Six Sigma Spin

Well, here we go. It hasn’t even been a whole week since Super Geek dropped the Six Sigma bomb on us and mid to low level management types are already rubber-stamping the initiative. They’re such good little yes-men. Top Cat decided to follow up and then Scar Lip also chimed in. But let’s take a look at what Top Cat had to say first shall we?

Dear TeaM,

One of Bill and Dave’s priority is to “Achieve superior business results through Six Sigma.”
-What is Six Sigma ?:
It is a methodology that helps companies provide products and services of the highest quality and value. Six Sigma is a financially oriented, data-driven, structured improvement method that involves projects, teams, data-analysis tools and statistical expertise. It can help us in all aspects of the company — in satisfying our customers, in our product quality and delivery, in the way we manage our inventories and assets, in our new-product development processes, and also in managing our functional processes throughout GIO.

-Why is Bill and Dave’s company implementing Six Sigma now?:
We have lots of room to improve in quality, and it’s an important business issue. Quality has suffered during all the cutbacks, systems changes and focus on financial results. We have work to do to get refocused and start improving faster — Six Sigma is a proven way to accomplish and maintain that.

The bottom line is that Six Sigma achieves business results measured in dollars.

Let me quote B.S.: “If there is any message I would want to leave with you it is that this Six Sigma effort is not a Quality program. This is to build a foundation of rigor, a systematic approach to solving problems in the company. Without a systematic approach to solving problems, we will not make the systematic changes we need to do to improve customer quality, improve our financial performance, and getting our products to market.”

-What can you do ?:
Consider a White Belt training. It provides a great set of tools to help you make the most of your time. It is a self paced training available on the quality website that will clearly enhance your skills.

Have a great week,

Thanks and Best Regards,

Top Cat
FY05: How will We delight our Customers today?

Hmmm. Very interesting that Top Cat chose to actually mention anything about our ongoing quality problems. I doubt he knows how severe they actually are at this point in time. Since those serious issues were created by off-shoring to Asia, twelve or thirteen rounds of massive job layoffs, and subcontracting to a bunch of weasels, it is not realistic to expect Six Sigma is going to be able to turn customer dissatisfaction around at all. I mean, we already have plenty of data gathering tools to measure quality and I’m sure alarm bells have been going off non-stop for the past couple of years. The critical thing to remember is nobody with any real power in the company to change things has been paying any attention to those alarms. So why would they pay any attention to Six Sigma?

Top Cat included a quote from B.S. who happens to be Super Geek’s No.2 at Corporate in Palo Alto. I smell some confusion brewing between our fearless leaders. From his comment “If there is any message I would want to leave with you it is that this Six Sigma effort is not a Quality program” I can tell the big guys are already unclear on what Six Sigma really is. Super Geek told us in his communication that Six Sigma IS a quality driven program. B.S. just went and contradicted his boss, y0. Perhaps it matters little what Six Sigma can be defined as but I think it is becoming obvious our leadership has no clue what they just purchased for us and what it is that Six Sigma is supposed to do. Also of note, they did a thorough job laying the axe to everyone’s necks in our division Quality departments. So I guess for now we better hope and pray Six Sigma is not a quality-based program because if it is nobody will be here to implement it.

Now let’s see what yes-man babble Scar Lip has to add to the Six Sigma mix.

As a follow-up to Super Geek’s message launching the company’s Six Sigma program, we want to add our sponsorship to this exciting initiative.

Six Sigma is an industry-proven methodology to create process rigor in all aspects of business operations. Many companies, including General Electric, Samsung and Motorola, have generated billions of dollars in savings that are directly attributable to Six Sigma programs.

Within our division, the benefits will include enabling the entire organization to simultaneously address financial goals and enhance customer satisfaction while improving our ability to execute through more efficient and organized processes. The Six Sigma program will also provide this division’s employees with a tool set to help generate breakthrough business results.

More details will be communicated soon by your manager.

Best regards,

Scar Lip

Okay. Any time one of these nitwits refers to an industry-trend program as “exciting” I am convinced it’s going to be mind numbingly boring. Not to mention useless. This shit is never exciting. I mean let’s think back for a moment. Was ISO:9000 exciting? Fuck no. That was just a quick way to deforest the entire West Coast of trees for paper due to all the printer copies of pointless documentation we generated overnight. Was BSOF hip and happening? Fuck no. That had to have been some sort of safety related insurance scam and it successfully introduced the safety Gestapo to our company. Diversity Training. That was a great one I will never forget. We were corralled like livestock into mandatory brainwashing sessions and encouraged to hassle minorities and gays. Totally insane. I still cannot believe we weren’t sued into oblivion on that deal.

Just because General Electric, Samsung, and Motorola adopt a program does not mean we have to act like Lemmings and jump off a cliff into the Six Sigma abyss. Besides I’m sure they all padded their numbers heavily in favor of how great Six Sigma was and then cooked the books on how profitable it was when they instituted the program. Especially if one of them created Six Sigma in the first place. Do you realize how much loot they could make by marketing a package like this? There’s training courses, books, seminars, video presentations, online resources, etc. all of which has to be bought by suckers like… us. Whoever packaged Six Sigma must be raking in the dough.

Scar Lip says this is going to “enhance customer satisfaction” as he puts it. Yeah, it’s magic bullet time again. It’s like we’re all passengers on the Titanic. Standing on the wooden deck we can clearly see the ship is going down, and the life boats are fading fast in the darkness, but the Captain and his immediate crew are all convinced it’s unsinkable. How reassuring. Will Six Sigma cause the company leadership to hire back skilled employees in the Quality departments? Probably not. Is Six Sigma going to reveal how badly the Research and Development labs need realistic schedules for producing rugged designs that last more than twelve months before crapping out? Nah. Could Six Sigma data prove how negative the impact was to off-shore our products to unskilled workers in other countries? Nope. Nor will it reverse these trends for one simple fact – the damage done is too severe for this company to repair.


~ by factorypeasant on April 9, 2009.

One Response to “Six Sigma Spin”

  1. (“Business Metrics”+jesus-crisco)/(posative atitude)^($0.02)=SixSigma

    you cant argue with math…it has no ears.


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