The Cove Business Standards Discussion Forums More Free Files Forum Discussion Thread Post Attachments Listing Cove Discussion Forums Main Page
UL - Underwriters Laboratories - Health Sciences
Go Back   The Elsmar Cove Business Systems and Standards Discussion Forums > Common Quality Assurance Processes and Tools > Six Sigma
Forum Username

Elsmar Cove Forum Visitor Notice(s)

Wooden Line

Six Sigma - The Beginnings and History

Elsmar XML RSS Feed
Elsmar Cove Forum RSS Feed

Monitor the Elsmar Forum
Sponsor Links

Courtesy Quick Links

Links that Cove visitors will find useful in your quest for knowledge:

International Standards Bodies - World Wide Standards Bodies

ASQ - American Society for Quality

International Standards Organization - ISO Standards and Information

International Quality Services

Marcelo Antunes'
SQR Consulting, and
Medical Devices Expert Forum

Bob Doering
Bob Doering's Blogs and,
Correct SPC - Precision Machining

Ajit Basrur
Claritas Consulting, LLC

NIST's Engineering Statistics Handbook

IRCA - International Register of Certified Auditors

SAE - Society of Automotive Engineers

Quality Digest

IEST - Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology

Some Related Topic Tags (Not all threads are Tagged)
history, motorola, ppm (parts per million), six sigma (general)
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 3.00 average. Display Modes
  Post Number #1  
Old 9th July 1998, 02:12 PM
David McGan

Total Posts: 45
Read This! Six Sigma - The Beginnings and History

How would the "Six Sigma" philosophy be best quantified? "Statistical technique", Continuous Improvement activity, Lean Manufacturing, or "all of the above?"

Sponsored Links
  Post Number #2  
Old 11th July 1998, 01:38 AM
Marc's Avatar

Total Posts: 25,731
I don't know about lean manufactuiring, but 6 sigma fits Statistical Techniques and Continuous Improvement.


-> Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 17:44:22 -0400
-> From: Dan Rand
-> Subject: 6 Sigma history
-> Let me add another perspective to Six Sigma. IBM executives started
-> visiting Motorola headquarters shortly after they won their Baldrige, to
-> benchmark and pick up some of their quality practices. First on the list
-> was Six Sigma. I was an internal statistical methods consultant and
-> quality engineer at IBM in Rochester, MN at this time. We were forced to
-> adapt Six Sigma at our site, even though we had the same concerns that have
-> been listed in recent discussions in this forum. Six Sigma was present, but
-> not dominant, by the time our IBM site won a Baldrige in 1990.
-> Six Sigma was being implemented corporate-wide at the insistence of some
-> highly placed IBM executives. There were complaints and discussions
-> throughout IBM until the leading technologist in the company called 15-20
-> statisticians and quality managers together to publish a position paper on
-> Six Sigma. We were encouraged to believe that our opinions and factual
-> evidence were going to get a hearing.
-> We expressed concern with Motorola s misuse of statistical terms, the thin
-> theoretical and practical evidence for the 1.5 sigma shift, and the dubious
-> means of counting defects and opportunities for defects. Our position
-> paper was finally regarded as too disruptive to IBM s progress in defect
-> reduction, which management wanted to credit to Six Sigma policies. The
-> position paper was never distributed beyond the team that created it.
-> Six Sigma is rarely mentioned around IBM anymore. It quietly disappeared
-> with the radical downsizing that took place from 1991-93, even though it
-> was always touted as not just another quality program. I believe its
-> disappearance did occur primarily because many of its champions either left
-> IBM, or had too many higher priorities left to cover. I left IBM in the
-> downsizing, along with 80statisticians).
-> Most interestingly, when I have run across Motorola employees in the years
-> since, they consistently state that there is still a passionate pursuit of
-> defect reduction and quality improvement at Motorola, which more or less
-> still occurs under the banner of Six Sigma. We might dismiss the whole Six
-> Sigma approach as sloganism, but we must realize that large corporations
-> necessarily put a simple label on programs that they want to implement
-> corporate-wide. Seemingly, everyone in Motorola knows just what you are
-> talking about when you mention Six Sigma, even if it is different than what
-> we quality experts and statisticians know it is. Their quality improvement
-> process has stood the test of time.
-> IBM could not sustain its Six Sigma program, probably because of business
-> factors. Every organization and their circumstances are a little
-> different. I respect General Electric s CEO and their attempt to fully
-> embrace quality improvement. They may succeed if they get their entire
-> workforce to approach quality improvement with a simple, tools oriented,
-> common sense process underneath the slogan of Six Sigma.
-> Daniel R. Rand
-> Consultant, Rand Quality Technologies
Sponsored Links

