Everything you wanted to know about Lean Six Sigma, but didn't know whom to ask........
Some FAQ's answered by our faculty Mr. G.K.K. Singh (Master Black Belt)
What led to Development of Six Sigma?
Between 1950 and 1970, the organizations in Japan achieved tremendous success due to implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) and Toyota Production System (TPS).
The Japanese were so successful that American and European customers preferred to buy products made in Japan rather than products made in their own country.
This happened because the Japanese products offered better features at lower prices with excellent customer-care. The industry in USA and Europe got a terrible jolt and it took them some time to decipher the reasons for Japan's success.
Motorola was one of the first organizations in USA to understand the secrets of Japan's success. They were facing a major threat in the field of electronic components and as a response they developed the Six Sigma approach to manage the quality and pricing of their products / services.
What is Six Sigma & Lean Six Sigma?
Six Sigma methodology developed by Motorola in 1986-87, has evolved into a unique management system over the years. Today hundreds of organizations, worldwide, are moving away from traditional management methodologies to the Lean Six Sigma Management System as a route to increasing profitability in a scenario of fierce global competition.
Lean Six Sigma is a combination of efforts to drastically reduce defectsÂ and eliminate wastages, yetÂ achieve high levels of customer satisfaction and high growth in profits.
An excellent example are the Mumbai “Dabbawalas” who have achieved levels of less than one defect in 16 million operations. That too by an organization where the typical literacy level of the employees is 8th standard pass.
A true six sigma process is one in which defects would occur only 3.4 times in every million opportunities which is referred to as 3.4 PPM (Parts Per Million or
Defects Per Million Opportunities for Error). Most companies today are operating in the area of three sigma (66,800 PPM) to four sigma (6,200 PPM).
The higher the PPM (DPMO), the more the defects in a process i.e. a higher Cost of Poor Quality which means that millions of your organizations earnings are being wasted on rework / repair / scrap.
The underlying methodology in Six Sigma / Lean Six Sigma is to identify the root causes contributing to defects and reducing these defects by collecting data, analyzing data and carrying out experiments to prevent such occurrences. It also relies on methodologies like 5S, Kaizen, JIT, Kanban, Poka Yoke to eliminate the seven deadly wastes found in most organizations.
In short, six sigma is a systematic and fact-driven methodology used to eliminate process deficiencies and variations that cause customer-dissatisfaction.
Lean is a set of tools and techniques that focus on the constraints to process flow, elimination of waste, and non-value added activities.
Combining these two techniques with effective team skills can significantly improve the organization’s performance.
Lean Six Sigma provides a common language and toolset that ensures the development and maintenance of the enterprise’s design, control, and improvement processes. With Lean Six Sigma in place, organizations can enjoy increased revenue through improved customer satisfaction, reduced costs of poor quality, and decreased cycle times
It combines the power of Six Sigma and Lean to create a comprehensive program that improves process throughput, reduces costs, maximizes shareholder value, and increases customer delight.
Lean Six Sigma Management System relies heavily on understanding customer requirements, statistical analysis of data, process approach, innovation, risk-management, mistake-prevention and team-working.
Is Lean Six Sigma mainly used by organizations in the USA?
No doubt, the Six Sigma Management System started in USA with Motorola. But everything that Motorola did was not original. They picked up many ideas from the way Japan was managing and improving the quality of their processes and products.
So, the concepts and methodologies of Lean Six Sigma are universally applicable to all types of organizations and in all geographical areas. Today, Lean Six Sigma is being increasingly adopted and used as a management system for process improvement and profit improvement by organizations all over the world
Is Lean Six Sigma applicable only for manufacturing organizations?
Lean Six Sigma can be applied in all types of industries or businesses since it views every activity as a process. Everything that anyone does is a part of a process.
A process is efficient or inefficient depending on the output to input ratio. (This ratio could be a measure of productivity, a measure of cost, or a measure of time).
Very few processes are defect free and the levels of defects have to be brought down through specific actions. It does not happen by accident or chance. This is where the Six Sigma tools & techniques help the organization.
Lean Six sigma has been seen to succeed in all types of manufacturing organizations and various service businesses like IT, KPO, BPO, Insurance, Banking, Healthcare and Logistics.
The six sigma courses are also getting famous in countries like UAE, India, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.
How popular is Lean Six Sigma Management System in India?
In the last 8 to 10 years, many organizations in India have been adopting Lean Six Sigma in their quest for reducing defects, achieving process excellence and improving the organizationâ€™s profitability.
In fact today, the businesses in India and other parts of the world, are experiencing a shortage of qualified Lean Six Sigma professionals.
The six sigma courses are also getting famous in countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.
Is Six Sigma just a fashion?
Six Sigma was initiated in 1986-87 at Motorola and has been growing in acceptance all over the world. If it was just a fashion, it would not have lasted for over 20 years and grown so much in popularity. It is a very structured and disciplined approach for process-improvement which results in large savings for organizations.
Today, over 53% Fortune-500 companies rely on six sigma / lean six sigma methodologies for improving their profitability.
What is White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt Certification?
