A common hurdle to enterprise-wide implementation of Six Sigma projects is the need to prepare employees so they are able to use statistical tools and graphical analysis techniques. Six Sigma deployment plans are replete with classes, seminars and coaching sessions aimed at the use and application of statistical procedures. Master Black Belts, Black Belts and external consultants are engaged in developing tutorial aids, analysis macros, and automated analysis routines so employees do not have to know too much to get the job done.
A long term solution to this problem is to work with education providers and help them understand the industry's need for a better prepared work force. People who graduate from engineering, business and management programs need to be equipped with work-ready skills so they can make immediate contributions in the workplace.
This paper and presentation describes the work two Six Sigma Master Black Belts have done to drive to the very root cause of this issue with their work targeting a fundamental cultural change. The paper describes four visits to a third grade classroom and the exercises and presentations conducted with the 8-10 year old students. Simple experiments were designed, executed and analyzed. The data were analyzed using arithmetic and graphical functions that the students had learned, making it a tangible demonstration that the concepts they are learning in school are the foundation of the analytical procedures used in the engineering offices and manufacturing facilities that is a part of their community. The activities focused on scientific methods and integrated the student's math, science, English composition, team building and presentation skills that were part of their regular curriculum. Special attention was given to strengthening self-confidence in mathematics and science, and the potential for a satisfying career in a field that incorporates this curriculum.