Paradigm Shift in QA? Another View



But is there more to it? Shouldn't we (as a company) be looking at how to continually provide the customer with increased value, by constantly striving to improve our products and/or product line so that we are always providing them with something unexpected. .

Quality should not end in manufacturing numbers but in the customers experiance with the product. Trying to crunch numers to make a better product that no one wants is just as bad as scrap. Just my :2cents:

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
...the vast majority of sensible quality professionals don't seem to understand the danger, and keep saying that it's not SS per se, but poor implementations that are the problem. ...

Let me put it bluntly--SS is slowly strangling the life out of the quality profession, and damaging, perhaps irreparably, the credibility of the profession as a whole.

Sorry Jim, I think this comment swings at the Boogeyman. I see a lot of quality systems, including a lot of 6S and 5S and Lean and...

The systems are tools and programs. The art is still in the hands of the users.

Chainsaws are powerful tools. Some users are artists with their chainsaws, some cut firewood, and others merely injure themselves. It has always been that way for centuries. The tools are not the fault. Today's quality tools are all useful.

But, a newbie should not try to promote his latest chainsaw as "the tool to end all tools." Let us see what work he achieves with it, first, and judge the artist, not the tool. The tools are not radically new methods. They are modified or revamped tools we used in one form or another for years. But, if the new package helps people use it, so be it.

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
I know we have some earnest SS apologists here, and a few of them have used the strategy to good advantage. The problem is that the ratio of earnest devotees to empty-headed bandwagon jumpers is, unfortunately, such that the latter category, who have no data to back up their often outlandish claims of success, have become most visible. For this reason, I believe that even those who practice SS with some measure of verifiable success are tacitly supporting and promoting the know-nothings.

There are always some ernest but poor performers in every area. Even Quality. That is not a fault of the tools. It lies with the users. Skills are our own responsibility to learn, and not everyone takes this responsibility seriously.

The other disturbing thing about the column (which is related to the SS problem) is that Dauten is promoting the idea that short-term gains are better than long-term survival. What he's saying is that if our customers are happy now, who cares about what happens next year? We'll jump off that bridge when we come to it. And when we come to it, and customers are complaining, some "new" and wonderful "strategy" will surface, and the bandwagon jumpers will have a new vehicle. It's a vicious circle, but it can't keep spinning forever.

I agree that companies need to focus on the long term as well, but let's at least mention that the long term picture is made up of a series of many short term slices. There is a place for both, and we have to excel in both.

This column highlights the reasons that when someone starts talking about having saved millions of dollars via SS projects I have a tendency to get angry.

Some have saved millions $$. Some only think they have. Some dishonestly pretend they have. It sorts itself automatically after a few years.

I go back often to the quote from Dr. Deming that came in answer to the question, "How would you like to be remembered?" Deming's response was that he would like to be remembered as someone who had spent his life trying to keep American manufacturing from committing suicide. Right now, American manufacturing is holding a gun to its own head, and the gun is loaded with Six Sigma bullets.

Clearly, many are "holding a gun to its own head," but I think you give 6S more credit than it deserves. It is loaded with bullets of ignorance, short-sightedness, poor management, lack of leadership, ego, etc. 6S is mixed in with some of the powder as an ingredient, perhaps.


Quality should not end in manufacturing numbers but in the customers experiance with the product. Trying to crunch numers to make a better product that no one wants is just as bad as scrap.

Ver good point, and true.

I'd also add their 'experience with the organisation'. They might be happy with the product or service... but never want to deal with that particular organisation again.
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