ASQ - Six Sigma Forum


John Gunkler, president and owner, Excelsior Group

John GunklerJohn Gunkler is president and owner of Excelsior Group, a consulting company. He has a doctorate degree (ABD) in educational psychology and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Here, he answers some questions related to the importance of Six Sigma.

What do you think is most important in implementing a Six Sigma project?

Getting the support and participation of senior management but also working with the people in the gemba.

Why do you think Six Sigma is important?

Because most organizations have too much variation in their processes and products and because it is a proven philosophy with well-structured methods and tools.

Why do you think quality is important?

Because it [defined as relative market-perceived benefit] is half of the customer’s value equation, which is the basis upon which customers make purchasing decisions [the other half is relative market-perceived cost].

What’s your favorite benefit of quality?

It depends somewhat on the client I’m working with, but for many, the biggest (sometimes unintended) benefit is the engagement of their people.

Why did you choose to go into the quality field?

After 20 years in strategy and large-scale organizational change, I wanted to do something where I could evaluate my effectiveness and value more directly and more quickly. And I like getting my hands dirty.

What’s your best advice to someone new to quality?

Talk with your customers and the customers of competitors. Go to the gemba and do not leave until you find at least one example of every category of muda (waste). Find or create measures of process and product variability and track them on a run chart until you can create a control chart.

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