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The Six Sigma Revolution

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The Six Sigma Revolution

How General Electric and Others Turned Process Into Profits


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Six Sigma says define the problem, involve management, change your culture and measure everything. Revolutionary, huh?

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


George Eckes’ experience in quality control includes an instance where he had the temerity, just out of college, to ask W. Edwards Deming, then an octogenarian, to elaborate on his views about quality. "Those are the most stupid questions I have ever heard! Go read some of my books," the cantankerous quality czar responded. No one reading this volume can doubt that Eckes has done his homework ever since. His blend of experience, theoretical expertise and common sense make this a very effective Six Sigma manual, although it is a little light on case studies. One of the book’s most valuable elements is Eckes’ keen analysis of the pitfalls that can flush all your best Six Sigma intentions down the tubes, even as a row of consultants tell you it is a panacea for all your woes. recommends this book to anyone who is about to call a consultant and venture into the Rasputin world of Six Sigma.


In the Beginning...

Building a better mousetrap would be simple, except for the fact that your competitors are all trying to do the same thing. You need to bring the mousetrap in on time and under budget, and simultaneously you have to keep your current mousetrap-selling business running well and earning profits. If you seek a competitive advantage in the real world marketplace, you must constantly improve product and service quality.

Historically, U.S. companies have relied upon inspections for quality control. Unfortunately, this is a highly inefficient method, which is only competitive if your competitors use it too. Improving quality became a frenetic effort in U.S. management circles in the 1980s. Anything that might work was worth a try as U.S. industry endeavored to remain internationally competitive. The results: many quality approaches work to some degree, and the most effective methods are based on concrete measurements of success or failure.

For the Six Sigma quality improvement process to work - and it has been made to appear much more complex than it is - management must back the initiative wholeheartedly. The secret to doing so is "Business Process...

About the Author

George Eckes’ Six Sigma client list includes General Electric, Lithonia Lighting and Volvo Trucks North America, to name a few. Since 1996, the Colorado company he founded, Eckes and Associates, Inc., has served as the primary consulting organization for General Electric’s Six Sigma quality initiative. The consulting group specializes in quality improvement.

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