SZ homework2/4

Six Sigma and innovation: can they coexist at the same manufacturer?


Create and submit for evaluation on or before February 10th, a paper version of a double-spaced single-sided report of 12pt text comprising at least five pages, including abstract, main theme and conclusions, which responds to the above sentence. In addition, create an elegant flamboyant sixth page; the cover-page.  Append a seventh page that presents a list citing the sources that were used to develop the report.  


The Six Sigma program and innovation are frequently considered to be situated at the two extremes of the manufacturing spectrum.  On the one hand, the relentless drive by most manufacturers to decrease defects, cut costs, and increase efficiency spawned Six Sigma at Motorola in 1986, and afterwards GE embraced this statistical approach with great vigor (no more than 3.4 defects per million), so that it quickly became a staple of corporate life in the 1990s.


However, this relatively rigid approach contradicts markedly with the relentless desire of CEOs for growth and innovation, which involves variation, failure, risk and serendipity.  If Six Sigma reigns in an organization then will this be responsible for incremental innovation, rather than dramatic innovative new products like the iPod etc.  On the other hand if freedom reigns, then how will this influence quality, costs etcetera?  Begin your report by first defining Six Sigma and then defining innovation.


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