Tips for Lean Managers

Dilbert Rips Six Sigma

By Jon Miller Published on November 28th, 2006

Kent Bradley from Gemba handed me a Dilbert cartoon yesterday poking fun at Six Sigma. Here is the script:
[Point-Haired Boss standing next to “SIX SIGMA” slide] Our company has decided to try something new.
[Dilbert] New? Six Sigma was developed in the 80s.
[Point-Haired Boss] It’s new to us.
[Dilbert] Why don’t we jump on a fad that hasn’t already been widely discredited? That way the false hope might sustain us.
[Point-Haired Boss] There’s nothing wrong with Six Sigma. All it does is reduce defects!
[Dilbert checking hand held device] Let’s see… Fortune magazine says… Blah, blah… Most companies that used Six Sigma have trailed the S& 500.
[Ashok] Sorry I’m late. What did I miss while I was innovating?
Hilarious, yet painful. And so cynical. Sadly, Scott Adams could replace “Six Sigma” with “Lean manufacturing” in 18 to 24 months and this cartoon would work just as well. The moral of the story is that the Pointy-Haired Boss is right. There’s nothing wrong with Six Sigma. It’s the people who use it and how they use it that create disillusion. Don’t laugh at this Six Sigma cartoon without first reflecting on how you’re using Lean manufacturing.

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