Can you make this “Lean”?

One of the most interesting topics in my Lean Six Sigma workshops is that of Value Add & Non-Value Add analysis. As per Lean, we classify a process step or feature as “Value add” (VA) if it truly adds value from the customer’s perspective. Those steps or features which do not are simply called […]

10 reasons why calculating COPQ does not help!

The cost of poor quality (COPQ) is a concept which seems very powerful to many organizations. It is sometimes justifiable to calculate COPQ for a product/ process or for a machine The concept becomes hazy and unjustified when someone tries to assess COPQ for the organization as a whole. It seems fascinating to analyze […]

Why Marketing and Quality don’t pull in the same direction?

In the initial part of my professional life, between 1996 and 2001, I carried out Business Reviews for 400+ organizations which had Quality Audits as an essential element. In the last 15 years, while utilizing Six Sigma, I have been working with Quality professionals and leadership teams across domains and countries.
Six Sigma professionals seek […]

10 Interesting Questions on Lean Six Sigma

For a while, I have been thinking of compiling some of the questions in the Lean Six Sigma domain that more often than not,  move teams in inappropriate direction. I have tried putting some of them together in this article.

These are not wrong questions to ask if posed with an open mind. However, when […]

Branding your Improvement Program as Six Sigma or Lean?


Whenever I discuss branding for improvement program in any organization, two terms that come up naturally are Lean and Six Sigma (Lean Six Sigma Training). Among the business excellence community, it has been derived quite some time ago, that we may call it Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and integrate the best of the two approaches. […]

Train them and they leave!

I know about companies that get their best people trained on Lean Six Sigma. Well, that seems the best thing to do and probably, it is.

What happens next is truly unexpected. Many of these professionals are excited about the learning and want to put it to action soon. They need a project to work […]

Height of Achievement!

The normal distribution is the most important distribution in statistics. It describes a symmetric bell-shaped distribution. People’s heights, weights and IQ scores are all roughly bell-shaped and symmetrical around a mean. Height, for the matter of fact, has been one of the most cited and used examples to explain normal distribution. The normal distribution […]

When Design for Six Sigma Fails

Design for Six Sigma is a methodology that commonly uses DMADV roadmap. Here is a DMADV sequence that led to a spectacular failure.
D – Define – In the US, car fuel economy standards and car fuel emission norms present a design contradiction. If a car maker is excellent with emission norms, it is hard […]

Is your Data Reliable? – Lessons from Popeye the sailorman

For decades Popeye has been the favorite cartoon for children around the world. Over the years, Popeye has appeared in comic books, television cartoons, arcade and video games. In 2002, TV Guide ranked Popeye #20 on its “50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time” list.
Popeye, with his odd accent and improbable forearms, used spinach […]

Ice Cream Parody – The underlying Fallacy in Voice of Customer

This week’s blog is about a well-known story about how customer feedback or complaint (VOC) may seem illogical. I really don’t know how true the story is. I came across this in the book “The truth never stands in the way of a good story”, which pins down urban folktales that are hard to believe yet […]