Essays/linkedin/24-05-06 six sigma

First published:

Last Edited:

Number of edits:

💯 Just completed my first course on Lean Six Sigma. I was surprised by the intersection of statistics, useful insights for entrepreneurs, and quality management at larger scales.

I was curious about Six Sigma because I wanted to learn the language that process engineers speak. Smaller companies occupy specific places in the value chain, and being able to understand the concerns arising both upstream and downstream is crucial to designing successful projects.

Some highlights I collected from this introduction to the topic of quality management:

Quality is closely related to the Voice of Customer (even if it's the internal customer working with the output of a process). What are the features, and in which ranges, that a customer values and uses for deciding whether a product is acceptable or not.

Even if not implementing a six-sigma method yet, it's interesting to see that customer input has a central location in business processes.

The Voice of Customer has such a deep impact on startups, even if it's very hard to properly collect it. Many entrepreneurs forget how to keep this voice integrated into their development strategies.

Surprisingly, even if the course kept the VoC at a central place, forgot about it when discussing how to identify critical-to-quality attributes. It all came down to a brainstorming exercise performed exclusively internally. The VoC becomes just a validation platform for predefined ideas that were sourced internally.

I can't say whether this is the case for all Six-Sigma courses. In this case it felt a bit like a letdown. Finding specific attributes is so crucial to gaining a competitive edge that leaving it to the randomness of a brainstorm seems insufficient. And this is a concern both for startups trying to find product/market fit, and for well established companies trying to keep up with their innovation cycles.

I was surprised when the course introduced the central limit theorem. It brought me back memories of my time as a student.

As a (experimental) physicist, many of the topics seemed straightforward. From measurement biases to calibration. From operator dependance on results to accuracy.

It was interesting to understand how things that, perhaps, sound natural for an experimentalist, need to be formalized to include all stakeholders involved in a complex process.

Of all the skills an entrepreneur needs to master, I won't put Six Sigma at the top. The quality management needs will arise as the company grows. It's easy to intuitively understand the value of establishing processes when they are needed. At that moment, a properly trained professional can be put in charge and take over.

I had never properly followed a MOOC before. This was the first time I commit few hours every week. I'm shocked by the immense value available on platforms such as Coursera and EdX.

-- 👋 Hi! I'm @Aquiles.

I'm a scientist turned entrepreneur. I share insights on the challenges of #scipreneurship


These are the other notes that link to this one.

Nothing links here, how did you reach this page then?


Share your thoughts on this note
Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
This note you are reading is part of my digital garden. Follow the links to learn more, and remember that these notes evolve over time. After all, this website is not a blog.
© 2021 Aquiles Carattino
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Privacy Policy