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Six Sigma for Everyone

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Six Sigma for Everyone


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

The Six Sigma system for improving customer satisfaction isn’t just for the big guys. It’s for you.

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Editorial Rating



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George Eckes has written a concise, thorough introduction to the theory and practice of Six Sigma, the management philosophy that Jack Welch called the most important initiative of his entire career at General Electric. The book provides a look at every aspect of Six Sigma. In some places, it seems a bit too detailed for so short a book - particularly when the author introduces the variety of statistical charts, graphs and tables used in the analysis phase of Six Sigma. But that is a quibble. Eckes also gets a bit self-serving when, in the question and answer chapter, he takes a swipe at consultants who agree to work on a contingency basis, for a percentage of the savings a client achieves, instead of for a fee. In fact,, where we are always glad to avoid a squabble, notes that managers who use this book may achieve some level of business improvement without hiring any consultants at all.


What Six Sigma Achieves

The goal of Six Sigma is to achieve consistent, reliable, repeatable performance in areas that affect effectiveness and efficiency. The Six Sigma approach to management targets getting control over variations in processes. But Six Sigma is not only a production strategy; it is grounded in a philosophy that attacking process variation using quantitative tools and metrics can improve corporate performance and, thus, efficiently makE customers happy. Both effectiveness and efficiency are important. One way to make customers happy is to spend whatever time, labor or money it takes to satisfy them. But time, labor and money are scarce resources at most companies. So Six Sigma balances effectiveness with efficiency, resulting in happy customers and happy stockholders.

A Six Sigma company delivers only 3.4 unhappy customer experiences per million customer experiences. This is near perfection. Most companies are two or three sigma performers - they deliver somewhere between 66,807 and 308,538 unhappy customer experiences per million. Performance this poor leads, eventually, to lost revenue, lost markets and perhaps even corporate extinction.


About the Author

George Eckes is the author of The Six Sigma Revolution, Making Six Sigma Last and Six Sigma Team Dynamics. He is founder, President and CEO of Eckes & Associates, Inc., a Colorado-based consultancy. His client list includes or has included JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Cisco, General Electric and others.

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