  Post Number #3  
Old 14th July 1998, 11:45 AM
David McGan

Total Posts: 45
Thanks, Marc, for the information from IBM. Although I had heard a little about 6 Sigma and its successes in the past (mostly associated with Motorola), I'm trying to get much more intimately acquainted with it since my company's President asked me to. So far, I've seen much more of the "mixed emotions" as reported by IBM staffers than completely positive reports. I'm attending a 6-Sigma symposium next week and so should hear plenty of the "pros" of 6-sigma. However, I would also welcome additional input from the less biased "real world." That way, I can make the most informed recommendation as to the direction our company should proceed. We certainly don't want to foster a "flavor of the month" perception with our team members.
  Post Number #4  
Old 14th July 1998, 02:01 PM
Marc's Avatar

Total Posts: 25,731
I know I went into this at length somewhere but I can't find where. I included the snippet as it pretty well states a view I feel has to be considered - one specific is the 'theroetical' 1.5 sigma shift which very, very often comes up. There are some real strong opinions on that shift.

I do have a copy of an internal Motorola booklet titled "Six Sigma Process Control" from 1993 but I can't post it or copy it because it's proprietary - internal to Motorola. It's almost 50 pages and is really informative. It's sorta a short version of a book I have from IBM's Quality Institute (approx. 200 pages). Both take a high level approace but IBM's is more extensive (even covers Design of Experiments!)

Anyway, hope the info helps. If you have an friends internal to Motorola you might try to pry a copy of their book. I got the IBM book some years ago (it's from November 1984) and can't remember where. It's a good one.

The point is - both books give parts of what QS9000 lingo calls APQP - which is just a good, sound business system - from product conception / contract review to end of product life. I can't stress highly enough the importance of a robust (for lack of a better word) design 'phase'. If you fail that phase control and things like 6 sigma won't mean much - you cripple yourself early.

Phew - I gotta get back to work!
  Post Number #5  
Old 8th May 1999, 01:50 PM
Marc's Avatar

Total Posts: 25,731
Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 15:40:58 -0400
From: RNav
Subject: Re: FW: Six Sigma

In a message dated 4/27/99 11:36:44 AM, NML writes:

>Dear Mr Robert,
> we are a flow control equipment manufacturing
>engineering company with ISO 1901 accreditation. Two years ago we have
>started BPR in a big way and concentrated to improve key processes. How
>ever we have not improved the quality management process. Of late we
>have started getting more customer complaints signaling that quality is
>going down.
> can you throw some clarification on the following?
>* what are the organizational pre requisites to start the
> six sigma process?
>* is there any guide book that is practical and
>implementation oriented?
>* what role training should play in propagating six sigma
>Thanks &regards
>Senior Deputy General Manager(BPR)
>CHENNAI-600 089

BPR is an interesting phenomenon. It is a powerful technique, but if not implement by including those you are being BPR'd, chaos can result, since bad feelings can be generated in the whole organization. But I stray:

"However we have not improved the quality management process. Of late we have started getting more customer complaints signaling that quality is going down."

With this statement, my take is that you BPR'd some processes, but never looked at how management works. If you change the processes, but management doesn't change they way they manage, that can lead to a lot of trouble. The new process may rely on a certain level of autonomy, and reduced cycle times. If management doesn't adjust to that, you just get into trouble at a reduced cycle time. In this aspect, I would focus management on having proper measures (unbiased by politics), reviewed periodically (monthly is good), and action plans to close gaps. This is essentially a page from Demings PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle for improvement).

