# Why it is called six sigma?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Why it is called six sigma?

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• #33376

Laxmisha Rai
Participant

Six sigma is to achieve 3.4 defects  per one million opportunies. So 1 million is 1000,000 , I think it is M(Million). But if we change the position of this M (it will be like sigma in mathematics means SUM)As we know there are SIX zeroes in this changed M(SIGMA), may be people called it as SIX Sigma.

I want to get more comments on this!

Laxmisha Rai

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#90182

Mikel
Member

This may be the most uninformed post I have ever seen.
I suggest we start a monthly award for such post and call the award a Reigle.

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#90184

Wolfgang
Member

The monthly award could be a tribute to all of the charlatans out there who pretend to be adept at statistics.

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#90191

Mikel
Member

Okay, you have got me on that one.

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#107581

Arnold
Participant

seemes correct….a good idea

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#107594

Sharma
Member

Don’t complicate things.
the word Six sigma is related to statistical quality control.
Sigma stands for deviation(standard deviation).
According to normal probability distribution , a spread of –six times sigma— is equal to probability of 99.7% ( or 3.4 defects per million opportunities)

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#107599

CONFUSIOUS
Participant

But why is it just 6 sigma, why cant it be 12 sigma … NASA operates on 12 Sigma…
is 6 the lucky number for bill smith ?

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#107605

KBailey
Participant

The 6 in 6 Sigma is arbitrary. For most manufacturing processes, 3.4 defects per million is pretty darned good. If the cost of a defect is high enough, maybe 12 sigma is an appropriate goal – depending on the cost of achieving it.
Obviously, we don’t strive very hard for 6 sigma in everything we do, including. For example, looking at iSixSigma forum posts we’re at about 0.5 sigma in spelling and punctuation. Nobody seems to be complaining too much about that.

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#107607

RubberDude
Member

HUH?

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#107609

Mikel
Member

kbailey,
You don’t know what you are talking about.
Do you have any concept of what 12 sigma is?
Didn’t think so.

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#107612

KBailey
Participant

12 sigma is 2 * (6 sigma).
Actually, you may have a fair question there, Stan.
If you’re asking whether I know just how high of quality a sigma level of 12 would be and how much it would cost to attain it, the answer (in layman’s terms) is really good and a lot.
If you’re suggesting that I didn’t answer the right question because sigma level is talking about standard deviations on one side of the process average so (some might think) 6 sigma could just as well have been called 12 sigma, then the answer is that sigma level refers to sigmas between process average and closest spec limit after adjusting for 1.5 sigma shift.
If 12 sigma means something different to you, maybe you can tell me about it.

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#107613

Atul Bhatt
Participant

I guess we need to put in a suggestion to increase the visibility of the left hand side navigation bar on this site…

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#107614

RubberDude
Member

I think you should read about Six Sigma prior to making the statements you have made.  Go to the “New To Six Sigma?” link on the top of the links to the left of this page and find out what Six Sigma REALLY means.
As for the spelling and grammer in this forum, in case you have not noticed, many if not most of the posters are not from the US or UK, so English is a second language and many of them are not very familiar with our colloquialisms and probably either use translator software (which is not very reliable) or are using this forum to practice and learn the language and about Six Sigma.
Of course, there ARE a few “good ol’ boy rednecks” on here who are “hukt own fonix werkt fer mee!” types.

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#107615

Peppe
Participant

Stan, could you explane about 12 sigma ?

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#107617

Mikel
Member

I am not changing any definitions.
If you buy into the 1.5 shift nonsense, the highest sigma value that I have seen defined is 9.7 sigma which would be approximately  0.0000000000000001 DPMO.
Do you really think any one has achieved that or would even know how to measure it?
The stuff about NASA being 12 sigma is just a bunch of it. They are closer to 3.
You are trying to come off as an authority on this but you don’t even have a concept of what it means to be 6 much less 12 sigma.

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#107618

KBailey
Participant

RubberDude,
Can you clarify which statements you take issue with and why?
As for spelling and punctuation: I’m aware that many of the posters are from outside the US and UK. However, those of us from the US and UK also spell and punctuate our posts with a sigma level far below 6. Regardless of that, the point is that we don’t even try to achieve a sigma level of 6 in our spelling and punctuation. The reason we don’t is the same as the reason I say that the 6 in 6 sigma is arbitrary.

