Six Sigma: The Breakthrough Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World's Top Corporation

Overview

SIX SIGMA is the most powerful breakthrough management tool ever devised, promising increased market share, cost reductions and dramatic improvements in bottom-line profitability for companies of any size. The darling of Wall Street, it has become the mantra of Fortune 500 boardrooms around the world because it works.

What is SIX SIGMA? It is first and foremost a business process that enables companies to increase profits dramatically by streamlining operations, improving ...

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Overview

SIX SIGMA is the most powerful breakthrough management tool ever devised, promising increased market share, cost reductions and dramatic improvements in bottom-line profitability for companies of any size. The darling of Wall Street, it has become the mantra of Fortune 500 boardrooms around the world because it works.

What is SIX SIGMA? It is first and foremost a business process that enables companies to increase profits dramatically by streamlining operations, improving quality, and eliminating defects or mistakes in everything a company does. While traditional quality programs have focused on detecting and correcting defects, Six Sigma encompasses something broader: It provides specific methods to re-create the process itself so that defects are never produced in the first place. This is the reason Wall Street and corporations as diverse as Allied Signal, Honda, Maytag, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, Canon Hitachi, Lockheed Martin, American Express, Toshiba, Du Pont, and Polaroid have embarked on corporate wide SIX SIGMA programs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553752946
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/8/2007
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Mikel Harry, PhD is the cofounder and chief executive of the Six Sigma Academy, Inc. He was one of the original architects of Six Sigma while working at Motorola in the 1980s. He later served as Corporate Vice President at Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. He received his B.S. and M.A. in electronic from Ball State University and Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Harry lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mikel Harry, PhD is the cofounder and chief executive of the Six Sigma Academy, Inc. He was one of the original architects of Six Sigma while working at Motorola in the 1980s. He later served as Corporate Vice President at Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. He received his B.S. and M.A. in electronic from Ball State University and Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Harry lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mikel Harry, PhD is the cofounder and chief executive of the Six Sigma Academy, Inc. He was one of the original architects of Six Sigma while working at Motorola in the 1980s. He later served as Corporate Vice President at Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. He received his B.S. and M.A. in electronic from Ball State University and Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Harry lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Read an Excerpt

The Six Sigma Phenomenon

We believe that Six Sigma is the most powerful breakthrough management tool ever devised.

What is Six Sigma? It is a business process that allows companies to drastically improve their bottom line by designing and monitoring everyday business activities in ways that minimize waste and resources while increasing customer satisfaction. Six Sigma guides companies into making fewer mistakes in everything they do-from filling out a purchase order to manufacturing airplane engines-eliminating lapses in quality at the earliest possible occurrence. Quality-control programs have focused on detecting and correcting commercial, industrial, and design defects. Six Sigma encompasses something broader: It provides specific methods to re-create the process so that defects and errors never arise in the first place.

Throughout this book, you will encounter new ideas and principles-some of which will run contrary to what managers have learned in school or professional practice. Six Sigma represents extraordinary sense, not ordinary or common sense; common sense rarely produces extraordinary results. It is our belief that once managers and their companies understand what Six Sigma is and how it works, they will begin to see that many well-accepted past management practices and quality-control methods are less than optimal, or are even wrong.

Industries are desperate to find new ways to buoy profitability. That is why companies as diverse as AlliedSignal, General Electric, Sony, Honda, Maytag, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, Bombardier, Canon, Hitachi, Lockheed Martin, and Polaroid have adopted Six Sigma. Many of these companies are averse to management fads. But they have embraced Six Sigma because they believe the initiative will help them increase market share, decrease costs, and grow profit margins. As a result, they are beginning to tie quality directly to their bottom line.

Six Sigma produces superior financial results, using business strategies that not only revive companies but help them leapfrog ahead of their competition in terms of market share and profitability. By reaching for the seemingly impossible, companies achieve the impossible.

But the biggest reason for the incredible buzz about Six Sigma throughout the business community has been its astonishing success at dramatically improving a company's bottom-line profitability. As a result, Six Sigma has become the darling of Wall Street. Jennifer Murphy, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co., spent three days at our ranch in Payson and at our Six Sigma Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona, a teaching facility we designed to educate and train executives in the principles of Six Sigma so that they can transform their companies into world-class organizations. Impatient with the negligible effect quality programs have had on the bottom line, Murphy was astonished by what she learned. "Six Sigma companies . . . achieve faster working capital turns; lower capital spending as capacity is freed up; more productive R&D spending; faster new product development; and greater customer satisfaction," she wrote upon her return. She estimates that by the year 2000, GE's gross annual benefit from Six Sigma could be as high as $6.6 billion, or 5.5 percent of sales.

Here are just a few reasons for the enthusiasm so many analysts on Wall Street voice:

General Electric's Jack Welch, a self-proclaimed cynic when it comes to quality programs, describes Six Sigma as "the most important initiative GE has ever undertaken." GE's...

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