The executives at Motorola borrowed the "Karate" titles to indicate levels of proficiency achieved by a person in six sigma training.
Foundation level training ends in achievement of "White Belt" Certification, Fairly high level training ends in qualifying as a "Green Belt". In between is the "Yellow Belt". An expert level is when the person becomes a "Black Belt" by qualifying for another examination and completing a live six sigma project.
A Master Black Belt is a Black Belt who has completed minimum twenty six sigma projects successfully.
Who can benefit from Six Sigma Certification Courses?
Traditionally, it was believed that Six Sigma works only for manufacturing organizations and applies to only those responsible for production or quality functions.
GE was the first organization to explode this myth by proving that Six Sigma is equally beneficial for service organizations and it works for every department in the organization by reducing mistakes and wastages in its various processes.
Thus, any one in a management or technical position can benefit from knowledge of Six Sigma / Lean Six Sigma since this system works for all departments in the organization.
Are the six sigma courses offered by different institutes of an equal standing?
Definitely not. A lot depends on the course design, courseware, teaching methods used and practical exposure of the faculty.
What is an accredited course?
An accredited course is one which is designed as per the Body of Knowledge of a respected third party and recognized by such party in terms of certain specified standards with respect to teaching, courseware, case-studies, examination, and student-evaluation.
Are any accredited courses available in India?
Yes, Asian Institute of Quality Management offers these courses through contact classes at Mumbai, Pune, Indore and Banglore in India and in 6 countries in the Middle East. For other locations this course is available through Video-Based E-learning.
They are the only institute enjoying U.K. accreditation from ASCB (Europe) - UK in Asia for conducting Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt Courses.
It is also possible for a participant to prepare through an institute like Asian Institute of Quality Management and appear for American Society for Quality (ASQ) examinations.
What are the advantages of enrolling for an accredited course?
You are assured of a standardized and evaluated curriculum.
You achieve a qualification that is internationally recognized.
You are taught by expert-faculty who have been thoroughly trained and tested for imparting lean six sigma training.
What should be the time gap between Green Belt and Black Belt training?
Any trained / certified Green Belt can proceed for Black Belt training. The time gap depends on your own career plan - i.e. how soon you wish to lead Black Belt projects and be noticed by the top management.
Mostly, persons in Black Belt role are seen to rise fast in their organizations.
What are the benefits of achieving a Green Belt or Black Certification?
The organization benefits greatly through savings in various processes with the added benefit of achieving customer delight on an on-going basis.
Self-development and career-enhancement for the employee.
Most of the persons who have qualified with us as six sigma / lean six sigma green belts / black belts have experienced fast growth in job-profile and emoluments due to benefits achieved for the organization.
Is a project mandatory for Green / Black Belt Certification?
A project certainly adds to your competence and develops self-confidence. Green Belt / Black Belt course results in 3 certificates.
The first one is a result of qualifying as a Green Belt after an examination.
The second one is a provisional (candidate) certificate as a result of qualifying in the Black Belt examination.
The third is a final Black Belt Certificate awarded on ascertaining evidence of a successfully completed Black Belt Project.
Is the statistics part in the course very difficult?
Statistics and Data Analysis are mostly used in six sigma projects. But there are many non-statistical techniques which also need to be mastered and can lead to process-improvement.
Besides, if the statistics is taught with proper perspective, it can be learnt easily even by people with non-quantitative background. Nowadays, software solutions are available for analysis of data which makes life very easy for persons with a non-mathematical background.
What is the guarantee that I will get sufficient skills on completion of training?
Our training feedback system shows very high satisfaction levels of the participants in our courses.
The feedback has established that over 99% of the participants find our courses highly relevant and develop excellent knowledge & skills from the course. They are able to initiate Lean Six Sigma / Six Sigma projects at their workplace immediately after the program.
We also provide email support to the participant for his / her first project.
A project-report template is provided to participants which helps them to work on the project and present it in a very structured manner.
Benefits of AIQMs Six Sigma Course
Asiaâ€™s only ASCB (E) Ltd. UK Accredited Six Sigma Courses International Recognition.
Listing of qualified participants on UK website.
High profile faculty with years of practical experience in six sigma implementation in India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Middle East.
High quality, easy to understand course material.
Use of practical examples, exercises and case studies to enable easy understanding of six sigma tools even by non-technical persons.
E-mail guidance for your first Black Belt Project.
Final Black Belt Certificate awarded to participants whose project is approved.
Can an organization get certified for Six Sigma?
No, unlike an ISO or CMMI or COPC certification for the organization, there is nothing like Six Sigma Certification for the organization.
The individuals undergo training, qualify for examinations and work on six sigma projects in teams.
The certification for the organization is in terms of "better work-culture" and a "healthier" balance sheet only.
Are there any Distance Learning courses on Lean Six Sigma?
Yes, AIQM offers Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification course through e-learning. The syllabus is same as for the contact-class course and leads to a ASCB (E) Ltd. UK Accredited Certification.
However, it is advisable that Black Belt Course is completed through contact-class course only. Hence, we do not offer the same though e-learning.