Bluffing Six Sigma

May 17 2007 by Print This Article

You may have heard managers and colleagues talking about Six Sigma, a "quality measure and improvement program developed by Motorola that focuses on the control of a process to the point of six sigma (standard deviations) from a centerline, or 3.4 defects per million items."

Heavy stuff. But how can you sound like you know what you're talking about without undergoing weeks of training? Well, Corporate Hallucinations blogger Steve Crescenzo has some ideas. He calls his tips Six Sigma…for Dummies.

Steve suggests that, to be successful in modern business, you need to sound like you know all about Six Sigma. But since you probably don't have the time to sit through endless training seminars, you need some credible-sounding soundbites to make it seem as if you know what you're talking about.

That means using Six Sigma phrases like "Root Cause Analysis" (better still, RCA) or "Permanent Corrective Action" (PCA – to use the TLA*).

But to really shine as a Six Sigma bluffer, use multiple abbreviations in one sentence: "I've got a Six Sigma team drilling down to get the RCA. Once we uncover it, we'll have several PCA options, and we've already implemented a PSTS in order to make sure we don't have a repeat occurrence."

As Steve says, it only takes a few abbreviations to make you appear just like a know-it-all Six Sigma "black belt."

[TLA – that's "three letter acronym", BTW]


Older Comments

My hat's off to you for this post! You have to be careful with the 'lean' and six sigma guys. It's almost like a religion to some. I wrote one post using Gemba as a story device and, boy oh boy, did I start a turmoil!


Jerome Alexander