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Six Sigma Is No Longer Enough - How does this 6 Sigma article affect us? - Page 6

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  #41  
Old 8th June 2004, 01:28 PM
Rob Nix's Avatar
Rob Nix

 
 
Posts: 656
This is tending to become wearisome.

KMAAA,

While I appreciate your directness and respect your training, you must be careful not to insult the intelligence of the many here at the Cove with decades of learning and experience in Quality Assurance, re. "unlike most/all here I've had the training.

The body of knowledge (BOK) for 6S is strikingly similar to the BOK for CQEs. Many of those HERE have indeed been trained in most of the topics and tools adopted in the 6S world. Examples include management models ("foundations of six sigma") from Deming, Juran, et al, voice of the customer techniques such as QFD, team dynamics, probability & statistics (including SPC), problem solving techniques (Pareto, scatter, histograms, etc.), process capability, hypothesis testing, design of experiment, lean thinking, FMEA,... SHALL I GO ON?

Most here have used these tools for years AND SEE THEIR LONG TERM EFFECTIVENESS! Your agreement with the HYPE surrounding 6S is exactly where the concern we have with "short term" focus lies. Everthing PUBLISHED about 6S speaks of "savings in one year", or "this one project saved us $XXX,XXX". What about the long-term effects of the entire program? I have yet to see a report lauding 6S that subtracts the cost of training black belts, retaining consultants, or the cost of failed projects.

As far as the alphabet soup of acronyms go, DMAIC, DIDOV, DFSS, PDCA, PDSA, whatever methodology works for whatever company uses them is fine. They ALL are very logical under a variety of differing circumstances.

I AM NOT saying that 6S is "not any good", in fact, all of the tools used in 6S are great. I have used them with success. The question is, was 6S successful? or were the tools (which predate 6S) successful?

Please do not respond to perceived vagueness with more vagueness.

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  #42  
Old 8th June 2004, 01:45 PM
ralphsulser's Avatar
ralphsulser

 
 
Posts: 1,573
KMAAA,
What else is to be "learned" by continuing to badger Steve.
Give it a rest
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  #43  
Old 8th June 2004, 06:55 PM
KMAAA

 
 
Posts: 35
Al,
Not changing the subject...as Steve mentions, I'm just asking the same questions in hopes of getting an answer with some meat in it.

Steve,
As before, we'll agree to disagree & that's OK. No harm intended on my part. It's a big world & would be pretty boring if everyone felt the same way.

Rob,
No disrespect intended. I realize there is plenty of talent here. Actually, this is why I'm seeking the level of response that I am. I have a real chance to learn something, though it seems it isn't forthcoming (on this topic). The 'training' I referred to was specifically 6S training, which seems to be hard to come by here...I understand it is not new, only perhaps the combined BOK may be new(er).

From what I've seen, I'd agree that "The body of knowledge (BOK) for 6S is strikingly similar to the BOK for CQEs". This is part of the disconnect for me. How can CQE basically be 6S and yet CQE works, but 6S doesn't?

"Everything PUBLISHED about 6S speaks of "savings in one year"" This is where my statement "I've had the training" comes in. Marketeering press does not equal actual 6S philosophy & practice...rather the press is like any marketeering dribble...say whatever is necessary to make a sale. It would probably be better to restate the view that 6S is "fatally flawed" as "the marketeering claims surrounding 6S are fatally flawed". This would be an accurate statement.

"As far as the alphabet soup of acronyms go, DMAIC, DIDOV, DFSS, PDCA, PDSA, whatever methodology works for whatever company uses them is fine. They ALL are very logical under a variety of differing circumstances." I agree completely & have stated so earlier. Whatever works, works for me. The key is that some program is in place. If 6S gets adopted where other approaches haven't been I don't see this as a terrible thing. More at bats, more hits (TP).


