ASQ - Six Sigma Forum

Martin Biddenham, director of process excellence at AQUIST Consulting


Where do you work?
AQUIST Consulting (advancing quality improvement through systems thinking and statistical thinking).  Self-employed again after three redundancies.  I previously worked at EMC Corp. as the European director of lean Six Sigma.

What do you do – what’s your title?
Director of process excellence. I help facilitate and lead process improvement.

What’s your educational background?
I earned a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Sheffield Hallam University in 1978 and a master’s degree in statistics from Dundee University in 1980. I’m also a chartered statistician from the Royal Statistical Society and a U.K. Science Council chartered scientist.

How long have you been an ASQ member?
Since 1999. 

What do you think is most important in implementing a Six Sigma project?
Maintaining focus on the customer and linking to the organizational improvement plan.

Why do you think Six Sigma is important?
It can be of great benefit if the leadership are involved. Otherwise, it is a wall paper exercise to save money.

Why do you think quality is important?
Quality is the output of everything that an organization does. But don't focus on quality, focus on the customer, systems and processes. Use Fourth Generation Management, a concept developed by Brian Joiner.

What’s your favorite benefit of quality?
Helping everyone make improvements to give customers a better experience.

Why did you choose to go into the quality field?
I met W. Edwards Deming in the 1980s and was hooked. It all makes sense.

What’s your best advice to someone new to quality?
Use Fourth Generation Management, look at the big picture and strive for holistic improvement. Focus on the inputs—not the outputs—to improve everything you do.

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