Re: Am I misunderstanding?
I happen to think much of the Six Sigma program makes sense. But
then, I thought the same thing about various ISO implementation
systems, as well as TQM, Baldridge, Peters, Juran, Quality
Circles, and Deming when they were introduced.
My wife, a Certified Quality Engineer, has always been appalled at
what passes for management-instituted quality programs. She calls
it "Flavor Of The Month." Each program is brought in with hoopla,
enforced briefly, and then ignored. Eventually the ignoring easily
precedes the enforcement, with each new failing plan.
Someone once asked Dr. Deming, "Which US companies are doing the
best job of adopting your principles?" He replied, "None of them."
He observed that management always wanted "instant pudding."
The Japanese businessmen who adopted his methods did not expect
a payback until five years had passed. The US companies, driven
by the US business investment rules that place emphasis on
quarterly results (a sad mistake, according to Ishekawa), expect
results in less than a quarter. When the results are not
forthcoming, the program is tossed out and another equally
hopeless one takes its place. Anyone who can overcome this setup
for management-by-fiasco just might reap a fortune.
Quality in tech writing occurs only when management does not work
to prevent it. Thus quality itself is manufactured not in the QA
Department, not on the factory floor or in Software Development,
nor in the Tech Writing Group, but in the Board Room. They're
the ones who can institute a policy that implies: "We don't care
if the docs aren't ready. SHIP IT!"
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