Monthly Archives: August 2004

Dangers of Forgetting the Proxy Nature of Data

We use data to act as a proxy for some results of the system. Often people forget that the end result is not for the number to be improved but for the situation to be improved. We hope, if the measure improves the situation will have improved. But there are many reasons this may not be the case (one number improving at the expense of other parts of the system, the failure of the number to accurately serve as a proxy, distorting numbers, etc.). Continue reading

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Six Sigma and Deming Philosophies

My oversimplified view is that the Deming philosophy aims to improve the system and Six Sigma is about improving within the current system. I think several Six Sigma efforts over the past 10 years have improved upon what many organizations tried with TQM, in large part by

1) putting substantial effort (significant training and application) into using statistical tools to improve

and 2) more focus on results (especially short term results) Continue reading

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