ate improvements in processes, products, and services, and to radically reduce manufacturing and/or administrative costs and improve quality. It achieves this by relentlessly focusing on eliminating waste and reducing defects and variations. “Leading-edge companies are applying this bottom-line enhancing strategy to every function in their organizations—from design and engi- neering to manufacturing to sales and marketing to supply management— for dramatic savings. “Now, Honeywell has developed a new generation of Six Sigma . . . Six Sigma Plus is Morris Township, NJ–headquartered Honeywell’s principal engine for driving growth and productivity across all its businesses, including aerospace, performance polymers, chemicals, automation and control, trans- portation, and power systems, among others. In addition to manufacturing, Honeywell applies Six Sigma Plus to all of its administrative functions.” 8 4 10029_Bertels_01.r.qxd 12/16/02 9:48 AM Page 4
ANTECEDENTS OF SIX SIGMA 5 Was Six Sigma Part of the Natural Progression of Quality, or Was It a Totally New Event and a New Thrust? BOB GALVIN : I think it was both. You could lean either way in terms of the natural intelligence that finally emerged. Was it a great discovery or just remarkably good mathematics and common sense? You can interpret it either way. 9 MIKEL HARRY : I think Six Sigma is now squarely focused on quality of business, where TQM is concerned with the business of quality. That is, when you adopt TQM, you become involved in the business of doing qual- ity, and when you adopt Six Sigma, you’re concerned about the quality of business. In a nutshell, TQM is a defect-focused quality improvement ini- tiative, whereas Six Sigma is an economics-based strategic business man- agement system. Didn’t start off that way, but it has evolved that way. So I see Six Sigma as a vector change. As I look across the history of quality from the era of craftsmanship, it’s fairly continuous; each step is a logical continuance of the preceding step, built off the same fundamental core beliefs and principles, whereas Six Sigma represents a radical depar- ture from that continuum. It’s actually a reassessment of quality from a whole new perspective and frame of reference. It’s a reinvention of the his- tory, if you will, but it’s a birth of a new history, and that’s the way to say it. It’s been the evolution of a business management revolution. 10 1900 to 1920s: Scientific Management and Statistics Taylor and Scientific Management. Frederick W. Taylor’s techniques, which became known as scientific management, made work tangible and measurable through analyzing manufacturing processes and turning them into a set of tasks that could be standardized and made repetitive. With work fragmented into a multitude of tasks, a managerial system was then required to control work. The concept of the separation of planning and execution was central to Taylor’s system. Taylor advocated planning departments staffed by engineers with the following responsibilities: •
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