Six Sigma is a disciplined, statistical-based, data-driven approach and continuous improvement methodology for eliminating defects in a product, process or service. It was developed by Motorola and Bill Smith in the early 1980’s based on quality management fundamentals, then became a popular management approach at General Electric (GE) with Jack Welch in the early 1990’s. The approach was based on the methods taught by W. Edwards Deming, Walter Shewhart, and Ronald Fisher among many others. Hundreds of companies around the world have adopted Six Sigma as a way of doing business.
Sigma represents the population standard deviation, which is a measure of the variation in a data set collected about the process. If a defect is defined by specification limits separating good from bad outcomes of a process, then a six sigma process has a process mean (average) that is six standard deviations from the nearest specification limit. This provides enough buffer between the process natural variation and the specification limits.
What are the Six Sigma Principles?
The 7 key Six Sigma principles we’ll cover are:
- Always focus on the customer
- Understand how work really happens
- Make your processes flow smoothly
- Reduce waste and concentrate on value
- Stop defects through removing variation
- Get buy-in from the team through collaboration
- Make your efforts systematic and scientific
What is taught in Six Sigma training?
Six Sigma is a set of tools and techniques used by companies to improve production processes, eliminate defects and guarantee quality. The Six Sigma certification helps in validating professionals who are skilled in identifying risks, errors, or defects in a business process and removing them.
The Six Sigma certification comes in various skill levels: White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt. These certifications can be obtained through an accreditation body like the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
- Six Sigma White Belt:
It is the basic level of certification that deals with the basic Six Sigma concepts. White belts support change management in an organization and engage with local problem-solving teams that assist projects.
- Six Sigma Yellow Belt:
At this level, you know the specifics of Six Sigma, how and where to apply it. You will support project teams on problem-solving tasks.
- Six Sigma Green Belt:
At this level, you understand advanced analysis and can resolve problems that affect quality. Green belts lead projects and assist black belts with data collection and analysis.
- Six Sigma Black Belt:
Black belts are experts and agents of change. They provide training in addition to leading projects.
- Six Sigma Master Black Belt:
This is the highest level of Six Sigma achievement. At this level, you will shape strategy, develop key metrics, act as a consultant and coach black and green belts.
Benefits of Six Sigma Certification for Individuals
Below are reasons why you should get six sigma certifications:
Help Your Organization Reduce Risk and Eliminate Errors and Defects:
Acquiring a Six Sigma certification and Project Management Software like Celoxis enables an individual to become crucial to an organization’s ability to identify and eliminate errors.
For example, Six Sigma process helped General Electric allocate $350 million in savings in 1998, and Motorola to allocate their highest savings of $17 billion in 2005. GE’s savings increased above $1 billion later that decade.
Improve Business Processes and Sustain Quality Improvement:
After you take our six sigma green belt certification course, you will be able to analyze a company’s manufacturing and business processes and take steps to improve them. You will also be able to conduct a complete review of current practices and understand how they impact quality performance.
More so, certification shows that you can achieve the level of sustained quality improvement that organizations require—monitoring processes closely to ensure there is little to no deviation from the mean and taking corrective measures to reel in a project that may be straying from the path.
You will become valuable in every industry:
As an industry-agnostic methodology, Six Sigma techniques are applied in aerospace, electronics, telecom, banking and financial services, IT, HR, marketing, and many more industries. Individuals certified in Six Sigma are knowledgeable in dozens of different methods that can be applied to streamline business processes, improve employee acceptance, reduce costs, and increase revenue—all of which lead to a better bottom line, no matter the industry.
With a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, you will be able to position yourself as a change agent within any organization. More so, spearheading quality improvement throughout your team or organization will bolster your leadership skill set, making you even more valuable.
What is lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology designed to eliminate problems, remove waste and inefficiency, and improve working conditions to provide a better response to customers’ needs.
It combines the tools, methods, and principles of Lean and Six Sigma into one popular and powerful methodology for improving your organization’s operations.
Lean Six Sigma’s team-oriented approach has proven results in maximizing efficiency and dramatically improving profitability for businesses around the world.
Lean was developed in Toyota as part of the Toyota Production System, which was built around the work of Shewhart and Deming. Toyota had been a client of Deming and established its operational management practices on the principles he taught. The fundamental driver of Lean is the elimination of waste. In fact, a good description of the Lean approach is, “a set of tools that assist in the identification and the steady elimination of waste.”
If a company is doing large scale, high-quantity production like Toyota; then a process with waste in it means that the company is creating large-scale, high quantity waste. No company wants to do this. The Lean approach uses tools to analyze the business process.
Five principles of lean manufacturing
Value is determined by what the customer considers to be important within a product or service, rather than what the individuals developing or delivering the product or service consider important.
- Value Stream
The set of business activities and steps involved in creating and delivering products and services to the customer; it is the connection of the steps together rather than considering each step in isolation.
The degree to which there is smooth uninterrupted flow of activities that add value to the customer, rather than waste and inefficiency that impedes the flow through the value stream.
The degree to which the value stream is only processing products and services for which there is a customer demand, rather than creating something and hoping someone wants it.
The continuous assessment of value stream performance to identify and improve the value created and delivered to the customer, rather than resisting changes that improve the process of creating and delivering customer value