One Thing Led To Another On My Performance Improvement Journey

At Motorola – Before The Birth of Six Sigma

This is the Summary of a White Paper written by me in May 1982 at Motorola – that led to my boss converting that – to his concept of a D-I-Y Geary Rummler Consulting Kit…


My boss at MTEC, Paul Heidenreich… with his Kit shirt on – at his Phoenix offices where we were working on the DIY GRC Kit…


Geary and Guy – Right to Left


The good Doctor…


The White Paper – here:

MTEC White Paper 1982 – 39 page PDF – a white paper I wrote while at MTEC – Motorola’s Training & Education Center – in May 1982 where I proposed combining the concepts, models, methods, processes, tools and techniques of Geary Rummler, Neil Rackham (of SPIN Selling fame) and of Deming, Juran and Crosby (and other quality gurus). This led to my boss taking that idea and changing it to become a Geary Rummler Do-It-Yourself Consulting Kit – which after I left in October 1982 became the training course created by Geary Rummler called OPS (Organization Performance Systems) – that later morphed into what became Six Sigma at Motorola.

…that DIY Kit led to the development of a training course at Motorola known as “OPS – Organization as a Performance System …

…this is Page 2 of the Summary …


Most don’t know and appreciate that Six Sigma … which Motorola created after buying the rights to the Rummler’s stuff of OPS which was the DIY GRC Kit … and blended the tools of TQM in a Rummler Process Orientation… sourced from both the wide world of TQM in the mid-1980s and the Rummler methods and tools, from his process improvement approach.

Yes – There Are Many Fathers of Six Sigma

That story is told here… by my former colleague at MTEC, Alan Ramias… who took over my Rummler Motorola Training & Education Center projects when I left MTEC to join Ray Svenson in his consulting business … back in November of 1982 …


… and in this video… Alan and Bill Wiggenhorn credit Six Sigma to Rummler…

The late Geary Rummler was one of my main mentors.

Working with him a on a dozen or so projects in 1981 and 1982 – along with Carol Panza, one of his associates back in the day… was informative to say the least. It was Career Changing to tell the truth. Here is Geary doing one of my HPT Podcasts from 2008 at the ISPI Conference in NYC. He had told me then that he’d do a 2-hour interview with me the next year, but he passed away before that next conference.

Many Fathers to My Career

My exposure at MTEC to many of the quality gurus such as Deming, Juran, Crosby, Dewar and others – plus exposure to the thinking of Neil Rackam … was also influential beyond measure. Also my exposure to Rummler, Gilbert, Mager and Harless at Wickes Lumber in Saginaw MI before my time at MTEC. Motorola was … where I learned about Stats and X-Bar R Control Charts and the 7 basic quality tools. The whole TQM thing. Which needed structure IMO – way back then – that Six Sigma provided.

It was the Rummler process-orientation that made Six Sigma something that could be practiced, with tolerable variation in each application effort. In my view anyway, it was Robust to the variations in the client’s and stakeholders’ situation.

But then many started to use it when it was the wrong hammer for that bolt… such as when the root cause of a performance gap is really favoritism  between the manager and one employee, causing everyone else’s performance to suffer. Six Sigma isn’t going to get to that root, except by the wide eyed and open minded Belt thinking and practicing outside THAT particular box’s parameters.

Learned Formally 1

Some Favorite Videos

Rummler at MTEC 1981

Needs Analysis… ala Rummler… 1986…

Performance Engineering… ala Rummler… 1986…

Stakeholders Include Customers

And are so much more complicated in defining Needs or Gaps from Needs – and then there are Wants.

The Customer Is King – Not! – 15 page PDF – the original version of the article published in the Journal for Quality and Participation in March 1995 – address Balancing Conflicting Stakeholder Requirements, and suggests that the Customer is Not the King of Stakeholders (despite the unfortunate slogans from the Quality movement despite Deming’s admonitions about slogans).

Stakeholder Hierachy Example 1

And On Another Topic

It was all Informal Learning before there was any Formal Learning.

golf 2

But I digress.

I also bought into Lean – from the book The Machine That Change The World – when I wrote about my approach to standard work in the ISD realm… but first, nothing new to see here …




My 1999 book…

1999 lean-ISD Book Cover

lean-ISD (1999) – as a Paperback

Paperback $30

Note: this 1999 book was made available as a FREE 410 page PDF in 2007 with some slight updates – here.

But – what’s the cost of your printing and binding? 

Recent Reviewer… “I won your book lean-ISD at an ASTD/ISPI local conference several years ago. I found it helpful on a few projects while I worked at Intel (2001-2005).- D.C. PhD – June 2012″

For other reviews from 1999 including one from the late Geary A. Rummler (who re-designed the book cover), and one from Miki Lane, Judy Hale, Jim Russell, and John Swinney – please go  – here.

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