Body of Knowledge for Lean Manufacturing

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#11
I'm not sure there is much disagreement about the Body of Knowledge contained in the ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Program
Six Sigma Black Belt Body of Knowledge (PDF, 35 KB)

There is, however, a great deal of controversy about the application of the BOK in an actual operating organization. (As Vince Lombardi was often quoted, "Execution, Excecution, Execution!")

Part of the controversy evolves from the situation where several "consultants" set themselves up as the EXPERTS in 6S and proceeded to operate schools and training courses before ASQ got into the picture.

Unlike some, I have a healthy respect for the ASQ SSBB BOK, but not much respect for some folks who seem to me to be misapplying the concepts contained in the BOK.

I don't intend for this thread to devolve to a 6S shootout, but I do want to suggest that I would be willing to entertain a new thread to discuss the ASQ SSBB BOK, without the personal slurs at ineffectual practitioners. (Actually, the proscription against personal slurs would have to be aimed mainly at me, because I have very little patience with folks who set themselves up as experts in 6S, but would be unable to pass the ASQ SSBB certification exam.)
 
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Rob Nix

#13
I again feel like Tevia, in Fiddler on the Roof, in saying, "you are both right", or at least that I agree with both "sides" of this discussion.

On the one hand, I can understand taking a tool or concept that has evolved higgledy-piggledy and creating an outline of common understanding and practice. Even current texts on SPC have gradually come to common conventions (e.g. how many points to a trend, uses of moving range, etc.) from inconspicous origins used in different companies in different ways. Even the guilds of the past sought agreement in methodologies throughout their respective trades.

However, I am also loath to support a "Body of Knowledge" (BOK) for a tool, concept, or methodology. I fear that having a BOK will lead to having yet another certification. Yikes! CLEE (certified lean enterprise engineer). Already, the perfectly fine CQE has been overshadowed by a subset (yes I mean subset) of that BOK, namely six sigma. That would be like the Cobbler's Guild have a BOK on lace threading. Let's stop encouraging that pattern.
 
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Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#17
That's a really valid criticism, Rob. It cuts through a lot of the fog. I absolutely agree that there are no new tools in 6S, but the 6S crew have been absolutely masterful at getting buy-in and dollars out of top management at a variety of organizations, ranging from hard core manufacturing to service organizations like banks.

Perhaps Lean, which has no real new tools, could be similarly successful at catching the eye of top management to get them to loosen purse strings.

Sometimes, just sometimes, seeming familiarity with tried and true methods makes them seem less valuable to folks cloistered in their ivory towers. Do we keep to our old rut and let the other folks take our tools, wrap them in a new package and beat us over the head with them as they curry favor with the guys in the executive suite?

Maybe some folks like beating their heads against brick walls and becoming frustrated when Joe Somebody Else gets more pay and glory than they do.:frust:

One of the first things I would do with Lean is dump ALL the Japanese terminology and acronyms and stick to plain English terminology to make the entire system more accessible to non-geeks. Deming said (paraphrasing) "Dump slogans, mottos, exhortations, remove fear, and gain profound knowledge about your operation."

Anytime we set a system to create an "us vs. them" situation, we are adding a level of dissension to the mix. Note that ASQ is not charging for a copy of the BOK, unlike ISO which charges for a copy of the Standards it creates. Is there a difference between a Standard for a Management System and a BOK for a "subset" of established Quality tools? What do you think?
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#18
Wes Bucey said:
I'm not sure there is much disagreement about the Body of Knowledge contained in the ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Program
You're kidding, right?

Wes Bucey said:
Part of the controversy evolves from the situation where several "consultants" set themselves up as the EXPERTS in 6S and proceeded to operate schools and training courses before ASQ got into the picture.
So the problem isn't that ASQ jumped on the bandwagon, the problem is those pesky consultants who had the temerity to proceed without the imprimatur of the (naked) emperor.

Wes Bucey said:
I don't intend for this thread to devolve to a 6S shootout,
Then don't provoke one.
Wes Bucey said:
but I do want to suggest that I would be willing to entertain a new thread to discuss the ASQ SSBB BOK, without the personal slurs at ineffectual practitioners.
With you defining what constitutes an "ineffectual practioner"?

Wes Bucey said:
(Actually, the proscription against personal slurs would have to be aimed mainly at me, because I have very little patience with folks who set themselves up as experts in 6S, but would be unable to pass the ASQ SSBB certification exam.)
Suggestion: The suggested thread, conceived as it was with the assumption that the ASQ BOK is unassailable, would be better for the ASQ's own forums.
 
Q

qualitygoddess - 2010

#19
Well, this has certainly been an interesting read. I'll admit to getting a little tired....

Wes, I would actually be interested in following (and possibly contributing to) a discussion regarding what constitutes 'good' lean information vs. 'bad' lean information. In my own personal quest to learn more about lean, I would appreciate the opportunity to hear from busy lean practitioners, as opposed to my occasional dabbling in 5S and value stream maps. I think we all have valid opinions and ideas. It is up to the recipient to sort out what is useful.

I will refrain from commenting on the creation of a BoK. The engine is in neutral.

I will certainly go to the ASQ forums. I will watch this thread, or perhaps a new thread that will re-focus efforts on the topic. Not everyone goes to ASQ forums, for a variety of reasons.
 
Q

qualitygoddess - 2010

#20
Rob Nix said:
Already, the perfectly fine CQE has been overshadowed by a subset (yes I mean subset) of that BOK, namely six sigma. That would be like the Cobbler's Guild have a BOK on lace threading. Let's stop encouraging that pattern.
I do have to comment back to Rob. Bravo! Couldn't agree more. :topic:

--QG
 
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