1. What industries are using Six Sigma today?
Six Sigma can be used within any industry that produces a product or service. It is utilized heavily within industry, healthcare, government, financial, hospitality, transportation, and food service industries.
2. What is the difference between Lean and Six Sigma?
Six Sigma methodology is a framework driven by leadership, it can be achieved without lean and builds on lean operations. Six Sigma is a problem solving methodology that strives for delivering high performance reliability and value by improving processes, reducing defects and variation.
Lean emphasizes waste and streamlining operations for maximum throughput. It is driven by middle management, synchronizes resource utilization, provides tools to sustain and lean can be considered a prerequisite for six sigma implemented for the purposes of efficiency and waste reduction.
In improvements Six Sigma is more like an axe and lean is like a scalpel.
Six Sigma Lean
The structure will vary based on each company’s size and structure. Six Sigma is scalable. Each level of the company’s organizational hierarchy has roles and responsibilities. We will elaborate in more depth each of the components of the Six Sigma hierarchy in the Six Sigma basics in a later chapter. Primarily the hierarchy consists of champions, black, yellow, and green belts.
Six Sigma Belts are participants in Six Sigma projects and the foundation of the process. They use DMAIC tools to promote problem solving, data collection, data interpretation, variation, process capability, and cost analysis
4. What are the requirements for belt training? Simply put didactic training for the yellow, green, and black belts. Green and Blackbelts typically require a written examination and completion of 1 to2 projects.
5. Is recertification required? No. Once you receive your certification there are no renewal requirements but an expected level of interaction with projects to maintain proficiency.
6. Must the belts be obtained in order? Typically one would begin with yellow belt and progress to green or black belt certification at a later time with experience within projects. Dependent upon the trainees experience level with business analysis, project management, and mathematics one may begin with a green belt certification.
7. Why become certified or have my employees certified? Six Sigma provides a time tested reliable methodology to make improvements. Certification shows industry expertise in the industry and demonstrates to employers training in basic problem solving skills and the statistical tools needed to work effectively on process improvement.
8. What is the DMAIC methodology? DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. It is a tested methodology with tools for all applications to manage a project for improvement from start to finish.
9. How long does training take for certification? This varies by provider. For the Institute for Strategic Improvement we recommend 3 to 4 months for a greenbelt to accomplish a project and complete the necessary didactic training. Timelines vary based on an individual’s complementary skills like work experience in project management. We require homework, certification testing and a project.
10. Will it really benefit me or my company? Yes industry statistics show higher earning potential from belted individuals and better performance results from belted professionals.