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#107619

Mike Carnell
Participant

shashi,
You need to complicate things a little more:
1. Six Sigma is a Breakthrough Strategy. Breakthrough is very different than control. Read Juran “Managerial Breakthrough” 1964.
2. Six Sigma is +/- 6 std deviations
3. 99.7 % is not 3.4 anything even defects. Do the math.
Good luck.

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#107620

Mike Carnell
Participant

Confusious,
How did you establish NASA operates on 12 sigma?

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#107623

Mike Carnell
Participant

kbailey,
I do not agree that it is arbitrary.
If you take a look at the time SS started most people felt they were being pushed beyond anything reasonable by the Automotive industry asking for a Cpk of 1 (not that that was a huge issue but it was the mentality at the time). There was that moronic book “Quality is Free” that believed you could get perfect quality with posters and floor mats (actually if you sell enough books you don’t have to care any more). We knew that quality by exhortation didn’t work (Deming). you needed to better than 3 sigma and less than infinity.
If you get a copy of the Motorola chart that shows the relationship between opportunity count and sigma level you can see where it makes more sense from a complexity/capability combination than 3 or infinity.
Just my opinion.
Good luck.

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#107624

Mike Carnell
Participant

Spell check first.
Just my opinion.

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#107626

KBailey
Participant

Stan, I didn’t suggest you were changing definitions. I just wanted to make sure 12 sigma might have some special meaning I wasn’t familiar with.
I’m not disputing your statements about NASA or the apparent improbability of achieving a sigma level of 12. Practically speaking, I think it’s a bit unrealistic. However, if you had a process that’s performed often enough (like if lots of people would die from it), and if the cost of failure were high enough, and if the cost of preventing defect were low enough, you could conceivably want to set 12 as your sigma level target.
Before you just dismiss this, consider: CTQ’s can be so commonplace and expected that we don’t even state them. If I’m having a house built, I’m not going to tell the builder that one of my CTQ’s is that the roof has to stay up. If I were shopping for baby formula, I wouldn’t bother to check for radiation levels below a certain spec (although I can conceive of a world where that would be a sad necessity.) The reality is that we don’t actually bother to measure all of the true CTQ’s or opportunities for defects, simply because the cost (or bother) is too much to justify based on how confident we are in the quality with regard to that particular CTQ.
The relevance of this is that – especially in DFSS projects – we can’t assume that the customer’s stated requirements are comprehensive. If you don’t meet some requirement that they just assumed, you’re going to disappoint them badly.

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#107627

RubberDude
Member

1.  “The 6 in 6 Sigma is arbitrary.” – No, it was NOT arbitrary, but was a well-thought-out goal to reduce quality costs in the Motorola organization.  Read the history of Six Sigma section in the “New To Six Sigma?” link of this website.  I think you’ll see that the developers of the Six Sigma program did NOT pull the “six” out of thin air.
2.  “For most manufacturing processes, 3.4 defects per million is pretty darned good.”  – Remember, this is not an actual measurement, but a PROBABILITY on any given occasion for a “defect” to occur.  I am always stumped as to why educated quality/statistical professionals will not clarify this for those trying to learn.  It reminds me of the old joke about the Japanese company that sent 970 good parts and 30 well identified and segregated bad parts to an American customer with the note “Here are your 30 defective parts as per your AQL = 3% requirements.”  I would think that 3.4 ppm would be VERY “GOOD” for most ANY manufacturing process, unless you may be talking about defects that can cause bodily injury or death.  But I would be willing to bet that most of these have a Cpk=2.0 standard.  (I know of a couple of automotive component safety requirements to that effect.)
3.  “If the cost of a defect is high enough, maybe 12 sigma is an appropriate goal – depending on the cost of achieving it.” – This may be true, but as well, the inverse would be true.  If the cost is low enough maybe ONE sigma quality is acceptable.  But I doubt it.  Again, Six Sigma was the level that makes sense for (dare I make this statement) 80-90% of the manufacturing organizations in the world today.  And costs are ALWAYS a factor with a lot of emphasis in the Six Sigma process.
I agree that the postings here are not grammatically to a SS level.  I think this says a lot for our education system in the US.  I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but I do try my best to make sure my grammer and spelling are at least good enough to let everyone know that a hillbilly from Arkansas can be articulate.  (Yes, I AM a hillbilly and I AM from/in Arkansas… and YES I DO HAVE SHOES ON….)
Sorry…. But I agree with Stan.  I don’t think you understand the Six Sigma system.

