Why Manage Better?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

So what is Lean Six Sigma?

I am often asked this question as I teach a class or explain improvement ideas to business leaders. Of course as a certified MBB I should know this well and it should be easy to explain.  Many of you may have learnt from experience that this is not easy to explain at all. To explain the similarities and differences between Lean and Six Sigma and they say they can work together pretty well can be complicated. It is like teaching a child how to cycle – look ahead that’s the key; pedal steadily, that’s critical. How is a kid supposed to know what the difference is between key and critical? They get confused – do you want me to look ahead or just pedal, be clear, is the retort many have. Grownups are no different. And this is not because they don’t get it, it is because we don’t explain it well.
Here is a summary of how I tackle this question. Hoping it helps you do the same.

Continued Relevance and 10X returns a must for quality professionals

A new ASQ round-table topic recently pushed me to think about careers in Quality. It is not uncommon for professional organizations to think about careers of their members. If members earn more they pay more in fees. On a serious note, a core function of a professional association is to see the function grow and attract more (and better) professionals to its fold.
Where does my career go in 2016? I don’t really know. I hope it goes far but being the realist I am, I hope it remains on course to go far in the longer run. I am hoping to make my team more benefit oriented than method oriented. It is high time quality functions delivered in multiples (10x?) of their budget and do so consistently. I would like to focus on execution and getting things done. In doing so I could be more relevant through the year. And that’s the theme – Continued Relevance.

Features are promised. Quality is delivered!

While teaching or talking about quality I often get dragged into a debate that high end features come with a cost and can’t be delivered at a low price point. Hence quality doesn’t come cheap. Examples cited include smartphones and cars. The argument is simple – you can’t get high end features at low prices.
I have never seen why this argument means quality cannot come at a low price point. I can and do agree to the argument that high end features do not come a low price points early in their life cycle. But why extend the argument to quality.
Features are promised. Quality is delivered!