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What was the true innovation of SS?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General What was the true innovation of SS?

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  • #52080

    Maer
    Participant

    I have been searching through the History of Six sigma and I have yet to come across the “true innovation” that was key to the development of this whole SIX SIGMA methodology and subsequent marketing assualt.
    Would you say it was the discovery of using better metrics? ie: rolled throughput???
    Using statistics Correctly??
    What are your thoughts?

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    #182614

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    From my perspective it was more structure than had been done with TQM or any of its predecessors. It was certainly not the tools, they had been around forever. By structure, I mean the infrastructure for deployment aka Champions, Belts, etc. The focus shifted to more issues linked with the strategic imperatives of the company rather than disjointed locally selected projects to work on. A greater emphasis was placed on real business impact and dollars rather than just feel good work. In the right environment it was top led rather than somebody’s functional job lower in the food chain. The combined effect of the deployment and structural changes plus a good bit more marketing has made SS a pretty solid approach that has had far more traction and staying power than any of us old timers ever imagined. You can knock it all you want but it has become quite a force for change in the business world.

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    #182617

    Maer
    Participant

    Darth,
    I agree that it has become quite a force for change in the business world and I’m not really knocking it at all ….. though was it really started as a top down approach? or reaction to poor quality / pursuit of the Malcolm Baldridge award within a Unit? Applying a different perspective to the current level of knowledge regarding the “tools” available? Was the infrastructure changes / structure a by-product of the innovation? Was it not originally toted as 10X quality improvement? Finding a way to improve quality beyond the current methods? What was the combination of methods that turned the light bulb on? Is it a one-dimensional answer?

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    #182620

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    As you sense, the answer is a bit more complicated then can usually be answered via a Forum such as this. I am sure others will pipe in come tomorrow and provide their insights as to what makes SS a bit different and has allowed it to outlive other similar attempts at transforming business. Personally, I think it is due to the Father of Six Sigma, the always delightful and informative Dr. Mikel Harry and his dearly departed side kick Reigle Stewart. That and the insightful and much maligned 1.5 shift sets this apart. Old timers like Stan and Carnell try to claim that they are the real developers but we know that they are pretenders and that Harry, Schroeder and Stewart where the real heart of it with some minor mention going to Bill Smith.

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    #182621

    Maer
    Participant

    Your personal insight probably will generate greater discussion in and of itself. Personally, I do not know nor have ever met Harry or Stewart, but I know people that have met Harry and there are several strong comments made both for / against him here on this forum.
    I am definitely interested in some of the old-timers angle on this.

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    #182623

    Saherngu
    Participant

    Hi Maer,
    That’s a very good question.To understand the significance of the “true innovation” that was key to the development of six sigma, you need to mentally transport yourself to the late 1980’s. What was going on at that time with respect to Quality? Who were the Gurus and what was their message.Most of them were using Statistical Process Control and Control charts to improve quality.Nobody had a complete methodology to characterize the process from the beginning to the end. In other words, to understand the relationship of its input/output variables, measurement system, determine current capability, optimize to six sigma and put all the controls in place to maintain six sigma quality.You may remember, control charts are the last tool you implement, not the first, and the Gurus were preaching something that did not make practical sense.Mario Perez-Wilson had the understanding to know that all of these techniques, methods and tools could be linked together to provide a cohesive “Methodology” for improvement. He implemented the M/PCpS® Methodology in 1986, which is now a federal trademark of Advanced Systems Consultants. Working at Motorola, he negotiated to keep the right of his methodology – pretty smart on his part. Motorola granted him the rights to the M/PCpS, which was implemented in Motorola as the first six sigma methodology for improving process. In essence, he translated the six sigma goal into a methodology for improvement. The M/PCpS methodology was implemented in 1986 through 1991. Motorola announced in their 1991 annual report, by implementing six sigma, they saved over 2.2 billion since 1987 and over 700 million in 1991 alone.In 1992, Motorola formed the Six Sigma Research Institute with Mikel Harry as Director and started DMAIC and the belt system, which they adopted in 1994.

    I attended the iSixSigma Live Summit last January, where Motorola presented that Mario Perez-Wilson was the developer of the first methodology for six sigma. This is years before they implemented DMAIC, the Black Belt and the Green Belts. After the summit I contacted Mario directly and he answered all my questions.

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    #182626

    Nonsense
    Participant

    What nonsense and you did not hear that in Miami.

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    #182645

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    I must have been hungover from the party and Cuban cigars because I don’t remember Moto presenting anything let alone that Mario was the inventor. Apparently the old timers from Moto give him a lot of credit for early development of the methodology but that was not a presented topic of discussion.

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    #182648

    Nonsense
    Participant

    Some pompus guy from Moto was there. He had no connection to Moto’s past. He did not talk about Mario.

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    #182835

    James C.
    Participant

    Here is a link to a paper from the MIT Sloan School of Business.  It describes the evolution of Six Sigma and “who did what, when.”  Seems this paper spells it out and says it all.
    http://viewswire.eiu.com/report_dl.asp?mode=fi&fi=1770754762.PDF&rf=0

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    #182838

    Mikel
    Member

    Follow the thread of reference materials. This references an article by J. Folaran, which use as his reference (drum roll please) a book written by Mikel Harry. And Mikel reference? Himself.
    Cool, I guess that says it all.
    You may want to look to something sanctioned by Motorola if you want to know the whole story.

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