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Six Sigma certifications have become the hottest buzzword among the millennials today. Despite its popularity, Six Sigma and Six Sigma certifications remain a bit confusing for some.
With the advancement of technology and digitalization, businesses are trying to find more effective strategies to function better in the present day and age.
Many young start-ups are striving to keep up with the fast-paced competitive world while keeping themselves relevant at the same time.
The pandemic and the lockdown of 2020 has been a catalyst in the acceleration of digital advent. The world as we know it has shifted all digital in a blink of an eye. This massive transformation calls for equally potent management methods.
Motorola introduced the Six Sigma process to tackle a similar problem in the late 90s. Since then the processes have been evolving only to take a concrete yet efficacious form that shall improve the quality of management styles and methods within a business.
In this article:
- What is Six Sigma?
- What are the various Six Sigma certifications?
- What are the principles of Six Sigma?
- What is the Six Sigma methodology?
- What are the top 10 guidelines to select the right Six Sigma Candidate?
What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma at a lot of officialdoms basically means a degree of excellence that attempts to reach complete perfection.
Six Sigma is a meticulous, data-driven methodology for removing flaws by implementing six carefully crafted deviances in any step of the entire procedure – from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.
An important aspect for successful implementation of Six Sigma is buy-in and sustenance from executives. This approach does not carry out as well if the whole business has not bought in.
An additional key feature involves the preparation of employees at all stages of the organization. White Belt candidates and Yellow Belt candidates normally get an introduction to method enhancement models and Six Sigma terminology.
Green Belt candidates, however, usually work for Black Belt candidates on tasks. These Six Sigma candidates contribute in data gathering and analysis. Black Belt candidates on the other hand, assume the roles of a leader.
Master Belt candidates are the minds and strategists behind a project who help apply these Six Sigma norms across the organization.
What are the various Six Sigma certifications?
Six Sigma certification is quite similar to the accreditation format followed in martial arts, where an aspiring Six Sigma candidate starts with the White Belt and makes his way upward in the hierarchy to become the Master Black belt.
The Six Sigma certification preparation stages obey listed training requirements, education benchmarks, job criterions, and eligibility.
Following are the different Six Sigma certifications listed in chronological order-
This is very first stage designed for novice Six Sigma candidates. White belt candidates are essentially newcomers.
These Six Sigma candidates are put in different teams on problem-solving projects.
The aspirant is obligated to have a basic understanding of the Six Sigma theories.
At this stage the aspiring six sigma candidate is required to take part in a team project. It is done to make the applicant a better team player.
The would-be six sigma professional then evaluates course improvements.
The candidate gains understanding of the several approaches, and DMAIC.
Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is slightly tougher level of expertise, which requires the subsequent criteria:
The six sigma candidate at green belt level needs to have at least three years of full-time employment.
He and/or she should be familiar with the tools and methods used for solving a problem.
Practical experience on tasks concerning a level of business revolution.
Supervision for Black Belt schemes in data assortment and analysis.
Six Sigma Black Belt Certification level comprises of the following:
Three years of real time work experience in a core knowledge niche.
Evidence of successful accomplishment of at least two Six Sigma assignments
Demonstration of proficiency at applying variety of new techniques to form a diverse business change.
Serving as a leader as well as a team player in the assigned projects.
Master Black Belt
To attain a Six Sigma Master Black Belt Certification, the candidate must abide by the following:
The six sigma candidate must hold a Black Belt level six sigma certification.
He or she must have at least five years of full time work experience in a specific knowledge field.
The candidate must have completed ten Six Sigma projects to the very least.
The six sigma aspirer must hold a legit work portfolio, with discrete and detailed requirements.
What are the principles of Six Sigma?
Six Sigma has its fundamentals laid in five basic principles:
1. Attention on the Consumer
This is centred on the widely held belief that the “consumer is king.” The most important goal is to get maximum profit to the consumer. The organization ought to understand its clienteles, their wants, and what pushes sales and drives constancy. This needs forming the standard of excellence as demarcated by what the consumer and the marketplace demand.
2. Estimate the Price Stream and Discover the Issue
Plan the phases in a specified procedure to determine regions of waste. Collect data to find out the exact problem area that shall be altered. Devise openly demarcated goals for data assortment. Include the data to be put together, the reason for the data collecting, acumens estimated, guaranteeing the precision of measurements, and instituting a uniform data collection structure. Determine if the statistics are aiding to accomplish the goals if the data requires to be polished, or further data needs to be collected. Ascertain the key issue. Probe inquiries and discover the core cause.
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3. Clear out the Unwanted items
As soon as the problem is acknowledged, make alterations to the procedure to eradicate disparity, hence eliminating any discrepancies. Get rid of the activities in the course of the process that does not improve to the buyer value. In case the value tributary doesn’t expose the issue and its core, tools are used to benefit the problem regions.
