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A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma

by Mark Graban on June 29, 2011 · 14 comments

Thanks to Dilbert.com, it’s very easy to legally embed Dilbert cartoons into a blog. I’ve often blogged about Dilbert and “dilbert lean” is a fairly common search term, so I thought I’d do my best to compile all of the Lean or Six Sigma related strips that I could find into a single post. If I’m missing anything, let me know. You can reach this page at www.leanblog.org/dilbert. Click on any strip to see it on Dilbert.com, where you can also buy merchandise with your favorite strip.

10/16/11: Dilbert’s boss does all he can to discourage ideas

134933.strip.sunday A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

1/19/07: Pointy-haired boss wants to combine Lean and Six Sigma.

1480.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

6/17/11: Wally misunderstands what a “kaizen” should be all about (blog post).

125104.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

9/30/11: Dilbert’s boss doesn’t want ideas

136548.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 


1/31/07: Lean has a “bias for action,” while Six Sigma sometimes suffers from a “bias for more analysis.”

1492.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

1/26/06: I don’t mean to be highlighting strips that mock Six Sigma. Many of these Six Sigma jokes could be applied just the same to Lean (or “L.A.M.E.“).

1426.strip.sunday A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

3/21/05: Maybe he meant “lean up” in a very colloquial sense, not really talking about Lean Management.

811.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

10/6/01: The Lean philosophy embraces the concept of “no problems is a problem.” We have to uncover and understand the root cause of our problems… but first we have to admit we have them.

2296.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

10/3/01: Again, the same joke could be made with Lean.

2292.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

10/4/01: Again, not just picking on Six Sigma.

2294.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

10/5/01: Wow, Dogbert doesn’t practice the Lean concept of “respect for people,” does he?

2295.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

9/9/05: Dilbert’s company really misapplies Lean 5S principles.

983.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

12/5/94: Too many organizations, sadly, just try to copy Toyota instead of really understanding what’s behind Lean and the Toyota Production System.

23943.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

3/13/91: Wow, this is an old strip.

30577.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

3/14/03: Poor Dilbert.

73.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

2/13/11: This illustrates how Dilbert’s boss is not a Lean Thinker (blog post).

112317.strip.sunday A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

1/18/09: More waste illustrated at Dilbert’s company (blog post).

38519.strip.sunday A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

12/4/2008: Dilbert’s company is not big on employee ideas or “Kaizen,” apparently.

34005.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

11/11/2010: Dilbert’s boss blames people, not the system

105395.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

2/24/2004: Again, punishing people who take risks:

420.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

New addition: 4/18/1999 — Patty the Process Person who “doesn’t know how to do anything” :-)

6428.strip.sunday A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

New addition: 4/27/2004 — All the suggestions say “more money”

483.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

New addition: 10/14/1992 — Dilbert’s boss sets a trap

28739.strip A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma lean

 

Which strip is your favorite? Which hurts the most? Were there any Lean-related strips that I missed?


mark graban lean blog A Collection of Dilbert Cartoons on #Lean and/or #SixSigma leanAbout LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt Wrye June 29, 2011 at 9:12 am

Mark -

You went deep into the Dilbert archives. I love posting about the comparisons between lean and the Dilbert cartoons myself. Thanks for putting them all together.

Reply

2 Pete Abilla
Twitter:
June 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Great stuff; cartoons embody a lot of truth and conveys it in a way the breaks down resistance and defensiveness. Good stuff Mark.

Reply

3 Rand Drake June 30, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Thanks, I needed that! What makes these so funny is that everyone has worked at the same company as Dilbert!

Reply

4 Meikah Delid July 11, 2011 at 3:06 am

This is really cool!

You beat me to this! I’ve been planning to do a post like this. :-D

I just love Dilbert!

Reply

5 Patra Madden July 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Sorry I don’t have a link to this but there was a Dilbert that had “Patty the Process Person” who lasted just a bit longer than “Timmy the Facilitator”. I had it on my desk for a while but it has disappeared. If only I’d practice what I preach about 5S!

Patra Madden
Process Improvement Advisory Engineer
Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory
Kesselring Site, W Milton, NY

Reply

6 Mark Graban
Twitter:
July 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Thanks!

Here is “Patty the Process Person”:

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1999-04-18/

Adding it to the post…

Reply

7 Patra Madden July 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Mark,
Thanks so much, she’s going on my office door!
Patra

Reply

8 Andrew Bishop August 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm

This one on non-zero safety goals is a favorite of mine – could just as well be posted as a comment on the Paul O’Neill podcast:

Safety Goals

Reply

9 Mark Graban
Twitter:
August 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

Andrew – great addition. I’ll add a link to it on the O’Neill Podcast page.

Reply

10 Herman Vis October 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

Mark, thanks for putting them all together!

Nice to read and so familiar… also in The Netherlands ;-)

Gr. Herman

Reply

11 Captain Technology October 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Brilliant. The strip about six sigma being widely discredited was just what I was looking for.

CT

Reply

12 Thomas Sortino November 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Hi Mark – great compilation!
I have a copy somewhere of a Dilbert has been taken hostage by Accounting trols and Dogbert rescues him by casing them to ‘shift their paradigms without a clutch’… Last time I had a fixed office I had it on the wall of cartoons-with-meaning, and it always got a laugh. It may fit with this series, although it doesn’t specifically mention either lean or SS.
Keep up the good work!
Thomas

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