Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Trick #6

Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Trick #6

Constraining Your Improvement Activities to Manufacturing Processes

In this installment of my arbitrary and capricious list of the Top Ten Stupid Six Sigma Tricks (SSST), let’s talk about an error that is perhaps less frequently made now than it has been, but is still common. I call this error SSST No.6, constraining your improvement activities to manufacturing processes.

In an oft-repeated quote, Bob Galvin (the former CEO of Motorola) said, “The lack of initial Six Sigma emphasis in the nonmanufacturing areas was a mistake that cost Motorola at least $5 billion over a four-year period.”

These are two areas in which this SSST appears: the nonmanufacturing areas within a manufacturing business and the nonmanufacturing sectors themselves.

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Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Trick #5

Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Trick #5

Pop Stars Without Clothing (not really)

Today marks a milestone in our countdown of the Top Ten Stupid Six Sigma Tricks. A subjective and unimportant milestone to be sure, but a milestone nonetheless—we have now reached the halfway point. Forget the New Year, this is cause for celebration.

To commemorate this trivial event, let us turn our laser focus onto more technical mistakes. So far we have been talking about systemic problems. Let’s focus now on some specific tools and how they are misapplied, leading to lost money and increased exasperation. I call this one Stupid Six Sigma Trick #5: Pop stars without clothing.

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Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Trick #4

Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Trick #4

Overusing DMAIC

We are more than halfway through the countdown of our exploration of the kooky, and expensive, mistakes people make in implementing Six Sigma, and I want to talk about something that’s so fundamental people rarely see it—Stupid Six Sigma Trick #4: Overusing DMAIC.

DMAIC stands for define the opportunity, measure the current state, analyze potential source causes, improve the process and control the improved process. If you think about it, the DMAIC method and the jillion other problem-solving methods are just refinements of the scientific method for the business environment.

So, how can it be overused? I mean, you have problems and you want them solved, right?

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Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Trick #3

Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Trick #3

Pruient Photographs (not really)

I had a lot of feedback from interested readers in regards to Stupid Six Sigma Tricks #5, which I jokingly called “Pop Stars Without Clothing,” and which was about the frequent misuse of statistics in the Six Sigma world. Taking heart from this response to what might have been viewed as dusty old statistics, I decided forthrightly to call this Stupid Six Sigma Trick #3, Prurient Photographs. Oh, all right, it’s not really about that either. I thought I’d continue my riff on the bad statistics that I run across frequently, so this is really SSST #3, The Bride of Bad Stats.

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