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#107628

KBailey
Participant

Mike,
Your post touches on some of points which I would say support the claim that it’s arbitrary. As we get closer to 4, 5, and 6 sigma quality being more common in both manufacturing and transactional processes, the bar will rise.
I’m not sure if the chart I’ve seen is the same as the one you’re referring to, but the one I’ve seen shows that even 6 sigma isn’t really very good when you get into very complex products/processes with hundreds of thousands of opportunities for defects.

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#107629

RubberDude
Member

Hukt own fonix werkt fore mee!!

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#107636

KBailey
Participant

Using this definition of arbitrary from Webster.com: “based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something”
Choosing to use the value six in Six Sigma may not have been arbitrary as in “arbitrary and capricious” but is was arbitrary in that it was convenient for Motorola at the time. It’s definitely not due to necessity or the intrinsic nature of something. If Bill Smith and others had been at some other company and dealing with transactional processes, they could just as well have settled on 4 sigma. If they worked in sales, marketing, or recruiting, they might even have settled on 1 or 2 sigma.
I think I understand about the 3.4 defects per million just fine. Short term, we measure the process and calculate a probability or projected defect rate. We don’t actually run off a million widgets (or opportunities) and count to see if we have 3.4 defects. A casual reader of the “New to Six Sigma” section isn’t going to get that.
The other thing they’re going to miss is that the way we measure processes and calculate sigma level is going to produce more than 3.4 defects per million. The 3.4 DPMO calculation doesn’t factor in the likelihood of special cause variation. What do we do when we identify special cause variation? Eliminate it, and then remove those data points from our control charts.
Your point #3 hits on the key: 80%-90% of the manufacturing organizations in the world today. Maybe it’s because of my background outside of manufacturing. Some people get too hung up on that six sigma level and 3.4 defects per million and they conclude Six Sigma methodology can’t apply to their processes where 95%, 75%, or even 50% success rates seem (and may very well be) unattainable. They need someone to explain to them that Six was a good level to settle on at the time for the people who were involved, but that as a name for a business strategy and quality methodology it’s arbitrary.

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#107643

Ward
Participant

Don’t complicate things.
the word Six sigma is related to statistical quality control. No argument there.
Sigma stands for deviation(standard deviation).  Yes “sigma” refers to standard deviation, but “Process Sigma” refers to “Process Capability”.  “Process Sigma” is also an estimate of the short term capability of a process based on it’s performance over the long term.  If  I wish to estimate the Process Sigma (short term) and all I have is long term defect data, I add 1.5 to my Z value.
For instance, if a process yield is 84%, then I fail about 16% of the time.  Look up .16 in a Z-table and you will get a Z Value of about 1.  Look uu 84% yield in a Process Sigma table and you will get a Process Sigma value of about 2.5  Welcome to the world of the 1.5 Sigma Shift.  The Z value and the Process sigma differ by 1.5 sigma.
If a a process were truly operating at +/- Six Sigma, it would have about 2 defects per billion opportunities.
According to normal probability distribution , a spread of –six times sigma— is equal to probability of 99.7% ( or 3.4 defects per million opportunities)  You are wrong regarding the normal distribution, and wrong again in it’s application.  +/- 3 standard deviations is 99.7% or 27 failures out of 1000.  Six standard deviations refers to the distance between the mean and the nearest specification, which is would be 2 failures out of a billion.

