior managment positions in the company I work for now.  Everybody knows the buzzwords but does nothing resembling project work, mentoring or even analysis.  I’m surprised nobody here has labeled thmeselves a GMBB.  I am new to Six Sigma (2005) and an a lowly greenbelt but have always been intelligent enough to question any certification that doesn’t even have a standard accredidation process through some sort of governing body.  I went through an online school first for some basics then got involved with our comoany’s internal Six Sigma training through one of our senior managers ex colleague.  He claims all sorts of Six Sigma lineage but in the end it is not relevant because we’re stuck with him.  So I keep chugging along leading GB projects and looking for sources that I can learn more from.  It is very amusing that a discipline that teaches reduction of variation has no recognized standards of it’s own for certication and accredidation.

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