During my days in Product Development, we were always looking for the Next Big thing. Now that I am submersed in the world of Six Sigma, I continuously ask myself what the next big thing will be and when will it happen? I think we can all agree that the progress in Quality during the last century has been more of an evolutionary process rather than revolutionary event. With this said, are we in the midst of the Next Big Thing with the advent of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Design for Lean Sigma (DFLS)? Or are these trends minor refinements on the theme? Could it be the implantation of the lessons of human capital learned from Western Electric’s Hawthorn Studies, some 80 years later, with a better workplace just around the bend? Will it be a new statistical analysis or possibly the recognition of proven techniques such as Genetic Algorithm Optimization, Monte Carlo Simulation or the use of neural networks that help to transform how we analyze data to make better decisions for the future?
No matter what the next big is, the strong will evolve with the change to capitalize on the opportunities that it opens for us.