and rewelded. Sometimes the cut out
was so extensive that the large components had to be cut completely apart and
the weld preps remachined. The parts
were so large and bulky that it would
take up to 3 or 4 hours just to sit up and
indicate them in on the large vertical
turning lathes. Unfortunately, the faster
welding process could and in many cases did add addition hours for bad weld
removal, remachining, and rewelding to
an already overloaded shop schedule.
The management mindset was by
push and shove. Each operation in the
manufacturing process was to be done
as fast as possible. Although the faster
welding procedure saved time for the
welding operation of the manufacturing process, it could cost more time
than it gained in rework time.
Both of the real causes for bad welds
(environment and weld process) were
not touched on in the quality manager’s
six sigma evaluation. He was looking
at every element of the operation as he
learn in the certification training. He
did not have a clue!! He was looking for
band aids to fix the resulting problem.
If going by the numbers (in this case –
the six sigma methodology) could get
the job done, then anybody could sit
through the training in the methodology and come up with all of the answers.
Unfortunately, this is not the case in the
In today’s world of dumbed-down
immediate gratification, it seems that
businesses rely more and more on a
“cookie-cutter” fit out of a text book.
The candidate for a position that has all
of the right “certifications” is considered
the best candidate. Candidates without
certification are not considered. Man-
agers do not have to think and/or evalu-
ate ….. just put the square peg into the
square hole and the desired results will
be obtained ….. improved productivity
and profit margins ….. or so they think.
Over the past 20 years, “quality” has
been a growth industry. Careers and fortunes have been made in training and
consulting …. ISO 9000 for companies
and six sigma and other methodology
training for individuals. So many times
a company will get their people trained
and certified in a quality/productivity
methodology to show that it is an efficient quality operation …. at least on
paper. But the mindset of upper management is often not changed. It has
been papered over with certifications.
The assorted problem solving meth-
odologies originated from the Toyo-
ta Quality Team in the auto industry.
They were developed to deliver uniform
results through a standardized process.
But like the old saying about computers,
“garbage in – garbage out”, if experience and a little “common sense” is not
applied to the uniform process, results
can be somewhat less than desired. Certification does not equate to good effective solutions to problems.
Please do not misunderstand me.
Certification in a problem solving
methodology or job function can be a
handy tool in a person’s “skills tool box”.
But it is not a stand-alone qualification.
A person with experience, an inquisitive
mind, and a desire to accomplish some-
thing positive can often out preform a
person with just the certification.
Oh yea …. there is another important element that is necessary for any
quality/problem solving methodology
to work. Top management has to understand, believe in, and actively support
the improvement program for it to work