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Last Things First

A colleague of mine made an interesting point about how we teach and learn experimental design techniques, and I thought I'd explore the subject further. He observed that the order that we teach statistics is almost exactly opposite of how one would actually use them. So this month I will describe the different tools and how they would be used in the actual order you might use them.

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New Year's Resolution

As you read this you will, no doubt, have already made (and perhaps broken) your New Year’s resolutions. I’d like to propose one that we, as business leaders, have a special responsibility to follow and whose failure we hear about in the news almost every day.

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Acceptable Losses?

By the time you read this, the amazingly long U.S. presidential election will be over. All U.S. citizens will be wandering around aimlessly bumping into objects, pressing their hands to the sides of their heads as the indignation poisons slowly leave their bodies, leaving them with a hangover-like malaise and an intermittent need to babble a mishmash of campaign slogans. So, to cheer you up, I present you with the rest of the story I began last month about acceptance sampling.

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Six Sigma in Hard Economic Times

What purpose, if any, does Six Sigma serve in economic downturns? Full disclosure: I teach and consult in Six Sigma and related areas, and you’re reading this article because you’re interested in Six Sigma, so we may not be the most objective people to assess this, but in this article, I will do my best to find the truth.

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Psst, hey buddy! Wanna fix?

Every once in a while, people ask about acceptance sampling plans and I get all riled up. We all know (especially in this political season) that humans are addicted to their indignation high, so here’s your fix for today.

Back when defective products and services were considered inevitable, the military created a standard to try to control just how much defective product was allowable before it would be rejected. This is totally antithetical to the modern concept of quality (conformance to target) or Six Sigma (conformance to specification).  And yet, hard as it is to believe, companies are still using these plans. So what’s so bad about them, and how can you help a company move away from them?

Read more: Psst, hey buddy! Wanna fix?

Random Heresy

The Bad and the Ugly


News Flash

Six Sigma's lead instructor Steven Ouellette wrote an article with Dr. Jeffrey Luftig on "The Decline of Ethical Behavior in Business."



Six Sigma Online's lead instructor Steven Ouellette was profiled in the June 2008 issue of Quality Digest magazine. If you want to learn more about Steve's peculiar view of the world, as well as what he studied for a year in Europe, read the profile online.




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