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If you want to understand Six Sigma Speak ….

I made my way through an account of how TRW’s law department dramatically reduced its spending on international trademark renewals. It did so after a team that applied Six Sigma principles. The article, Harriet Davidson, “Six Sigma in Corporate Law, ASQ Six Sigma Forum Mag., Nov. 30, 2004, used many of the terms of art of this discipline (See my post of Nov. 14, 2005 about Xerox’s law department, and others cited, who used Six Sigma). Here is my amateur translation.

“Baseline portfolio,” which I think is the total picture of time, effort and cost of a process at the beginning of the analysis
“Baseline process sigma,” which in this situation started at 2.18 and increased, because of the changes the study made, to 4.2 (OK, I don’t have a clue)
“Big Y’s and Small Y’s,” which appear to be factors that can be improved, but leave me asking, “Why?”
“Critical to quality” (CTQ) characteristics: essential determinants of efficient trademark renewal
“Cycle time,” such as the elapsed time from start of the renewal process to conclusion for a given mark
“Defects,” such as unnecessary registrations renewed
“Hard costs” and “soft costs,” which analysts can measure or estimate, respectively
Tools such as cause and effect diagrams, fishbone analysis, logistic regression, process mapping, root cause analysis, value added analysis
“Voice of the customer” appears to be interviews with those who are involved with the trademark renewal process

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