Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification

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Lean Six Sigma training and certification is often pursued as a personal growth objective or as a component in an organizations lean Six Sigma deployment undertaking.  The various lean Six Sigma designation of ″belts″ is to be an indicator of individual proficiency in the application of lean and Six Sigma tools to improve processes, where, in general:

  • Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belts are process improvement team members
  • Lean Six Sigma Green Belts are process improvement practitioners trained to implement the lean Six Sigma process improvement roadmap of define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC)
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belts are process improvement practitioners trained to implement the lean Six Sigma process improvement roadmap of DMAIC in more detail/understanding than Green Belts
  • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belts are to be proficient in coaching Green Belts and Black Belts in the usage of process improvement tools. Master Black Belts might also be involved in the selection of process improvement projects.

However, there are often issues with traditional lean Six Sigma training and the deployment of lean Six Sigma in organizations.  The following identifies shortcomings with a traditional lean Six Sigma deployment and what can be done to address these issues.

Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification: Organizational Needs and Traditional Lean Six Sigma Implementations

Fundamentally, organizations can have the desire to better define and enhance processes so that their efforts are more consistent, efficient and effective – resulting in both customer and corporate benefit. Often organizations and individuals consider lean Six Sigma individual belt certifications and/or a LSS organizational deployment to address this organizational aspiration.  However, there are issues with a traditional lean Six Sigma deployments/certifications approach for truly addressing the basic long-lasting desire to better respond/address organizational customer and business needs!

Traditional lean Six Sigma (LSS) deployments focus on the utilization of a define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) roadmap for making process improvements that are to have financial benefits.  However, in the real world, LSS deployments typically are not long lasting and fall short of being successful.

Why does this lack of LSS deployment sustainability occur? With a traditional deployment of lean Six Sigma, selected projects are often in silos and stated results are anecdotal; e.g., our organization has a reported savings of 100 million dollars from our LSS deployment, but nobody can find the money.

With a traditional lean Six Sigma deployment, often one of the first people to be ″let go″ in tough financial times are the company′s process improvement practitioners.  The reason for this down-sizing prioritization of improvement specialists is that corporate leadership does not apparently see the value of past lean Six Sigma process improvement undertakings.

What fundamentally is missing in traditional LSS deployments (which impacts this negative executive perception) is that process improvement efforts don’t typically include the:

  • Structurally integrating of performances measures with the processes that created them.
  • Enhancement of organizational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), via process improvement efforts, so that the big picture benefits.

To achieve business and customer enhancement desires, a value-added business management and improvement system is needed.  Lean Six Sigma is not a business management system.

Organizations can move toward the enhancement of business/customer end-state objectives when they implement an Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) business management system. IEE helps organizations move toward move achievement of the 3Rs of business; i.e., everyone doing the Right things, and doing them Right, at the Right time.  

Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification: An Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) Enhancement

All companies have a business process management system that includes a set of policies, practices, procedures, and processes used in developing and deploying strategies, their execution, and all associated management activities. This business system (which may or may not be formally documented) is to provide performance information that is to be used by leadership in their decision-making process. As a business grows and the workforce turns-over, the difficulty of managing an entire enterprise increases. To address this challenge, organizations benefit when they implement an IEE system.

The IEE system:

Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification Books

Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification: IEE Lean Six Sigma Training Options

IEE lean Six Sigma deployment and training addresses the major aspect of the 9-step IEE system implementation roadmap.

IEE Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification Business System Road Map

Relative to individualized training, there are two distinct aspects one should consider.  These are:

  1. IEE lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt training, which addresses all aspects of the 9-step step system.
  2. IEE lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt training, which addresses process improvement project execution; i.e., step 7 in this 9-step system.

Someone who is considering lean Six Sigma training on their own or as part of a corporate deployment should decide which of the above two IEE focus-area options that they want to pursue in their training, noting that with IEE training:

  • If one wants to create an enhanced operational excellence business management system, they should looking into taking IEE Master Black Belt training, which offers much more than a traditional Master Black Belt course that provides only more in depth knowledge of statistical tools.
  • One does not need to have Green Belt certification to attend IEE Black Belt training.

IEE Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt Training

In traditional lean Six Sigma, focus is given to the resolution of a problem statement that is to have a cost savings benefit when resolved.  Often with this problem-statement and cost-savings focus, there is a lack of structurally identifying and reporting a good metric baseline for the process response that is to be improved through a lean Six Sigma process improvement tools application effort.  This can lead to the completion of projects that only have an anecdotal project-benefit statement which includes questionable reported cost savings.

Focus in IEE lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt training is given to the execution of process improvement projects that are to improve key performance indicators, which benefit the business as a whole.  In addition, baseline measurements for IEE improvement projects are to be track from a predictive 30,000-foot-level process output metric point of view. Process improvement is demonstrated when with the individuals chart(s) in a 30,000-foot-level report-out transitions to an enhanced level of performance.

The five-set IEE book series are provided, referenced and utilized in the training.  IEE Volume III provides the detailed steps of the define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) roadmap taught in the class. These books can be referenced long after the training for coaching and review of concepts; i.e., attendees get more than just a deck of slides from the training.

For more details about IEE lean Six Sigma Black Belt training, see:

An accelerated two week Black Belt training offering is now available through the University of Texas.

IEE Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt Training

Focus is often given in traditional lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt training to the use of advanced statistical tools.  This additional taught MBB tool set could be beneficial to students; however, often these supplementary tool methodologies are not utilized very frequently in the real world of lean Six Sigma.

In IEE, MBB training focus is given to executing the process for creating an overall business management system that structurally integrates predictive reported 30,000-foot-level metrics with the processes that created them.

In addition, analytics and innovation can be blended in the IEE system so that performance metric improvement efforts are identified and integrated with a process owner′s accountability for the execution of projects so that the organization′s enterprise-as-a-whole benefits. Advance tools are discussed in the training at a depth of detail so that students can research the how-to′s of tool utilization when any need later arises for the use of these tools.

For more details about IEE lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt training, see:

The IEE system can also be expanded so that 30,000-foot-level metric report-outs are a part of an IEE value chain, which can be automatically be updated through the addition of Smarter Solutions′ Enterprise Performance Reporting System (EPRS) software.

A provided five-set IEE book series are utilized within the training.  IEE Volume II provides details about the taught 9-step IEE business management system. These books can be referenced long after the training for coaching and the review of concepts; i.e., attendees get more than just a deck of slides.

Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification: Additional IEE lean Six Sigma Training and Deployment Information

For additional information about IEE and its benefits see the following:

Note: Links to PDF “articles” and “webinars” are at the bottom of referenced web pages:

Selecting a Lean Six Sigma Training Provider

A spreadsheet that can be useful to select a lean Six Sigma training provider is available through the link.

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