Friday, October 1, 2010

Six Sigma - More common than you think.

FACT : Statistically, Six Sigma means 2 defects per billion opportunities. Read The statistical definition of Six Sigma for more. This is what I have used as the "standard" here.

Six Sigma. Yes, the two words that force companies to spend millions to achieve. A green/black belt in Six Sigma is a sure shot way to reach the higher echelons of corporate life (which is inversely proportional to how your real life would go). It enhances your CV value so much, that recruits won't even listen to what you have to say. All your strategizing will be done with those words written in your CV.

But, if you really look at it, Six Sigma is being used by more people than you can think of. It's as though we were being groomed to be error free. The only problem was that we never knew that we were using it. THANK GOD FOR THAT! I can only imagine the amount of strategizing and analysis we would have had to do all throughout our lives (as opposed to only when you are trying to work, get a new job, or a girlfriend), had we actually known that we were trying to follow Six Sigma!

For instance, when we were REALLY REALLY young, your main focus was on how to run away from all the "daants" you were getting from your parents. Hence, at that time, your Six Sigma Process (SSP) would have been :

To actually get only 2 daants for a billion times your parents tried to daantofy you. 

Then, of course, there were those exams. Your main aim was to somehow pass them. You had no idea why you wrote them. All you knew then was that if you did NOT pass them, you would get daantofied by your parents. Hence, your SSP would have been :

To fail in 2 exams for every billion exams written - Looking back, I think I failed badly on this one, with the failed CAT attempts (before finally FINALLY getting through), the IIT tests, the learners licence test, and what not.

Then, you become a teenager. Puberty kicks in. And with that, your "emotional" quotient skyrockets. You find a girl in every nook and corner cute. Which, in Kerala, was literally every nook and corner! (Just the numbers). Your SSP would then change to :

Getting 2 slaps/shoe or chappal marks on your face for every billion times you propose - I am still single. Go figure.
Next up, college and then B-School. You start staying in a hostel. You meet a lot of new people. Your perspectives also change a bit. And so would your SSPs :

To sleep in 2 classes out of a billion attended - I failed in this one very VERY badly. I would have reached a thousand sigma if my SSP had been "To stay awake in only 1 class out of a billion attended"!

To go to the library (for the right reasons) twice out of a billion times I pass by it - Passed. With flying colours. It was like a repelling machine, the library. The only time I think I did go was during the summer in Gurgaon, whilst trying to save myself from melting down, when the Air Conditioning was on.

To puke 2 times out of a billion times I have a lot of alcohol - I don't remember. Hence, I cannot comment.

Hence, as you can see, all throughout your life, you encounter processes. And in all those processes, you try to achieve Six Sigma. In fact, it's interesting to note that your whole life itself is one big SSP.

To be successfull twice out of a billion attempts at it.

This could be termed as a lot of other stuff. Like long term ambition, vision, the answer to "Where do you see yourself when you are fifty years old?" or "Where do you see yourself when you are retired?". Things become so much easier to answer when you realize that it's all a process.

To further prove how common Six Sigma is in the lives of people, let me put forward some of the SSPs that were very clearly followed by some of the famous personalities in this world.

George W Bush

People of this world, do not blame him for what he has done during his tenure as the President of the United States of America. For, he was actually following his SSP :

Make 2 right decision for every billion he makes.

Yes! He was bang on correct with this SSP.
But Wait! I never DID make a billion decisions. Hence, I never even got the chance to make ONE RIGHT decision!
He also had a smaller SSP that he perfected in :

Getting hit by only 2 shoes for a billion thrown at him at press conferences.

HA HA! Missed me! AGAIN! HA HA!
Harvard Business School graciously "felicitated" Bush by actually changing its SSP to :

To churn out only 2 George W Bush's out of a billion who pass out.

(Yes, I know. Organizations CANNOT be Six Sigma certified. But, if HBS were a person, he/she would definitely have felicitated so.)

Suresh Kalmadi

Oh yes. Who can ever forget the guy on whose shoulders lay the weight of the nation. And we all know what happens when you give responsibility to him.

But WAIT!! He did not do anything wrong! Spare him of all the criticisms!! For he too has followed his SSP perfectly :

Making sure that only 2 bricks are standing in its original position for every billion bricks used to build the CWG venues.

LISTEN PEOPLE! I have done what I have come here to do. Now let me go Scot free! To Scotland, to organize the 2014 Commonwealth Games, of course! HA!

Hence, as you can so clearly see, Six Sigma is present in all our lives. It is way more common than you can ever think. All it takes is a bit of imagination, and some practice. And that goes a long way to you being a self proclaimed Six Sigma certified person!


hitesh said...

Hey nice 1

Anonymous said...

Lol I know why u r still single after reading this

Anonymous said...

ROFL! This was absolutely amazing! Especially this: Making sure that only 2 bricks are standing in its original position for every billion bricks used to build the CWG venues.

Kartik Krishnamoorthy said...

@All : Thanks a lot! :)

@Anonymous : heh heh! True, it is, indeed! :)