Born in 1909 Shigeo Shingo would become one of the most influential figures in lean manufacturing. After graduating from Yamanashi technical college Dr. Shingo went to work for the Taipei Railway Company. Shortly after he was transferred to a manufacturing plant in Yokohama by the name of Amano Manufacturing. Dr. Shingo immediately went to work improving production by 100%.
In about 1955 Dr. Shingo went to work for Toyota. It was there that he developed the system we know today as SMED and Error Proofing. Legend has it that Dr. Shingo was able to reduce the set-up time of a 1,000 ton press from 4 hours to a mere 3 minutes. All throughout Dr. Shingo's life he travelled the world giving talks and performing remarkable consulting projects. Dr. Shingo has written more than 10 books and countless cited papers used in the manufacturing world. After many years of hard work Utah State University created an award known today as the Shingo prize which is given for the remarkable performance of manufacturers.
Everyday all around the world legends are born. Gurus and Legends are forged in the blink of a moment, often from publicity alone. The fact is you don't have to write a book to be considered a Lean or Six Sigma. In fact a guru is defined as an influential teacher or a popular expert by many. With that said each of us have a list of Gurus in the Lean and Six Sigma world that we look up to. Many of them teaching us skills day in and day out without ever asking for recognition.
On this page you can submit those gurus to be featured on the Masters of Lean Six Sigma page. Simply fill out the form below and submit your biography to the community.
Dr. Feigenbaum was an American quality control guru who specialized in Total Quality Control. Dr. Feigenbaum received his PH.D. in economics from MIT and shortly after was named the director of manufacturing operations at General Electric before moving on to become President and CEO of General Systems Company which was located in Pittsfield Massachusetts. Feigenbaum wrote several books on the topic of Quality Management including: Total Quality Control and The Power of Management Innovation.
Dr. Feigenbaum was best known for his contributions in quality, some of which included:
Reference: Wikipedia: Armand V. Feigenbaum
Noriaki Kano is a professor and consultant who specializes in quality management. Mr. Kano is most noted for the phenomenal tool that he developed known as the Kano Model. The Kano model is a customer satisfaction model which places customer preferences into five categories:
Taiichi Ohno was born in Manchuria, China in 1912 and graduated from Nagoya Institute of Technology in 1932. In 1943 Mr. Ohno joined Toyota as a production supervisor and eventually earned the name as one of the fathers of the Toyota Production System. He wrote many books supporting the Toyota Production System some of which are: Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production and Workplace Management. In the late 1940's and early 1950's Toyota was facing financial struggles and needed to improve production and business processes in order to compete with other manufacturers of the time. It was then that Mr. Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo were challenged to improve without the use of excessive capital expenditures. Together Mr. Shingo and Mr. Ohno transformed the manufacturing world. One of the major discoveries that Mr. Ohno came across during this stage of transformation was what became known as the 7 deadly wastes: Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overprocessing, Overproduction, Defects.
Taiichi Ohno often described the Toyota Production System as a supermarket. Impressed by a previous trip to America Taiichi Ohno found it phenomenal how the markets operated based on the pull of the customer. He later took this idea back to Toyota creating the early beginnings of the Just in Time System.
Taiichi Ohno's fame has spread over the years as almost every great sensei in some way or another can trace their lineage back to Mr. Ohno.
Sakichi Toyoda is often referred to as the father of Japanese industrial revolution. He is also the founder of Toyota Industries Co., Ltd. He created a variety of weaving device. The most famous invention is the automatic power loom in which he applied the principles of Jidoka (autonomous automation). Jidoka principle, which means that the machine stops itself when the problem occurs, then became part of the Toyota Production System.
Toyoda developed the concept of 5 why: When a problem occurs, ask 'why' five times to try to find the source of the problem, then put into place something to prevent these problems from recurring. This concept is used today as part of implementing lean methodologies to solve problems, improve quality and reduce costs.
Reference: Wikipedia: Sakichi Toyoda
Bill Smith is the father of Six Sigma. Mr. Smith was born Bill Smith worked for Motorola in the 1980's where he held positions like vice president and senior quality assurance manager. Mr. Smith was a very accomplished engineer of 35 years before he joined with Motorola. Driven with the spirit of perfection, Bill changed the way statistical analysis was performed. He and Dr. Harry would eventually develop what we know today as the DMAIC methodology.
Dr. Mikel J. Harry received his PHD from Arizona State University in 1984. Dr. Harry is a widely recognized name in Six Sigma. He wrote a book entitled Six Sigma: The Breakthrough Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World's Top Corporations which has been on the best selling books on six sigma for many years now.
Along with over 50 publications on six sigma Dr. Harry's work is used in such organizations as General Electric, Ford Motor Company, Allied Signal and Motorola. Dr. Harry is truly one of the Master's of Six Sigma and has a long list of accomplishments within the industry including:
- Development of six sigma quality program for Motorola in 1987.
- Winning the Malcolm Aldridge Quality award in 1987.
- Founder of Six Sigma Academy
- Multiple Global Business awards.
For more information on Dr. Mikel Harry visit his biography page.