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#107644

RubberDude
Member

“In the early and mid-1980s with Chairman Bob Galvin at the helm, Motorola engineers decided that the traditional quality levels — measuring defects in thousands of opportunities — didn’t provide enough granularity. Instead, they wanted to measure the defects per million opportunities.”
Sounds to me like some necessary or intrinsic factors at play.
In your original posting, you seemed to imply that the six in Six Sigma was a number chosen at random.  You also said, “They need someone to explain to them that Six was a good level to settle on at the time for the people who were involved, but that as a name for a business strategy and quality methodology it’s arbitrary.”  But I still will stress that this was and is NOT an arbitrary figure that Motorola “settled on.”  Statisticians will tell you that the six sigma level of performance is attainable and the best figure to work towards in any process – manufacturing or other.
I do agree that the “required level” stated by management, sales, or the customer may be other than six sigma.  Some of these requirements may be arbitrary or out of misunderstanding of statistical analysis.  Some may be necessary due to regulations or citizenship (as in the safety issue.)  But you will not deter me, nor most of the others here, from the fact that Six Sigma is a methodology based on proven strategies backed by even more statistical evidence.  It is NOT arbitrary.
You do seem to have some statistical knowledge.  But you stated that the “casual reader of the new to six sigma section isn’t going to get (the probablilty vs. actual.)  Just as true is the fact that the casual reader of your original post will think that Six Sigma was just some figure a bunch of consultants pulled out of a hat and wrote a book about.

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#107646

RubberDude
Member

Yes, Twelve Sigma (Cpk = 4.0) would be “really good.”  However, since this figure is based on process output vs. customer requirements (tolerance), then you can not make the statement that the cost would be “a lot.”
Also, I think you have Six Sigma methodology and Cp confused.
Stan…. I can’t believe you haven’t responded.  Either you are tied up in meetings, or you are doing what I’m about to do…… throw up my hands and give up talking to a brick wall…….

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#107650

Mike Carnell
Participant

KB,
Yes the bar will rise that is why we doa thing called continuous improvement. Lets all try to get to six for a while.
Interesting interpretation of the chart. Lets turn that around. If it shows you how bad you will do (which it doesn’t) it also shows you why you need to be there to even be remotely viable if you have hundreds of thousands of parts. Then we can assess how many products have hundreds of thousands of parts.
Just my opinion.
Good luck.

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#107651

KBailey
Participant

>Statisticians will tell you that the six sigma level of performance is attainable and the best figure to work towards in any process – manufacturing or other.
Is that so? What about the process of running a campaign for elective office? Or completing a pass in the NFL? Or the process of pitching a strike in baseball? What about a mass marketing process, where TV viewers and the output is people walking into your store?
Two big reasons off the top of my head why Six Sigma won’t be the best level to work for in some processes: 1) competition striving to produce an output which is incompatible with your objective, 2) human involvement inherent to a process (sales, marketing, hiring, etc.) Both come down to some combination of too many factors that are too difficult to measure adequately and that interact in too complex of a way, and which even if you could measure and model adequately you still wouldn’t be able to control well enough.
Some day, MAYBE someone will be able to achieve a sigma level of 6 in sales and marketing. That’s still not going to address the situation where competing parties are vying to achieve different and incompatible outputs. Six Sigma tools and methodology can still be invaluable, even if Six isn’t an attainable sigma level.

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#107652

mcintosh
Participant

Rubberdude,
Depending on the current process output vs. the desired customer requirements, the cost may be higher.
One thing I always say is that the business determines the need for increased sigma level through a Lean/Sigma project, not the GB / BB / Stats groups.  Don’t pay \$1 more to increase the sigma level unless the return is significantly greater over a period agreed to by Finance.  If the process can support the customer specs, fine. If not,  evaluate the cost of attaining the required specs vs. the \$ benefit and move it up the food chain.

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#107653

KBailey
Participant

RubberDude,
For the record, my statistical knowledge pales in comparison to that of Stan and some of the other folks on here. I’m going to use a dirty word here, but I’d say I have more of an “intuitive” understanding of the implications of a concept, or how it can apply to a wide range of problems.
Given the right tools, I can handle the basics. If you need the intensive statistical analysis… where’s that Stan guy when you need him? (I’m also surprised he hasn’t responded for so long. I hope he hasn’t flipped out too badly over some of my statements.)

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#107654

New
Participant

I suggest that this type of question should be replied by ISIXSIGMA moderator. If there is so much confusion out there about the name of the program, then …..
Best thing is to look for a previous thread, read some material, and then ….
Why old standard is called 3 Sigma quality?