"can you throw some clarification on the following? * what are the organizational pre requisites to start the six sigma process?"

The prerequisites are the same for any other type of systematic process improvement effort; *management understand of the changes that the new system will require *management leadership in implementing the change *unwaivering support when the road gets a little bumpy during the change *a focus on the process and achievable results, early wins help in the change process

"* is there any guide book that is practical and implementation oriented?"

I am currently not aware of a book, though I think some are in the offering. Motorola University has some books that may help. I would check with Amazon and check their offerings too. I would also review any and all books on change management. "The TEAM Handbook" by Peter Scholtes is a good implementation tools and a good overview.

"* what role training should play in propagating six sigma movement?"

It is absolutely vital. GE trains all managers who want to pursue a promotion and career with the company. They have three levels of training for their managers. One is "Black Belts" who receive extensive training (4 months of classroom and practical) and implementation experience. They have a 2 yr tour as a Black Belt and then move into a managers position and are expected to use what they learned in their new position. The other two levels are variations of OJT (On the Job Training).

The current practice is to train a select few for implementation and used them in a dedicated role to improve the business and train others in the methodology.

I hope this helps.

P.S. - In western culture, the last name is the family name, so to be formal and proper, the address would read Mr. Drensek, the informal would be Robert, but I usually go by Bob.

Robert Drensek, CQE, CQA, CRE, CMI
Quality Engineer
  Post Number #6  
Old 10th May 1999, 10:40 AM
Don Winton's Avatar
Don Winton

Total Posts: 484
Good post!

Although I cannot recommend any of the titles (I have not read them), a lot of six sigma publications can be found at:

***DEAD LINK REMOVED*** - Link was:


Just the ramblings of an Old Wizard Warrior.

Last edited by Marc; 10th October 2011 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Dead link removed.
  Post Number #7  
Old 25th January 2000, 12:16 AM

Total Posts: n/a

One could achieve 100 sigma, (that's lots more sigmas than 6!), yet if the product you are producing cannot tolerate temperature changes, for example, then you will quickly be out of business. This is but one of the many flaws in this compilation of management, and statistical tools.

I have found the six sigma program to be a repackaged set of tools that did not work very will the first time around, and not likely to work the second. Mostly devoid of engineering and cost considerations, I find it problematic for use in hi-tech industry.
  Post Number #8  
Old 28th January 2000, 05:52 PM
Sam's Avatar

Total Posts: 1,444
I Say... Six Sigma

An article in the recent (winter) issue of "Automotive Excellence" concerning Six sigma states that 3 sigma produces 66,807 defects per million.
I'm confused, I always thought 3 sigma was approximately 2700 PPM. Is there a different way of selecting these figures, or was I just wrong all this time?


Lower Navigation Bar
Go Back   The Elsmar Cove Business Systems and Standards Discussion Forums > Common Quality Assurance Processes and Tools > Six Sigma


Visitors Currently Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 Registered Visitors (Members) and 1 Unregistered Guest Visitors)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Forum Search
Display Modes Rate Thread Content
Rate Thread Content:

Forum Posting Settings
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Emoticons are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Discussion Threads
Discussion Thread Title Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post or Poll Vote
Confusion DPU, PPM & DPMO vs. Sigma Level - ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt hand book Stephane Dubreuil Six Sigma 14 16th October 2014 01:09 PM
Device History Record - Single file for each lot with all the lots history? Dudes 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 8 11th August 2009 10:44 AM
6 Sigma - Trainer! We need someone to conduct on site 6 Sigma Green Belt training Jim Robinson Training - Internal, External, Online and Distance Learning 3 20th December 2004 05:43 PM
Change History: What Documents Need a History? gheghe Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 34 14th January 2004 07:52 AM
Document History Question - Is it 'legal' to distribute without copy of history? aastal Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 6 29th December 2003 04:25 PM

The time now is 08:20 PM. All times are GMT -4.
Your time zone can be changed in your UserCP --> Options.


NOTE: This forum uses "Cookies"