RE: Developing a Methodology

Subject: RE: Developing a Methodology
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "Johnson, Tom" <TJohnson -at- starcutter -dot- com>, "John Posada" <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "Zuercher, Darrell" <dzuerche -at- tva -dot- gov>, <eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2006 08:38:13 -0400

Tom Johnson wondered...

> Are you saying if you write a document has lots of defects but they
> discovered you've achieved Six Sigma? Somehow that doesn't seem right.
> ------------------
> John Posada wrote:
> BTW...the goal of Six Sigma, from the perspective of documentation,
> means that if a million people read a document, only 3.4 defects will
> be discovered (even if it means that 3.4 readers discovered the SAME
> defect). In other words, if 500,000 people read it, there will be a
> cumulative number of 1.7 defects noticed (3.4/2), and if 250,000 read
> it, .85 defects will be noticed.

That's technically what he said, but I don't think that's the intent.
I've not done any Six Sigma training, but I would imagine they envision
a pool of "perfect" readers: thorough, knowledgeable, detail oriented,
and dependent on the accuracy of the documentation.

I'm not sure what constitutes a "documentation defect" in Six Sigma
parlance, and I'm wondering if someone can elaborate:

Would a defect be the fact that a person misused a comma that violated
some obscure and arcane (but still valid) rule, and only 1 reader out of
250,000 was savvy enough to think "Gee, that might be wrong, but I'm not
completely sure about it"?

Or would a defect be leaving out a step in a process that is so rarely
used that only 1 in 250,000 readers would actually go through it and
would figure out there was an error, but would still be able to find a
work-around based on the other information you provided in the document?

Or would both the above be considered a defect?

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