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Abstract

In the beginning was the Need and the Need had no name. Because the Need had no name, the people were ignorant of it, and happy. But the evil Variation was upon the land, yet nobody cared. And Variation did abideth in the United States, when out of the East came a force and smote the U.S., carrying back across the Pacific gold and silver, businesses and jobs. And Bob Galvin, chairman of the board of Motorola, was not happy and called upon the messengers of God to deliver the country from this evil. The first was Edward of Deming, who did preach among the managers and the money changers. But they rent their garments and shouted: “Go tell it to the Japanese.” Next was the Philistine Phil Crosby, who proclaimed “Quality is free.” But all the people laughed, and Crosby went to Florida and he did then laugheth. Then, out of the wilderness, came Dorian the Shainin, who walked the length and breadth of the land and preached: “Attack Variation. It is evil.” And Shainin shunned the captains and centurions and gathered about him peasants of sturdy stock from Rath and Strong, General Motors, Motorola, and other companies. At Motorola, his disciple, Keki Bhote, stood up and told the people: “Verily, verily I say unto you, heed the guru Shainin,for surely, he will lead you to the promised land.” And then Bob Galvin created the Motorola Training and Education Center, and MTEC did walk the earth and eat the apple of knowledge. And Shainin and Bhote and MTEC knew each other and begat Advanced Diagnostic Tools (ADT) and Planned Experiments (PE). Over 8,000 of the unbelievers were converted. Then from the depths of the Communications Sector was born Six Sigma; and lo and behold, the Need finally had a name—Six Sigma.

—From a Motorola skit at a Six Sigma rally.