Six Sigma - Statistical Tools - Valid or Hype? Value? Can a CQE do the same?

To me, Six Sigma is (multiple choice):

  • A sales gimmick. A CQE knows the same stuff.

    Votes: 13 25.5%
  • A CQE knows the same stuff. No big deal.

    Votes: 11 21.6%
  • A valid tool.

    Votes: 9 17.6%
  • A valid philosophy encompasing a set of specific tools.

    Votes: 11 21.6%
  • Really works but is more than most people understand.

    Votes: 14 27.5%

  • Total voters


Fully vaccinated are you?
Received: from ( [])
Thu, 27 Apr 2000 07:28:03 -0600 (MDT)

To: "ASQ Members"
From: "Dick Sandretti"
Reply-to: "Dick Sandretti"
Subject: "Six Sigma Debate at the 54th Annual Quality Congress"

ASQ's involvement with the Six Sigma Academy has caused concern and behind-the-scenes controversy among members. This is your chance to participate in a dialogue with Mikel Harry, CEO of the Six Sigma Academy. You'll hear his story and find out what led to ASQ's involvement with Six Sigma and the Six Sigma Academy. In addition, you can provide your input on ASQ's future course.

The debate, featuring Mikel J. Harry, will be held right after ASQ's Annual Business Meeting on Sunday, May 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Sagamore Ballroom of the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Don't miss the Great Six Sigma Debate. It's your chance to:
o Participate in the discussion about Six Sigma.
o Voice your concerns about Six Sigma.
o Get answers to your questions.
o Better understand ASQ's involvement to date.
o Help determine ASQ's future direction with regard to Six

The Great Six Sigma Debate
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday, May 7
Sagamore Ballroom
Indianapolis Convention Center
Elsmar Forum Sponsor


Fully vaccinated are you?
Why does this not surprise me???


Newsgroups: misc.industry.quality
Subject: Re: Six Sigma
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:56:25 GMT

Jim Stewart wrote:

> Did anyone else get to Indianapolis and see the 6 sigma "debate"?

Yes and no. I lefted the "debate" because the feedback problem with sound system was too iratating. Until I left, it appeared to me that the ASQ board was in a very defensive posture. Flags go up in my mind whenever someone says something to the effect of "We done nothing in violation of ASQ guidelines."

I would have like to have listened to Mr. Harry's comments. I left because the gain required for his microphone was causing a background shrill. From what I heard on Monday, M. Harry may have toned down some of his previous comments about quality professionals. I've read his series of articles about Six Sigma Breakthrough in Quality Progress. He appears to have found a effective new approach to marketing quality to corporate America. BUT, he too quickly minimizes and dismisses the contributions of the established quality community. I still need to evaluate for myself the "value - entitlement" approach in his articles. Initially, I sense that the approach may not be rigorous from a mathematical point of view but does have value because it organizes tradeoffs in benefits and consequences. So does Theory of Constraints.

Overall, going to Indianapolis was rewarding. I meet several new people, learned a little more about quality, participated in several board meetings, passed the CQA exam, and visited one of the better downtowns I've ever seen. What a nice city.

Duane Allen


Fully vaccinated are you?
From: "PaulR"
Newsgroups: misc.industry.quality
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 01:49:22 GMT
Organization: AT&T Worldnet

"Ron Bally" wrote in message
> Never mind the hype, Martial Arts references and the US style lack of
> Take it as the concept it was meant to be, relating to the definition
> of quality in a business environment that has to do with customer
> satisfaction and the idea that this will cause PROFITS.
> As I understand 6 sigma, was developed by Motorola after they assessed
> that each of their customers received the product of some 1000
> (internal) processes. As they strived for 99% customer satifaction,
> they calculated that this would require processes running at a
> capability level of better than 3 errors out of a 1000000
> possibilities. This corresponds to processes running at a capability
> of 6 sigma.
> As a concept, I consider this to be very strong as it can be applied
> to any process, being a primary or supporting process, and it does not
> required "re-organization"of any sort. It does require statistical
> knowledge and a management that understand what (statistical)
> variation is all about, which is something you would hope for in any
> organization.
> Makes any sense?

