99.9% Effective

How comfortable are you with 99.9% effective?  That’s the number we like to use to show near certainty.  But in a lot of cases 99.9% effective is totally unacceptable.   It turns out to be about 3 bad takeoffs from LaGuardia airport per week, 8 failed open heart surgeries a year, or two typos per page in a typical novel.  Six Sigma in the strict sense is about getting to a point where you have only 3.4 mistakes per million opportunities.  That translates to about 99.999% effective.  What a difference a couple of decimal points can make.


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