In the 1950s, W. Edwards Deming, who popularized the notion that continuous process improvement leads to quality production, developed many modern quality programs in Japan. Today, the practice genba kanri,1 which loosely translates as “workshop management,” is a movement to error-proof processes. The “5 Zs” provide the guiding principles. The Japanese word for “do not”—zu—ends each of the 5 “Z” words:
Six Sigma is an error-proofing movement that was started at Motorola in the 1980s, borrowing from the Japanese, with the specific ...