Sure it does. But isn't this exactly what we learned in our CQE training? At an ASQ section meeting last night the speaker pooh-poohed CQE training by putting a narrow fence around the Body of Knowledge and pointing out how Six Sigma is so much more.

But his fence was artificial. We learned about Quality Costs in CQE training, didn't we? And didn't we learn about customer satisfaction? And SPC? And process optimization? And team dynamics? And the need to management committment? And how to encourage that? And the futility of trying to manage either a quality or process control effort if you don't have that?

Didn't we learn Dr. Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle? Isn't this basically a project plan, or a plan for projects, if you prefer?

As Quality Practitioners, haven't we *always* been focused on the "bottom line" or, if you prefer, PROFITS? Is there anyone in this NG who doesn't realize that satisfied customers pay our salaries?

Haven't we always known about problem statements and definitions? About designed experiments? About Dr. Juran's "vital few and trivial many"?

The Six Sigma speaker was adamant about the need for management committment to make Six Sigma work. Is this unique to Six Sigma? Can't we say the same thing about any quality initiative? Or, for that matter, any initiative at all? Quality? Production? Safety? A new company logo?

I see nothing wrong with Six Sigma, itself. What I *do* see wrong is a program that artifically downgrades the CQE (and other CQx) and then creates a program with a new name that offers little if anything more than the original CQx's do.

Who loses from this? All of the quality practioners who banded together to create the ASQ as "their" (OUR) professional society. We are the people who are "in the trenches" dealing with quality and process issues every day. We are the people who use our CQx certifications to enhance our credibility with our bosses. (Ever in a meeting with upper management where the boss asks "What's the opinion of my CQE's"?)

These people suddenly find their credibility lessened ("What? You only have a CQE,A,RE,M etc.? You don't have a green, black, or chartruese belt?")

And who wins? That's the question, isn't it? Consultants? Not the ones who teach seminars at the ASQ sections. They help make us all better. But how about the ones in the same yacht club as the boss? (Yup, it's happened!) How about ASQ management? Instead of supporting CQx certifications they have (IMHO) detracted from it. Is it fair to ask why?

Six Sigma has had its successes. With managment committment it has succeeded very well, indeed. But they key seems to be the management committment to quality and process, mostly process. And that's simply good management, isn't it?

Al Dyer

Respectfully to all members,

Can't we just get rid of the buzzwords and belts and call it what it is?



Quite Involved in Discussions
I agree with Al. From the GE Six Sigma Training Manual, The tools and skills of Six Sigma will provide a more efficient way to solve problems and make decisions.

Al Dyer


The way I figure it I can wait till 12 sigma training is the rage and then I'll move in for the kill!:biglaugh:


Fully vaccinated are you?
Six Sigma - Valid?

This post is meant to be a poll. Feel free to add your comments, but on the other hand we have a lot of posts on the pros and cons of Six Sigma.

How do you really feel about Six Sigma? I'd appreciate your vote on the poll. I'd like to know how the folks who visit here feel. Are YOU a Six Sigma believer????

Michael T

Depends on how you approach it

Hi Marc,

Good poll... it will be interesting to see the results. From my previous posts, I believe most everyone knows my stance on 6S. For those who don't... it's a set of tools, just like anything else... a CQE knows as much... I learned the same tool set in my Master's program. The big differences are: the monicker Six Sigma (a rose by any other name), the connotations that monicker now evokes (for good or ill) and the major drawback of mandating a required monitary return value to a project.




Another choice may have been, it may be an improvement if more people inderstood it. I've been reading about it and it's like learning another language. But, other than large companies touting their achievements, no startling revelations.:smokin:
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