Do you work in project management? A six sigma black belt could be what you need. Are you ready to take your project management skills to the next level?
Taking your career to the next level requires strength, dedication, and courage, like karate. It’s up to you to learn how to overcome obstacles with the help of a Six Sigma Black Belt.
If you work in project management then you are familiar with the amount of waste that comes from badly-designed processes. The goal of Six Sigma is to reduce the number of defects in your business’ production process so that you can save money and grow your profits.
But how do you know if you need this kind of training? And who needs to become a Six Sigma Black Belt? Keep reading to find out this, and everything else you need to know to start your journey to improvement today.
What Is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is based on nineteenth-century mathematical theory and found its way into the mainstream business world.
Engineers at Motorola in the 1980s used the principles of Six Sigma to improve business programs and customer satisfaction. The Six Sigma we see today is a refined version made better over many years.
But no matter what setting someone uses Six Sigma in, the goal is the same – to improve the processes of a business by getting rid of the issues in the production process that cause defects or errors.
A business does this by putting a management system in place that can identify errors as well as come up with methods for getting rid of them.
The Principal of Six Sigma
The bell curve developed by Carl Fredrick Grauss in the nineteenth century is the basis of Six Sigma. A statistician, Carl Shewhart, at the Institute of Mathematical Statistics proved that a process would need to be changed once its deviation had gone more than three sigmas from the mean.
For a manufacturing process to be at the “six sigma” level, it can only have 3.4 defects for every million opportunities.
That means that processes need to happen to get the company to the point where their products have consistent and reliable results. The way they do this is by deconstructing the manufacturing process into its necessary parts.
Manufacturing to Meet the Standard
The principle behind Six Sigma is that if a business makes efforts to be more efficient, then they will be able to have higher quality products. That leads to a better bottom-line profit. To do this, the method makes employees take courses to improve their skills.
They can start with the beginner Green Belt courses and move on to Black if they want to head up projects themselves. There are also Master Six Sigma Black Belts that go through training to look for new ways to put in place Six Sigma across all layers of a business’ structure.
Major Methodologies of Six Sigma
Within Six Sigma there are two major methods made up of five steps. The first is DMAIC. This method exists to improve existing business practices. The first letter stands for ‘Define’ the problem and create goals for your project.
The next step in this process starts with ‘M’, measure the necessary parts and capabilities of your products. That means that you need to get a handle on the numbers that you are currently working with so you know where you need to improve.
That is where the ‘A’ comes in. It stands for ‘Analyze’ your data to develop new designs for the process. The method recommends you explore many suggestions and then the select the best one.
Then you must follow the step of ‘I’ and improve the process that you are currently using. In that way, you can ‘C’, control that process and how someone does it in the future.
The second major method of Six Sigma is for creating new processes for new products or services that your organization is producing. The first three letters of the process are the same.
Where things change is with ‘D’, design and test new options for the process. This experimentation phase is the difference between the two methods.
The final step in the second process is to ‘V’, verify your design by running simulations and putting a pilot program in place before handing it over to the client.
Other Management Tools Taught in Six Sigma Courses
There are a lot of other management tools that teachers use in Six Sigma courses. The first is called The Five Whys. It is a method that solves problems using a line of questioning.
You start by stating the problem and then asking the question, “why”. That way you break the issue down to its root cause. Once you have asked yourself “why” for the fifth time, you will have gotten at the true issue at hand.
When Should I Go Beyond Green?
Deciding whether to take your training to the next level depends on what you plan to do with your career. It isn’t a certification that everyone needs.
In fact, most people in project management stop at getting their Green Belt and their Project Management Professional certification.
But for those who want to take the process of improving themselves to the next level and influence the decisions that are made around them, there isn’t any better move to make than becoming a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Career Benefits of the Six Sigma Black Belt
All project managers are trained to handle the daily struggle of juggling many tasks. Six Sigma users focus on making projects more efficient using tools that are mathematically-based to help them with decision making.
At the level of Green Belt, you are trained how to use a system called the DMAIC that I mentioned before. It breaks down the process into five measurable steps that can be taken to make your projects better.
People studying for their Green Belt learn how and what they should be measuring as well as the tools they will need to manage a project. That means that they are trained on analysis tools like graphical analysis to measure the results of the changes they make.
Not only do Green Belts learn to improve processes, they also have to be trained on statistical analysis techniques. These are used to take root cause analysis of improvement to the next level.
Six Sigma Black Belts Only
In order for someone to become a Six Sigma Black Belt, they have to be able to take their statistical understanding further and learn how to apply what they have learned to a variety of situations.
A Six Sigma Black Belt knows that for better results, the process must be changed first. They don’t pay attention to opinions that matter little for the long run and instead focus on the measurable changes they can make today.
That is because a Six Sigma Black Belt understands the concept of variation. They realize that variation is the enemy of quality, and is also the source for emotional decision making.
They will put their efforts on improving and lead the charge for reducing variances in the processes of your business so that they can be more easily improved.
They will also take the lead in training and counsel the operations personnel and leaders of your business on methods to have less variation and make decisions that improve results in the end.
In some ways, they are a voice of reason, meant to be unemotional or bureaucratic when it comes to choosing what to measure and deciding hot to go about improving the rates of the variance of your operation.
How Does a Six Sigma Black Belt Measure Success?
In the end, nothing matters in business except results. A Six Sigma Black Belt is a result-driven planner. They know just how to get the production numbers that your business is looking for.
They are competent and have the knowledge necessary to move key measures so that they can improve the performance level of your organization. This is not easily done, or everyone would be doing it.
Some of the many areas they need to be skilled in are:
- Statistical Analysis
- Project Management
- Stakeholder Relations
To become a Six Sigma Black Belt you must be dedicated to working hard just like you would for karate. You have to have a very high degree of interest in self-improvement and commitment to the steps along the way.
As a Six Sigma Black Belt, you are able to balance the power of statistical significance with the effective decision making needed to put changes in place.
Where to Train
Companies like Deltek, Convergys, Ikea, and Fox News know where to go to get quality custom skills testing and training they need. They trust ExpertRatings to train their employees on the latest practices.
We deliver high-quality services to you at competitive prices to leave you satisfied and we upgrade our offerings often to keep up with new ideas in the field.
Every system and process we teach is designed to deliver the best results and improve the quality of production at any business. We have an unflinching commitment to each of our customers and try to bring your employees the knowledge they crave, so contact us today!