What is Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma ?
Invented by Motorola, Inc. in 1986 as a metric for measuring defects and improving quality. Since then, it has evolved to a robust business improvement methodology that focuses an organization on customer requirements, process alignment, analytical rigor and timely execution. It is a data-driven management approach to enhance business performance that believes in out-of-the-box thinking. It combines statistical techniques, process knowledge and problem solving methods and aims at reducing error rates to as low as 3.4 ppm (parts per million).
How it is really different from other initiatives?
The most distinctive advantage that Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma scores over other quality management initiatives is its link to business results. Realizable gains from Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma converted in terms of financial benefits, is the key behind Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma success stories.
Other key differences are:
1. A common performance measure (sigma level) for all types of the processes.
2. Strong project management focus ensures timely completion of Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma projects.
3. Rigor of company’s experts (Black-Belts).
4. Clarity on top management role to ensure their visible involvement.
Does Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma apply to non-manufacturing processes?
Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma has been successfully applied to many processes outside of manufacturing. Transactional processes - such as billing, customer support, etc. - often contain variation or excessive cycle time and can be optimized by applying Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma.
Is Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma Sector specific?
Although initial learning about Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma was applied to manufacturing sector, however companies were soon to realize its relevance to other sectors like services, software development, transport, banking, health-care and hospitality also. GE Capital Services supposedly generated over 300 million USD in net income from Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma improvements in 1998. In fact General Electric, the biggest Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma success story, derives only about a third of its total revenue from its manufacturing operations. Cost of error in service sector is higher and hence implementation of six sigma approach has led to even bigger savings in the service sectors as compared to the manufacturing sector.
What are Green Belt and Black Belt Certifications?
A belt signifies the competence level of an individual in Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma methodology. The term is derived from the sport of Karate and was used first by Motorola in the context of Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma. A Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma Black Belt is a practitioner & coach of Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma tools. Certified black belts drive business results through the application of tools on projects. Typically they work at projects on full time basis and are capable of completing 4 to 5 project in an years time. The also act as internal facilitators and can actively participate in ensuring horizontal spread of Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma methodology in the organization. A Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma Green Belt is typically trained less intensively than a black belt.
Greenbelts work projects on a part time basis and are supported by black belts. Greenbelts can contribute to the pervasiveness of Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma in the organization and are generally the candidates for future Black Belts. A Six-Sigma Yellow Belt is a person who understands Six-Sigma methodology and can act as active project member in a Black-Belt project.
How many Green Belt & Black Belt for my organization?
There is no generic formula in this regard as it can vary with the nature, scale and scope of the organization. However a thumb rule could be one certified Black-Belt for every 10 crores of company turnover, alternatively 1 Black-Belt for every 100 employees for manufacturing sector and one Black Belt for every 50 employees in service sector. There are typically 3 to 5 GBs per BB.
Is there a centralized agency involved to check competency of belts?
Motorola coined Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma terminology in early 80’s. It was adopted and popularized the world over by GE, Allied Signal, Sony, Ford and Nokia. There is no central agency like ISO to award certifications to the organizations or to the individuals. Belts are awarded to individuals once the performance standards agreed between organizations and certifying agency (usually training/consulting companies) are achieved by the individuals through application of Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma tools and methodology.
What will be ROI?
The basic investment is on training of employees and time required on the project execution. ROI varies from company to company, and is generally in the range of 5 to 20 times.
Are there any assured improvements by Implementing Lean Six-Sigma / Six Sigma ?
Yes. The experience shows that company is typically improve its bottom-line by 0.5 to 1% per project. A company can handle anywhere between 10 to 100 projects per year.
What is the cost to implement Lean Six-Sigma / Six Sigma?
The cost to implementation of a Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma program is based on many factors. The levels of training (Champion, Black Belt or Green Belt) and number of candidates that will be receiving the training will dictate to a large extent the consultant portion cost of the training program. Also there is the cost of replacing the individuals (Black Belt level) within your organization. Keeping in mind that the true Cost Of Poor Quality (COPQ) of most companies may be as large as 20% of sales the real question is - can you afford not to start a Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma program?
How much time before improvements are actually visible?
Anywhere between 6-12 months depending upon the commitment of the organisation.
Do I need to be an expert in statistics to become a Black Belt?
We have trained individuals with a variety of backgrounds and from virtually all functions to become Black Belts. You do not need to be an expert in statistics but an affinity for math certainly helps.
If I successfully complete Motorola Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma training, do I automatically become certified as a Black Belt or Green Belt?
As with many professional certifications, Black Belt and Green Belt certifications require:
1) completing the training,
2) passing a test, and
3) demonstrating project results.
Are there any prerequisites for Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma training?
There are no formal pre-requisites for our training. We do ask that Black Belts and Green Belts become familiar with the MINITAB software prior to attending class. In addition, for participants who are not familiar with basic statistics (or may be in need of a refresher), we recommend reading an introductory book, such as The Cartoon Guide to Statistics, prior to attending Black Belt or Green Belt training.
Do you use any software in your training programs?
Our Black Belt and Green Belt program uses the MINITAB statistical software package.
What is included in the price for the training (public program)?
- Training materials
- Various handouts and related materials
- Breakfast & lunch daily, plus snacks, coffee & tea
What is the difference between DMAIC, Lean Six Sigma and Design for Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma?
DMAIC - The Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma problem-solving framework for improving business processes. It is an acronym for Define opportunity, Measure performance, Analyze opportunity, Improve performance, and Control performance.
Lean Six Sigma - A business improvement framework that integrates the Six Sigma methodology with the cost reduction benefits of the Lean Production approach.
Design for Six Sigma - A proactive approach to building Six Sigma performance into the up front design of a new product, service or process.
What is NOT included in the price for the training (public program)?
- For Black Belt & Green Belt participants, you must have your own laptop computer and it must have the latest version of Minitab statistical software installed.
- The price does not include travel, hotel, meals outside of class and related expenses.
Guidelines to help choose a project?
The project should be one that:
- Can be completed in 3-8 months
- Should have a high likelihood of success
- Should be of strategic importance to your company
- Should have the potential for significant financial
- Should result in a solution that can be replicated elsewhere
What is the duration of Green Belt and Black Belt?
The Green Belt Training is for 5 days and the Black Belt training is for 15 days spread over 3 months equally so 5 days in each month.
What time does class start and end?
Typically Green Belt classes are held from Monday through Friday (9.00 a.m. –5.30 p.m.); Black Belt classes are held from Monday through Friday (9.00 a.m. –5.30 p.m.). There may be some selected programs which may be run on weekends. Please refer the Training calendar on TQM International website.