While it became something like a religion at companies like GE, Six Sigma is far better at perfecting processes than ideas—it’s a more natural fit for the factory floor than for a design team. Thirty years ago, the business world was obsessed with efficiency and quality, but in the last decade innovation and disruption have become the preeminent concerns. In a world where software drives the economy, eliminating defects is no longer a priority when code is constantly updated. We’re all better off for living in a world where cars and airplanes are engineered according to Six Sigma principles, but it no longer has the same power and influence in the business world it once had; as manufacturing reliability has improved, it’s been a victim of its own success.
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