on 3 July 2001
Continual improvement is the key to survival in today's business climate, and as companies like GE and Motorola have proven, Six Sigma is a useful tool for ingraining the quest for perfection in an organization. After reading The Six Sigma Way, you'll probably be ready to jump out of your chair and immediately follow in these companies' footsteps by launching a Six Sigma initiative of your own. The authors, three consultants who teach firms to implement Six Sigma efforts, convincingly extol the money-saving and efficiency-enhancing virtues of the holistic approach. This book offers a lot of jargon and complex concepts, but the material is presented in easily understood charts and lists, and there are plenty of concrete examples. We at getAbstract.com recommend The Six Sigma Way to managers who have heard wondrous tales of Six Sigma, but would like a more down-to-earth explanation of how it can be used and the benefits it offers.
on 5 January 2012
Whilst much of the theory in this textbook is synonymous with TQM, Six Sigma does seem to assert improvements to TQM theory such as: methods for defining dynamic customer requirements (VOC & Kano analysis); process design/re-deisgn (SIPOC); and a roadmap for implementation. However, Six Sigma's obsession with measuring every activity of every process in an entire organisation, combined with its goal of achieving near perfection (99.9997% yield and 3.4 DPMO), would be unsurmountable even to most progressive organisations. It is also unfortunate that this dogma implicitly presents itself as both the means and the end. The promulgation of six sigma rhetoric also reveals unspoken assumptions of scientific management, fast capitalism and instrumentalist rationality without adequate thought about egalitarian human resource values. The other flaw is that the rhetoric purports a model primarily designed for the manufacturing industry with insufficient thought about its application to a heterogenous service industry.
Notwithstanding the above criticisms, there is some practical advice and applicable techniques in this book which if one cherry-picks, could prove useful to organisations. Conclusion: Far too quantitative with an unmanageable emphasis on measurement and 'six sigma' performance