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Saturday, December 16, 2017
Six Sigma Heretic Six Sigma Heretic Articles

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These feature articles are published monthly by Quality Digest.  They are collected under the nom de plume of The Six Sigma Heretic, which tells you something about how we approach Six Sigma.  They are written by ROI President Steven Ouellette, and have a unique blend of humor and statistical depth that makes him one of Quality Digest's most popular authors.  Subscribe to our RSS Feed to be alerted about each month's article!

For the Soul

Harvest time—vegetables fresh from the local farmer’s market going right into a homemade soup, eaten with fresh bread. Yum! This month, I’d like to talk about a recipe for a Greek alphabet soup, which you had better know about if you plan on doing an experiment. This may be the first recipe that might save your bacon, rather than use it up.

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Measurement System Analysis

I seem to be thinking about the measurement phase a lot recently. I suppose it’s because I’ve seen some teams working hard on problems that turned out to be nothing more than problems with measurement. Let me give you an example.

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Measurement Level Part 1

There is something that will get you into trouble if you don’t know about it, and which in my experience very few Black Belts or even Master Black Belts know about. It’s only in the mind of the person doing the research, and no software program will know about it. This mysterious property is “measurement level,” and that is what I want to talk about this month.

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Measurements, Part 3

I spent my June and July articles beating up on the “sigma” index commonly associated with Six Sigma. Let me sum up by saying that, while not wrong, “sigma” isn’t an efficient metric for accomplishing what we are trying to do in today’s business environment. Is there a better way to do that? I think that there is, and in this, my lucky 14th Heretic article, it is fitting that we continue to explore ways to measure the effect of Six Sigma.

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Measurements Part 2

Last month I talked about the “sigma” index and how it can be used. So what could be bad about the “sigma” index?

Never forget that metrics drive behavior and that people are very, very good at finding a way to succeed when given a goal. It just may not be the thing you wanted them to do.

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These articles were originally published in Quality Digest, an online magazine. Subscribe to Quality Digest if you would like to receive these articles when they are published, or subscribe to our RSS feed.

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