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No News is Not Good News

In the Six Sigma world, we give a lot of lip service to the importance of the customer; we even have an official name for it—voice of the customer, or VOC. The problem is that many businesses don’t really have a good system for giving the customer what they ask for, much less one for listening to what they say. If you have been into a retail store recently, you may wonder if anyone has a good system for that. So what should a good customer quality assurance (CQA) system look like?

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Keeping It Real

Destroying Company Morale in One Easy Step

I was working with a client to create their business’s critical performance measures the other day, and one of the managers said, “We should set the target higher than we want it—you know, aim high to hit low.” This set off one of my rants, and I thought I would share it with you.

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Six Sigma and the Corner Office

I thought this month we would get away from the stats of the last few columns. Hey, quiet down! How can anybody read over all that cheering?

There’s something missing from most Six Sigma implementations—a gap that, if left unattended, leads to wasted time and money, as well as the failure of the effort itself. This topic will help you make and maintain the business case for doing Six Sigma, since it will become integral to achieving the business’s objectives.

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Will Google Earn a Black Belt?

I read an article in Wired magazine the other day that got me to thinking about the relationship between statistics, engineering knowledge, and theory. The article claimed that with the era of massive data storage and analytical capabilities, the scientific concept of the “theory” was becoming obsolete. What implications does this have for people working with data to solve problems? Can we find solutions without a theory? Will Google obsolete the Black Belt?

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Show Me The Money

If you have been following my articles for the last few months, you know that we’re almost done with an experimental analysis and that today we will be doing the final step—making our company money. If you haven’t been following my articles, then you should probably be flogged with a soggy noodle until you admit to your other crimes in a tearful confession posted on YouTube.

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Random Heresy

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


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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