Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
I have just completed a week-long training to get my Green Belt Certification for Six Sigma. It was a great class run by The Performance Management Group, who I happily recommend if you are considering diving into six sigma. But what is it and why learn this stuff?
First, my definition of six sigma: Using facts to manage the business, not opinions, to root out unnatural problems in a process so that you can create products and/or services that are free from any deficiencies.
Why care about it though? It all comes down to consistently producing a high quality product or service that meets or exceeds the market’s needs, perceptions, and expectations. In other words, manage your business better.
The tools of six sigma: There are quite a few different survey and data gathering methods, cause and effect methods, and charts and graphs to help dig into and understand a process. However, it all comes down to understanding what data to gather about a process, how to analyze it, and figure out what it means so you can take the appropriate actions. The goal is to have your processes be stable (in statistical control) and capable (meets or exceeds the requirements).
When done right, managing by six sigma principles makes you become more cost effective compared to your competitors and makes you become #1 in the eyes of your customers. That sounds like a pretty lofty promise, but consider the fact that a stock performance study of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winners shows that these corporations who apply six sigma, have had their stock outperform the S&P 500 quite a bit between 1995 and 2001 when the study was performed.
It all sounds good to me. Hopefully I passed the test and will get my certification!
[Update]: Gerald, my instructor from The Performance Management Group just e-mailed me and said: "I am pleased to convey to your that your score of 94.5 certifies you, with distinction, as a Six Sigma Green Belt for services and transactional organizations!"