4. Maintain Momentum
Include all the investors and sponsors. Embrace a well-thought-out process wherever your squad contributes and cooperates their diverse knowledge for problem-solving.
Six Sigma practices hold an excessive impact on a business. Therefore, the team needs to be skilful in the principles and approaches used. Thus, focused training and understanding are a prerequisite to lessen the possibility of project catastrophes.
5. Guarantee a Flexible and Receptive Network
The core of Six Sigma is corporate revolution and change. When a defective or inept procedure is removed, it appeals for a modification in the work run through and employee methodology.
A vigorous ethos of elasticity and approachability to changes in processes can ensure rationalized project execution. The individuals and branches involved should be capable of adjusting to change effortlessly. Hence to assist this, procedures should be planned for speedy and smooth implementation.
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What is the Six Sigma methodology?
There are two main methodologies implemented within Six Sigma.
DMAIC: The DMAIC process is used largely for refining prevailing corporate procedures. The acronym stands for:
Define the problem
Measure a number of facets of the existing process
Analyse data to discover the root faults in the procedure
Improve the procedure
Control how the method is carried out in the future
DMADV: The DMADV process is normally used to construct new procedures and innovative products and facilities. The alphabets stand for:
Define the task objectives
Measure grave mechanisms of the procedure along with product competencies
Analyse the data and improve several strategies for the procedure, ultimately selecting the finest one
Design and assess specifics of the procedure
Verify the scheme by carrying out mock-ups and a model program, and later passing over the procedure to the customer
Six Sigma Techniques
The Six Sigma procedure uses a combination of statistical and data analysis gears like procedure planning and strategy with verified qualitative and quantifiable practices, to reach the anticipated aftermath.
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Significant Six Sigma Techniques
Brainstorming is the main Six Sigma technique of every problem-solving drill and is frequently applied in the “improve” stage of the DMAIC policy. It is an essential practice before any person begins making use of any such tools. Brainstorming encompasses bouncing concepts and spawning innovative techniques to approach an issue. It is done via thorough unrestricted group deliberations. A Black Belt or Green Belt six sigma candidate regulates the open session amid a group of partakers.
Root Cause Analysis
This practice benefits in finding the core source of the problems. It is used in the “analyse” stage of the DMAIC sequence.
In this technique, “why” is questioned, over and over. This leads to the staple problem. Even though “five” is an imperative number, the definite sum of queries may be inordinate or scarcer.
Voice of the Consumer
This is the procedure used to apprehend the “voice of the consumer” or consumer view by any of the external or internal means. The method is intended at providing the consumer with Grade A goods and services. It internments the shifting desires of the client via direct and indirect ways and means. The voice of the consumer practice is brought to use in the “define’ stage of the DMAIC system.
This method has its origins in the Japanese belief of energies associated with place of work. The 5S technique is designed to get rid of waste and remove holdups from incompetent tools, equipment, or assets in the workspace. The five phases are Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke.
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The Kaizen method is a great tactic that devices an uninterrupted engine for organization development. It is a run-through to monitor, identify, and execute advances. This is predominantly handy training for the industrial sector. Combined and constant progress confirm a decline in waste with an instant amendment whenever the slightest inadequacy is detected.
Benchmarking is the method that gives a fixed standard of measurement. It includes making evaluations with respect to other businesses. The moto behind is to gain an autonomous assessment of the given situation. Benchmarking may consist of comparing significant procedures or sections within an industry, equating related work areas or purposes with business leaders or comparing alike goods and facilities with that of rivals.
Value Stream Plotting
This technique maps the existing stream of tools and data to design a future project. The goal is to eliminate waste and inadequacies in the flow and generate leaner set-ups. It recognizes seven diverse kinds of waste and three kinds of waste abstraction processes.
What are the top 10 guidelines to select the right Six Sigma Candidate?
Six Sigma methods are instigated by robust, driven Green Belt and Black Belt candidates. It’s extremely important to make the right choice while selecting them. This helps in making the course better. There are some particular qualities that panel members expect to find in a Six Sigma candidate.
Following are the qualities selectors look for in a Six Sigma candidate:
- The aspirant should first have faith in the Six Sigma model. He or she should possess a great love and passion for bringing a positive change in the workspace.
- The candidate should be a visionary. He or she should focus on the complete procedure rather than focusing on his own expertise.
- He or she should be motivated to devote time in understanding the equipment and practices required to implement the changes.
- The six sigma candidate needs to have an aptitude for statistics and data analysis.
- He or she should be open to learning and using that knowledge in making suitable changes to escalate client satisfaction.
- The Six Sigma candidate should possess all the qualities of a leader.
- The aspirant should have the ability to mentor and provide adept direction to the individuals working under them.