"The question is, was 6S successful? or were the tools (which predate 6S) successful?" Excellent question. Not to be vague, but the question wholly depends on how one defines 6S. Folks seem to key in on 6S being defined by marketeers (i.e. corporations seeking short term profits), I can only define 6S through my direct experience with the training.

If we're going with the marketeer's definition then I'd say the jury is still out (The article that started this discussion is marketeer-speak. The key "experts" saying 6S is passe Desai, Keeley, & Hammer all have alternative approaches to sell. With this, any objectivity regarding 6S flys out the window.) The article mentions "innovation" as a key flaw in 6S. 6S isn't about innovation, it's about execution.

If we're defining 6S by it's philosophy & practice content...then I'd say it is successful...after all, it's just rebaked traditional practice & the success of this is beyond question(apparently).

ralph,
I'm guessing not a lot.

Good discussion, but we're still kicking tires. To be honest I have learned a few things though & that's always a plus.
  #44  
Old 9th June 2004, 01:56 AM
Wes Bucey's Avatar
Wes Bucey

 
 
Posts: 10,961
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by KMAAA

Al,
Not changing the subject...as Steve mentions, I'm just asking the same questions in hopes of getting an answer with some meat in it.

"Everything PUBLISHED about 6S speaks of "savings in one year"" This is where my statement "I've had the training" comes in. Marketeering press does not equal actual 6S philosophy & practice...rather the press is like any marketeering dribble...say whatever is necessary to make a sale.

"The question is, was 6S successful? or were the tools (which predate 6S) successful?" Excellent question. Not to be vague, but the question wholly depends on how one defines 6S. Folks seem to key in on 6S being defined by marketeers (i.e. corporations seeking short term profits), I can only define 6S through my direct experience with the training.

If we're defining 6S by it's philosophy & practice content...then I'd say it is successful...after all, it's just rebaked traditional practice & the success of this is beyond question(apparently).

Good discussion, but we're still kicking tires. To be honest I have learned a few things though & that's always a plus.
Some folks may have guessed I started this thread with the intention of stirring a few laughs and pointing out to many of our Covers that "real people in the outside world" are also beginning to paint 6S with terms like "passe" and "old hat."

Each time KMAAA jumped in at first, I went back to humor, but KMAAA keeps snapping at ankles, so let's take advantage of the facts he states:
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by KMAAA

This is where my statement "I've had the training" comes in.
I can only define 6S through my direct experience with the training.
Tell us, KMAAA, if you will, any or all of the following:
  1. Do you currently hold any of the 6S designations of BB, MBB, or even GB?
  2. Is the certificate from ASQ? If not, from whom?
  3. If you have one of the BB or MBB certificates, did you do a project that saved money using the tools in the 6S holster?
  4. If yes, was the savings over and above the cost of 6S training for personnel involved?
  5. If yes, are the savings continuing in subsequent years, or were they one-time?
  6. Do you still work for the outfit where you used the 6S tools?
  7. What 6S tools do you use in your current job?
Understand that I am not being a smart axx here. I am stone serious. Over in the ASQ Forums, we had a standing offer (over a year and still no reply) for anyone to show us the real net savings from a 6S initiative (after the costs of the 6S training and other implementations.)

If you have these kind of details for us, then redact them to conceal company identity, post them and let us see them as a case study so we can learn and perhaps be induced to incorporate 6S in our own careers.

Now, let me make it plain, so I won't be accused of sandbagging later:
I have studied 6S techniques for over 11 years. I have plenty of Quality initiatives (not 6S certified) which have resulted in substantial, continuing savings year after year. I am an ardent advocate of FMEA and mistake proofing. I am a long-time proponent of lean manufacturing (I also belong to the Advanced Manufacturing Interest Group at ASQ.)

One of the few things I willingly accepted about ISO Standards was the insistance on documentation versus anecdotal evidence. I and others will judge responses by that criteria: Documentation, not anecdotes.
  #45  
Old 9th June 2004, 09:34 AM
Bill Pflanz's Avatar
Bill Pflanz

 
 
Posts: 714
The latest issue of Quality Digest includes an announcement that Six Sigma Management Institute (founded by Mikel Harry) and the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State have created an online registry for Six Sigma practitioners.

The registry "will help provide standards for registry, assessment, training, qualification and certification, as well as access to consulting services for enterprises of any size". The web site www.sixsigmaregistry provides additional information.

Harry is quoted as saying that the registry will establish a global standard for measuring and certifying knowledge and experience levels of practitioners based on Arizona State's curriculum.

Apparently I wasted time and money in getting my SSBB certification through a non-reputable organization like ASQ.

Bill Pflanz
  #46  
Old 9th June 2004, 10:46 AM
KMAAA

 
 
Posts: 35
Sorry Wes,

This post isn't & never was about me & I'm not going to play into your turning it in that direction(good attempt though, if folks can't answer the question I guess re-direction is what's left). If you'd like to, or you feel it's worth it, start a separate thread.

Claims were made here early on that 6S was fatally flawed. In the interest of making effective use of our 'quality' time, I think it's in everyone's best interest to understand the basis for such a claim. I don't think you, me, or anyone else would choose to pursue an errant path if they could avoid it.

I tend to agree with several folks here, this thread has exceeded it's usefulness.
  #47  
Old 9th June 2004, 11:24 AM
Tim Folkerts's Avatar
Tim Folkerts

 
 
Posts: 975
I would argue that "Quality" (whatever flavor is being employed) is not effective at short-term profits, and isn't effective at long term profits. It is effective at "mid-term" profits, so arguing about either short-term or long term effects of quality is at best challenging and at worst misleading.

Short term profits (quartly) can be driven by sudden changes in markets (like the current spike in oil prices). They can be driven by changes in tax codes (like local tax incentives). They can be driven by fads (like consultants in "flavor of the month" quality training). They can be imitated by accounting tricks (Enron!). But most quality programs won't make a big change in in this kind of time frame.

Long term profits (5+ years) are generally due to a innovation, effective leadership, and, yes, a culture of quality. Well-established industries (like oil, steel, agriculture) have few possibilities for innovation or quailty improvement and hence little control over long-term profitability. Tech industries are all about innovation, and profits come and go quickly (the guy who has finally developed an inexpensive, reliable, in control, capable process to make 3.5" floppy drives is not headed for great reward).

Quality typically helps in the mid-term. Quality takes an existing product and makes it a bit better and, hopefully, a bit more profitable. Quality keeps an eye out for potential problems and nips them in the bud.

So I don't know that Steve or KMAAA (or any of the rest of us) are ever going to get a definitive answer. Short term results of quality inititives 1) are self-reported, 2) often exagerated for PR purposes, 3) may overlook training and overhead costs. A "scientific" study of the effectiveness of SS could probably never be done. Perhaps the best measure would be something like the "Baldrige 100". Track the stocks of companies that have implemented SS and see if they perform any differently than their competitors over the course of several years. But that is more work than I want to do right now!



Tim Folkerts


Quality is the "BASF" of engineering -- "We don't make the products you use, we make them better. "
  #48  
Old 9th June 2004, 11:45 AM
Craig H.

 
 
Posts: 2,053
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Bill Pflanz

Harry is quoted as saying that the registry will establish a global standard for measuring and certifying knowledge and experience levels of practitioners based on Arizona State's curriculum.

But why?

One thing that I think I am seeing here is that it is the application of the tools that makes a difference. If we accept that, then can we also agree that different tools fit different circumstances? If yes, then why would a company with an "in house" six sigma (or quality practicioner, or voodoo doctor, whatever) program suddenly agree that the program developed outside of their culture is the one and only way to go. Does this new program sound like "profit protection" to anyone else?

Why should we accept this so-called "global standard"?

Of course, I will agree that the training is very likely better than no training at all.
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