If Sports Were Six Sigma

If sports were Six Sigma, they'd be pretty boring. No one would ever make a mistake. (Actually, there would be 3.4 mistakes for every 1,000,000 plays, but teams might have to play for months to decide a game.)

Every batter would hit a home run or every pitcher would strike out every batter. It would take 333,000 at bats to get one out or one run.

Every kickoff or play would result in a touchdown for either the offense or defense (e.g., a fumble recovered and run in for a touchdown). At the end of four quarters, the result would be a coin toss and the point spread would always be 6 or 7.

Every shot from anywhere on the court would always find nothing but net, so everyone would shoot 3-pointers. The result would be a coin toss and the point spread would be 3 (no one would ever foul a player).

Every stroke would produce a hole in one.

Every serve would be an ace or every return would win the point.

You get the idea.

Bottom line: If top professional athletes weren't so pathetically error-prone and variable in their performance, sporting events would be too boring to tolerate.

Here's My Point

Your employees, even your best employees, are hopelessly flawed and variable. Relying on them for a perfect product or service is hopeless. It would be like expecting your favorite athlete to win every game and never lose.

Your only hope in the war against delay, defects and deviation that make sporting events so entertaining and worklife so miserable is a vigilant, self-correcting, mistake-preventing uber-process. If your process is set up in such a way that products cannot be delayed and employees cannot make mistakes, then anyone can out perform Tiger Woods, not on the golf course, but in the office, store or factory floor.

Isn't it time to turn your rookies into star players?

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, (888) 468-1537, support@qimacros.com."

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