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#107656

RubberDude
Member

Yes, tom, the cost MAY be “higher”, but the statement I was replying to said the cost WOULD be “high.”  My point there was that “high” was not always correct.  It may be that the standard process performs well within the customer’s requirement level at a very low cost.
And, yes, business should determine the “need” for sigma level increases.  That’s what Six Sigma methodology is all about…. searching for those project that will have “large” returns from an increased sigma level (six sigma is a goal.)
As for the \$ benefits, do you not ever consider the hidden benefits such as customer retention, etc. that may not be easily measured, but do contribute dollars to the bottom line?  Sometimes it’s good to “break even” or even have a “loss” if the “soft” money will boost the bottom line.
I would argue that many top companies would not be “top companies” if they didn’t “pay \$1 more to increase the sigma level” when the return was not clearly significantly greater and agreed to by Finance.
I have intimate knowledge of two companies that had the same attitude/philosopy you have about that…. and both of them went “belly up” because the competition DID spend the extra \$……

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#107657

RubberDude
Member

Your “intuitive knowledge” has failed you in the Six Sigma arena.  I suspect you do have an understanding of statistical analysis, but don’t know a lot about the Six Sigma system or how it works.
Yes, Stan does have a lot of knowledge and experience in Six Sigma.  And I won’t try to bull#### my way into making you believe I am an expert.  But I will say that many of the comments I see here come from misinformed people who have not read or studied the Six Sigma methodology and think it’s just another “flavor of the month.” and then, for some reason, want everyone else to think they know all about SS.
“Oh, ye of little faith….”

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#107658

mcintosh
Participant

Rubberdude,
I had almost put the soft cost input in my earlier reply.  As you are  aware, potential soft costs are intangible and difficult to quantify.  We estimate soft costs in our COPQ. The COPQ, which contains hard/soft costs is initially reviewed / approved by Finance at the start of the project and validated at the end of the project.  Savings are tracked monthly for one year post completion to determine if the savings are accurate.
In regards to the dollar investment, we provide the data, the business determines the risk and the return.  I agree that a loss leader here and there is acceptable as long as it has a favorable impact on the total business arrangement with the customer.  Too many break evens or loss leaders also is the demise of many companies, especially with increased labor / material / insurance increases.
We use SS in DMAIC / Transactional / DFSS / and Process Validation in conjunction with Lean, we prefer to use the term value versus return.  Value for us and our customers. It’s gotta make sense for both of us.

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#107660

KBailey
Participant

>many of the comments I see here come from misinformed people who have not read or studied the Six Sigma methodology and think it’s just another “flavor of the month.” and then, for some reason, want everyone else to think they know all about SS.
What does this have to do with my remarks? I thought we were talking about the name, not the value or longevity of 6 Sigma.

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#107661

RubberDude
Member

Tom,
I agree…. well stated……
Just as in anything, too many or too few is never a good thing…
In my case, I (and my collegues) have always searched for the “optimum value” and “value added” for the customer.  Return is what the accountants want to see (in my organizations in the past – I’m fairly new in my position now.)  I’ve never been able to talk very much at all about soft money to the bean counters in the organizations I’ve worked for in the past.  Even when I could attempt to track soft money, they were never convinced that things like increased sales were due to anything done by the quality or engineering group.  It was always a good job by the sales guys.
Anyway, with that off my chest…… I think we are in agreement.

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#107662

RubberDude
Member

I think if you read your posting # 55243, my statement has EVERYTHING to do with your remarks……..

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#107663

Carl
Participant

Why is this so hard to understand?
Does this help?
https://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c010101a.asp

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#107665

KBailey
Participant

Rubber, I’m even more confused now.
I’m saying that Six Sigma also has great potential value in areas where a sigma level of six probably is never going to be attainable – including politics, sales, marketing, sports, etc. How does that tie to your comment about posters who see SS as a “flavor of the month?”
Six Sigma isn’t the end – it’s the means to the objective of competitive advantage and the goal of long term success. Either a) you’ll never reach a sigma level of 6 or b) you and the competition will both reach it. Six Sigma isn’t just about striving for a sigma level of 6 through DMAIC and DFSS, it’s also about redefining your CTQs and metrics based on what drives “customer’s” decisions and expectation levels in order to achieve competitive advantage – regardless of what you see as the “ideal” sigma level to aim for. If Six Sigma were just about striving to someday reach a sigma level of 6, then it would be a “flavor of the month.”

