Title: Conformance to specifications, zero defects and six sigma quality – a closer look

Authors: William J. Bellows

Addresses: Process Leader, Enterprise Thinking Network, The Boeing Company, Canoga Park, CA 91309, USA

Abstract: The aim of this article is to present ||a closer look|| at the management theory of ||Six Sigma Quality|| and to contrast it with the management theory of Dr W. Edwards Deming. This paper will offer a perspective that the critical differences between ||Six Sigma Quality|| and the teachings of Dr Deming are not technical, but rather philosophical in nature. This explanation briefly compares the technical aspects of Six Sigma Quality and Deming|s theory and places a greater emphasis on the paradigms, vocabularies and subsequent intent imbedded in these approaches. Given the significant gains attributed to Six Sigma Quality as a quality improvement philosophy, consider the greater gains that could be achieved if improvements could be applied to the very philosophy of Six Sigma Quality itself. Such gains would be realised by challenging the assumptions embedded in ||zero defects|| as a quality goal and replacing them with the philosophy of ||minimising loss to society||.

Keywords: continuous improvement; Deming; quality loss function; six sigma quality; system of profound knowledge; Taguchi; thinking together; zero defects.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIEM.2004.004402

International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management, 2004 Vol.2 No.1, pp.82 - 95

Published online: 10 May 2004 *

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