Cutting costs, improving quality and boosting profits are phrases every company hears at some point. Six Sigma has long been used in the manufacturing market to meet these goals. However, the use of Six Sigma practices has expanded into healthcare, service and government organizations, to name a few. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) recognizes this and is once again offering valuable sessions and networking opportunities at the 2008 Six Sigma Conference, February 11-12, 2008, in Phoenix.

Finding Answers Through Lean
"Sustainable Growth Through Lean Six Sigma" is the main focus of this year’s conference. Sessions are tailored from the novice level (green belts) to the very technical (black belts) and cover a wide variety of topics.

A snapshot of sessions being offered include:

  • Lean Metrics for Office and Service Environments
  • Lean and Six Sigma in Product Development
  • How Lean Can Reinvigorate Your Organization’s Improvement Program
  • Challenges and Rewards of Lean Six Sigma in Mid-Size Business
  • CAT Scan Utilization
  • Six Sigma Without Statistics for Service Organizations
  • Lean Success in a Small Shop
  • Using Six Sigma to Trade Performance for Profit

The full program will be listed on the 2008 Six Sigma Conference Web site.

CIGNA Executive to Address Conference Attendees
Leslie A. BehnkeUsing a unique, holistic model of a Six Sigma quality initiative, Leslie A. Behnke, vice president, Six Sigma business excellence at CIGNA Healthcare (CHC), is credited with leading this major business initiative that has had a total financial impact of more than $200 million annually. Behnke will share how she accomplished this across the organization on Monday, February 11, 2008.

Behnke joined CHC in 2002 to deploy Six Sigma business excellence. Prior to joining CHC, she led the global deployment of Six Sigma, total cycle time reduction and total customer satisfaction strategies for more than a decade at Motorola. She also pioneered early work in applying Six Sigma in a non-manufacturing service environment through the Steps to Service Quality process. Behnke has been twice awarded Motorola’s highest recognition for best in class performance in quality, The CEO Quality Award. She has also been recognized with USA Today’s Quality Cup Awardand also with a Leading Enterprise Awardfrom the Chinese Quality Control Association for partnership in developing service quality standards in China.

Utilities Executive Will Speak to Organizational Transformation
Mike AdamsMike Adams, vice president of quality at Allegheny Energy Inc., is scheduled to address conferences attendees on Tuesday, February 12, 2008. Adams was a key member of a turnaround executive team that led the transformation of a challenged company into a high performance organization. Working directly for the chairman, CEO and president and a partner with the executive team leaders, he was responsible for developing, deploying and coaching on quality practices, technical applications and skills commensurate with high performers.

Currently, Adams co-owns Allegheny Energy’s customer satisfaction strategy and shares responsibility in delivering predictable business results reflected in the company’s balance scorecard.

Before joining Allegheny Energy, Adams was Microsoft Corp.’s director of global performance excellence and also has 21 years of leadership capacities at Florida Power & Light in the departments of engineering, budgets, division management and quality.

About the American Society for Quality
The American Society for Quality, www.asq.org, has been the world’s leading authority on quality for more than 60 years. With more than 93,000 individual and organizational members, the professional association advances learning, quality improvement and knowledge exchange to improve business results, and to create better workplaces and communities worldwide. As champion of the quality movement, ASQ offers technologies, concepts, tools and training to quality professionals, quality practitioners and everyday consumers, encouraging all to Make Good Great. ASQ has been the sole administrator of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award since 1991.