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Mike Micklewright: Six Sigma vs. 7 Basic Quality Tools

Video Information


In this episode of Whiteboard, Mike Micklewright compares the value of Six Sigma to Kaoru Ishikawa's Seven Basic Quality Tools.


1) Scatter Plots

2) Histograms

3) Pareto Charts

4) Flow Charts

5) Check Sheets

6) Cause & Effect Diagrams (aka Fishbone or Ishikawa diagrams)

7) Run and Control Charts




Good presentation on Seven Quality Tools

While I think this is a good presentation of the Seven Basic tools, I'm not sure I completely agree with Mike's overall philosophy. Although I do agree that many organizations tend to train too many Black Belts, and all organizations would be better off with a lot of people who can actually use the basic tools, I don't agree that anyone can learn the seven basic tools in 16 hours, at least not to the "apply," "analyze" or "synthesize" levels needed to be truly effective. Check sheets, cause-and-effect diagrams and Flow charts, maybe (although I've seen some people who were hacks even with these). Of course, I have met Black Belts who were hacks with just about every tool in the inventory... I guess my point is that not all Black Belt training is a waste (every Black Belt and Green Belt has to learn the seven basic tools, too). My guess is that, at the organization with 800 Black Belts, they probably DID train too many. However, the fact that only 40 of the 800 are using any of the tools today is not the fault of the training or the complexity of the training; it's more likely the fault of leadership for not USING the Black Belts effectively. My own bet is that had that organization trained those 800 people in the 7 basic tools, maybe 40 of them would still be using them, and only a handful of the 40 would be using histograms and control charts effectively. So Mike's point is well taken...if you're not going to use the Quality training you invest in, you're at least better off financially if you invest in something cheap...you'll waste a lot less that way!