- He or she needs to have a sturdy technical propensity with stronger practical expertise.
- A prospective Six Sigma candidate needs to understand the existing corporate state of affairs as well as the general market.
- He or she should be capable of putting forward his apparition. He or she should be able to persuade the shareholders about the necessity to bring change.
Pugh Matrix is used for making things easier. It creates an explicit gauge for assessment. The milieu is planned with the criteria as rows, and the budding candidates as columns.
The aspiring six sigma candidate is ranked for each specific criterion, and the summation of the rates assists in discovering the right six sigma candidate for the place of a Green or Black Belt.
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Below-mentioned is the top ten guidelines that the organizations must look for before selecting the right six sigma candidate:
1. Diverse Work Experience.
This will allow the Green Belt aspirant to grow in more than one facet of a business development project.
For instance, if Green Belt six sigma candidate have newly graduated out of a statistics seminary program, they are expected to primarily employ freshly learnt abilities and tools.
The applicants with a diverse experience can escalate plans and problems more holistically.
2. Personal Attributes
The key feature of a Green Belt six sigma candidate is being capable of encouraging others on the basics of a Six Sigma project. They should be enthusiastic, a go-getter with an optimistic temperament.
Occasionally they would be required to demonstrate willingness for initiating an assignment. They shall be often asked to be a leader and carrying on with the tasks even in the face of adversities.
It is very important for a would-be Six Sigma candidate to be result oriented. Especially, Black Belts are anticipated to achieve noticeable monetary results for the business.
He or she needs to be hardworking and speedy to exhibit a success.
Applicants who are taking the initiative in understanding and acknowledging the organization’s problems, and attempt to play their part with passion, should be chosen for the program.
A common member of staff, who is content with his career, and perceives no necessity for change, is not the perfect six sigma candidate.
Rather, someone who has faith in the organization’s objectives and pursues each prospect to advance the system, to accomplish superior outcomes, is the right six sigma candidate.
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4. Leadership skills
A Six Sigma candidate is expected to have innate leadership skills. It is crucial to have team-driven and motivated.
The candidate is expected to observe and yield the accountability of the team’s performance and keep the progress resourcefulness intact.
He must be a people’s person and team player and possess strong people skills. Taking an active part in a cross-functional conversation, letting the shareholders know the requirement for change, and putting the line-up together to accomplish it, needs professionals with solid administration skills.
The right Six Sigma candidate must be a change representative for the organization. Instigating change is tough and more or less continually embroils both methodological and social hurdles.
Some aspirants struggle with an incapability to bring change and are resistant to it. This proves to be discouraging.
Effective Green Belt applicants appreciate and understand that change is inevitable. They are visionaries and change-makers, and face up to this resistance with grit.
It is imperative to keep in mind that a Green Belt candidate is not a steadfast resource as a Black Belt candidate.
Both Green and Black Belts must be motivated and determined to make time from their regular professional duties to dedicate to their incessant expansion.
Resilient Six Sigma candidates can blend a comprehensive understanding of value improvement with a knowledge of how Six Sigma schemes influence occupational processes.
The aptitude to elucidate how Six Sigma ingenuities craft a competitive advantage and advance monetary performance is important for ambitious Six Sigma candidates.
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7. Consumer Advocacy
The aspirants must voluntarily project the notion that clienteles are always the receivers of procedures, and that consumers are always the ultimate critic of product or service.
Understanding client needs is crucial to method development.
Therefore, a six sigma candidate must communicate clearly about how eliminating method disparity is vital to industry development.
The right six sigma candidates ought to be effective conversationalists. Being a phenomenal communicator is critical for lots of roles they take up be it coaches, instructors, and advisors.
The aspirant should be able to address all audiences. He or she must be an excellent storyteller.
Accepting the different wishes of the audience and modifying the memorandum to address their apprehensions is the character trait of an efficient communicator.
9. Business Acumen.
The perfect Six Sigma candidates are born leaders. They are natural front-runners and not the managers of the preceding times.
They have to have the industry knowledge and the aptitude to show the relationship between plans and desired trade results.
They understand how a project can make the business stronger financially and commercially.
The panel must ask questions all through the interview to decide if the aspiring six sigma candidates have been successful in making this association in their previous roles.
The Six Sigma candidate must be a good Project Manager. Six Sigma is accomplished one task at a time.
The selectors shall not forget that these aspirants must manage assignments from opportunity, necessities, resources, timeline, and change perspectives.
Understanding of project management nitty-gritties and familiarity with managing of projects are important.
10. Technical Aptitude.
The Six Sigma candidate need not be an engineering or statistical graduate. However, it proves to be advantageous when combined with other qualities.
An aspirant is needed to gather and analyse data for defining an advancement plan.
This would not be a difficult task with some technical aptitude, especially some computer and software mastery as well as some analytical skills.
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