Six Sigma for a novice

Posted by dreamz2achieve on 7/01/2009

MBAs are famous worldwide for their extravagant use of jargons. Being an MBA myself, I guess this habit has rubbed onto me also. After the numerous presentations, reports, assignments, live project in MBA college, jargons become almost as familiar to MBAs as their names.
Few days back, my father picked up my single page resume to read. Now, I come from a family of Chartered Accountants. My father is also a Chartered Accountant and runs his own firm. Having his own firm, he has gone through umpteen resumes while recruiting people for his firm. He has a knack of picking the minutest of points from the resume and putting people in a fix. This is exactly what he did with my resume. I have very proudly mentioned in my resume Green Belt certification in Six Sigma. He saw it and asked me the simplest question possible - What is Six Sigma? . Now you would expect that with a certification in Six Sigma, I should have had no difficulty in answering this. It was the extra comment which really put me in a fix. He asked me to explain Six Sigma to him in simple terms which he could understand keeping in mind that he is not from the same field.
So, he had smartly put an MBA in a situation which any MBA is the worse at - answering things simply. I will now tell you the explaination through which I was able to complete this herculean task.
After giving much thought and clearing my mind of all the techie jargons(DPMO, DMAIC, DMADV, Fishbone Diagram and the list goes on) which were rushing through my mind with speed of light at the mention of Six Sigma, i finally started with this. One thing my father is really particular about is his morning bed tea. He wants his start of the day to be perfect with the perfect cup of tea. I asked him that does his morning tea tastes the same everyday? He said no. At times, its too strong or too light, milk is a bit more or a bit less, same with sugar, colour varies n a daily basis and so on. So, I explained that if he starts getting his tea with the same taste, colour, smell, temperature,etc. and this experience is broken only 3.4 times out of 1 million times, then my mom can proudly say that she has achieved Six Sigma in my father's bed tea. This explaination surely got my parent's interest and I was over-joyed at accomplishing this task. Then I explained them that how this simple process is dependent on millions of factors - quantities and quality of raw materials, heating temperature and time, weather conditions, utensil properties,etc. If we are able to control all these factors, then only we can achieve Six Sigma. At this my father was quick to point out that many of these factors are not in our hands to be controlled like - weather conditions, quality of raw material varies even if you purchase the same brand and on and on.
Then I explained that all we can do is try and take our processes as close to the ideal situation of Six Sigma by controlling the factors which are in our hand.
All in all, I was happy that I was able to answer the question and could save the face of all MBAs worldwide in front of my parents.. :)


Comment by amit on July 2, 2009 at 5:16 AM


Comment by Anonymous on July 7, 2009 at 9:12 AM

you should write more often!

Comment by Anonymous on July 17, 2009 at 12:22 AM

I think this explanation was given by KPMG consultants hehehe.....

Comment by dreamz2achieve on July 17, 2009 at 12:56 AM

I dont remember exactly. But they might have. Thus, it explains how it came to my mind. So, I guess it pays to be awake in the class once in a while.

Comment by leo on July 19, 2009 at 1:57 AM

ummm this one is really good specially when u expalin it with a simple example of making tea...great going...
i am in..

Comment by abby on January 25, 2011 at 7:50 PM

the tea example is the best way to explain it...nice blog and nice thoughts! btw this is abhishek

Comment by dreamz2achieve on February 8, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Thanks Abhishek

Comment by Mou khan on June 30, 2012 at 2:46 AM

Six Sigma is all about reducing the defects to the minimum. Thus while implementing six sigma one should not really be concerned with the size of the organization.Six Sigma Certification

Comment by Carl Wright on July 3, 2012 at 3:06 AM

The tea example is the best way to explain it...nice blog and nice thoughts! btw this is abhishek.Six Sigma Certification

Comment by Doyel mirza on August 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Nice post about six sigma.
I’m really impressed with your article, such great information you mentioned here..


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