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#107670

Ech
Participant

Thought it originated on the golf course by a bunch of guys who were sick of diminishing returns:

0
#107673

Participant

Mike,
Breakthrough strategy?
From times immemorial (and through common sense), we have used the familiar cycle of identifying a problem, putting metrics around it, making a CBA, brainstorming for solutions and finally implementing one (you would have done it too). We then put in reports and Incident reports etc to monitor the process and look for improvements. The people responsible have been those who want to get things done and are perhaps accountable for good performance. The management is always interested in good initiatives and they are being played as the villains for ever !
For the above processes, we have always used cause and effect (fishbone) diagrams, flow charts, histograms, pareto analysis, process maps, architecture diagrams, test models, SLA documents, training programs, market surveys etc.
What’s causing all the fuss. Is it the question of top management support? Is it the question of tools? Is it the question of techniques? Is it the question of jargon and buzzwords?
We have had all this before and we still have them. Do we mean to say that Six Sigma is different from what we already know? That we will be lost without the buzz words and the multicoloured belts?
Why not just do our jobs and minimise problems through the core concepts? (unless you need to join the jargon bandwagon). What do we need Six Sigma for? We are still doing it even without the label, right?
Manish
([email protected])

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#107676

Ech
Participant

Surely you know whats causing all the fuss….consultants!
Consultants have repackaged and resold the concepts and tools and theories with warm fuzzy familiar terms and colors and are still laughing all the way to the bank.
The 2000’s will be remembered as the year of the consultants., and the biggest waste trying to prevent waste.

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#107680

Mike Carnell
Participant

Manish,
Yes, breakthrough strategy. Before you start rambling about what all this fuss and time immemorial you need to go read about the difference between control and breakthrough. Rather than trying to sound like another one of those time tested hardened veterans who has seen it all you will find that it may be that little piece of information you missed that was documented in 1964.
Instead of telling everyone all about what you know take a couple minutes and read at least the first 2 chapters of “Managerial Breakthrough” by Juran. You will understand the difference.
I am not sure where the villianous management came from. I see a lot more damage done by the old guard and their tales of the good old days and all the stuff they did (not much in the way of hard tools in your list by the way – lots of that lovefest stuff though). It’s history and its business. Quoting Gordon Gecko “What have you done for me today sport?”
Good luck.

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#107681

Mike Carnell
Participant

Ech,
Amazingly wenough you managed to say spmething even more stupid than Manish.
Good luck.

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#107683

Mike Carnell
Participant

Tom,
Of course the cost will be higher. The minute someone looks at the process you have incurred additional cost. It isn’t about cost it is about Return on Investment (ROI). Why would anyone mindlessly charter a project without some idea of what it will cost versus what it will payback (even if it is soft dollars)? Every project should be a business decision before a “belt” sees it.
Good luck.

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#107691

Velasquez
Participant

Hi Mike,
I  think people sometimes try to make Six Sigma seem complicated and overly technical.
As the one who followed most closely in his footsteps, Marjorie Hook is well-positioned to speculate about Bill Smith’s take on the 2003 version of Six Sigma. “Today I think people sometimes try to make Six Sigma seem complicated and overly technical,” she said. “His approach was, ‘If you want to improve something, involve the people who are doing the job.’ He always wanted to make it simple so people would use it.”

Rgds,
Martin

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#107703

KBailey
Participant

One of my favorite things about Six Sigma is that if companies do it right, they can eliminate most of the need to bring in those expensive consultants.
Instead, some management teams take the approach of cutting heads and driving productivity to the extent that the don’t allow their own people to spend any time on process improvement – let alone develop their knowledge and skills in that direction. Then they go out and bring in expensive consultants to figure out what they and their people could have figured out for themselves at a lower cost if they’d simply put together a plan and had the discipline to carry it out.
IMHO, this is a breakdown in leadership. Management, in such organizations, is too busy wheeling and dealing to actually lead – or otherwise effectively manage – their areas of responsibility.

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#107709

Peppe
Participant

Very nice post, Kbailey. Fully agree.
Just a question: are you a consultant ?
Best regards, Peppe

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#107710

Mikel
Member

I agree 100%.

