Book 2 - The Six Sigma Handbook, 3rd Edition,
Pyzdek & Keller, 2009
For those who may not know, Six Sigma is a rigorous, focused, and highly effective
implementation of proven quality principles and techniques developed from the
work of many well-known quality management pioneers such as Deming and Crosby.
It is a philosophy that seeks to apply scientific method to the design and operation
of management systems and business processes that enable employees to deliver
the greatest value to customers and owners. It is different from the earlier "Three
Sigma Performance" in that the former applied only to manufacturing processes,
whereas the "Six" variety is applied to all important business processes.
Since project management is an important business process, it is relevant to
our interest. However, because the scope of Six Sigma is much broader than that
of project management, and its impact more far reaching, it has developed into
a virtual cult that champions progressively: "Green Belts and Black Belts" and
seeks to influence managers at all levels.
Nevertheless, authors Pyzdek & Keller observe that:
"Despite its name, Six Sigma's magic isn't in statistical or high-tech razzle-dazzle.
Six Sigma relies on tried and true methods that have been used for decades. By
some measures, Six Sigma discards a great deal of the complexity that characterized
Total Quality Management (TQM). Six Sigma takes a handful of proven methods and
trains a small cadre of in-house technical leaders, known as Six Sigma Black Belts,
to a high level of proficiency in the application of these techniques. To be sure,
some of the methods Black Belts use are advanced, including up-to-date computer
technology. But the tools are applied within a simple performance improvement
model known as Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control, or DMAIC."
About the authors
Thomas Pyzdek is a Six Sigma consultant with 30 years experience in the field.
He is a recipient of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Edwards Medal for
outstanding contributions to the practice of quality management. Paul Keller is
Vice President and senior consultant with Quality America, a Six Sigma Training
company. He is also author of Six Sigma Demystified.
Thomas & Paul Keller, The Six Sigma Handbook, 3rd Edition, published by
McGraw Hill, 2009, p3