The Austin Chronicle

Bill of the Week

By Richard Whittaker, April 22, 2011, News

House Bill 3149

Filed: March 10, 2011. Author: Rep. Raul Torres, R-Corpus Christi

If accountant and freshman Republican Torres gets his way, every state agency will be part of Lean Six Sigma. Wait, wasn't that a G.I. Joe series? Oh, no, that was Sigma 6. Lean Six Sigma is a business model with a revolutionary underlying concept: If you are a manufacturer, then making a poor-quality product is a bad idea. Lean Six Sigma gives exponents different colored belts, turning middle management seeking savings into martial artists. Since being pioneered by Motorola executives in the 1980s to salvage the firm's collapsing reputation, its baseline product testing success rate of 99.99966% has been adopted by various branches of the American military (which, as everyone knows, is a model of fiscal efficiency). The original version of the bill required all state agencies to adopt the Lean Six Sigma standard, but this has already been downgraded to a pilot project at the Texas Workforce Commission; the quality control bill is pending in the House Government Efficiency and Reform Committee. However, the 3.4-defects-per-million failure rate is only as good as the testing standards, and it is unclear how a management philosophy designed for checking circuit boards will transfer to more nebulous concepts like care for invalids. It's safe to say there will be hordes of well-paid consultants waiting in the wings with that advice. Torres already has the public backing of Mike George, founder of the deficit-busting Strong America Now group and creator of ... Lean Six Sigma.

Copyright © 2024 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.