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#107712

Dog Sxxt
Participant

The management can put the blame solely on “expensive consultants” if thing screw-up!

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#107713

KBailey
Participant

Am I a consultant? I wish!

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#107715

Peppe
Participant

Do you whish ?
You aren’t on the “right way” to become it …..

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#107717

KBailey
Participant

I WHISH. Kinda. Kinda not.
A previous supervisory position I had, about 95% of what my team did was reworking billing defects for both paper and EDI billing. My goal was to eliminate the need for us to exist. We never got to that point, but with some fair management support we did make some progress.
Good consultants should look at it similarly. Managers are never going to be perfect – they’ll always need outside resources to help them. It’s a question of whether the consultants are going to catch them a fish or teach them to fish.

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#107720

Mikel
Member

I agree 100%.

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#107722

Mike Carnell
Participant

KB,
If you want to be a consultant hang out your shingle. I see a lot of comments about it and there isn’t anything stopping you since you know how to do it “right.”
As far as expensive. What does that mean? There is investment criteria in every company I have worked with. As long as the payback is in line with anyother investment then it is not expensive. It is an investment just like anything else. We have made the offers to do deployments on every continent in the world today (except Antarctica) for a percent of savings. They measure the savings not us. There has never been a contract written by us yet.
There is a consulting company who wrote one (%of savings). They got stiffed when it came time to pay the bill because it was “expensive.”
We saw a project produce \$18 million on an annual payback. The incentive scheme (not for consultants) was 1%. The company gets \$18 million and the people get \$180,000 to split for the team and it offended the sensibilities because it was percieved as “expensive.”
It is an old and tired song and dance. You don’t have to be a spectator. If you know how to do it right get in the game and show someone.

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#107724

ong
Member

This book which you can find here (https://www.isixsigma.com/ebooks/) explains what Six Sigma is and it also discusses the 1.5 Sigma shift in great detail.

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#107766

RubberDude
Member

You are only confused by your own postings.  You keep saying things that contradict yourself.  You make a statement then when someone trys to correct you, you claim you already know that….. make up your mind.
I still don’t think you grasp the real concept of the Six Sigma methodology, but perhaps you just are just not as articulate as you should be.
Now…….I’m done with this subject.

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#107773

Rubberdutbeede
Member

I retract my earlier posting.  Very articulate there…..
I agree also, except for one thing.  I wouldn’t call it “driving productivity.”  In most of the cases I’m acquainted with, management calls it “boosting efficiencies” by “demanding more output in less time.”  I’m sure that’s what you are talking about.
Oh… and I’m sure the “wheeling and deealing” you are referring to are the kickbacks and perks from customers such as golf outings, expensive drinks and dinners at exotic men’s clubs, etc. etc.
Oops…. did I say that?

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#107788

KBailey
Participant

I think we’re talking about the same thing. Regardless of what euphemism management uses, if it involves getting people to work harder, take shorter breaks, eat lunch at their desk while they work (or skip it completely), and/or work longer days – I call it driving productivity. In my book, boosting efficiency means that you improve a process to accomplish more with less actual work – not just less dollars.
For the record – wheeling and dealing to me includes legitimate selling and deal-making. If senior management is neglecting the parts of the business that actually deliver customer value, it’s a problem even if they are being ethical in their dealings.

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#107791

Participant

This is amuses me. This thread began in sept. 2003. Interesting

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#107840

sweettalker
Member

That’s what happens when people search past threads for the info they’re seeking – as the forum rules instruct.

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#107842

agreed…
Participant

Agreed.   Searching the forum for past answers to your current questions is a good thing.

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#108224

Participant

Mike,
Don’t get me wrong. I work with Six Sigma tools and  techniques too. And we have saved almost a couple of million dollars in the past year alone. I don’t doubt the value of it at all.
What I am questioning is the buzzwords and the “jargonizing” that has happened lately. I am observing that when I start to explain what needs to be done to newbies, I inevitably get started on stuff that is based on common sense.
And the bad side effect will be that the familiar tools and techniques that have now gained a linkage with Six Sigma may be devlaued.
Hope I explained it better now.
Manish

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