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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Six Sigma

Our chapter on bureaucracy discusses management techniques in government. At Politico, Kendra Marr writes:

Tim Pawlenty's got a secret weapon for reforming the federal government: It's called "Six Sigma."

The former Minnesota governor and 2012 GOP hopeful is a true believer in an arcane — and controversial — business management strategy that's popular with Fortune 500 companies, but not many politicians.

Even its supporters take pains to note that it's not a "secret society" or meaningless slogan.

Just hours after launching his presidential exploratory committee, Pawlenty was on a conference call with supporters ticking off the ways he'd reform the federal government — "Six Sigma principles," he said.

"I couldn't be more excited about it," Pawlenty told listeners.

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, is much less excited. He has skewered Six Sigma in a number of strips: