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Six Sigma Training - Don't Leave the House Without Your Black Belt

Aug 17, 2007
Six Sigma, (sometimes represented as 6s) defined here as a statistical metric to measure an organization's process performance, is a proven methodology to improve quality, thus reducing product failure rates and cost and, with larger companies, saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in the process; dollars that translate to the bottom line.

Without overemphasizing the math, Six Sigma is a statistical analysis of processes, products and service. In production terms, Six Sigma stands for what is considered to be the highest acceptable failure rate, to wit: 3.4 defects out of one million opportunities, DPMO. As a practical matter, that ratio may be unattainable in a particular endeavor; Six Sigma Training, however, will assist your Organization in reaching the optimal results possible within your system.

Can your business benefit from Six Sigma Training? Of course it can. While there are various levels of training, from the most basic introduction of the concept, through Lean Enterprise, Executive Level Nanagement, Champion and Green Belt, (all of which are beneficial to your operation), our focus is on the top of the ladder: Black Belt.

A certified Six Sigma Black Belt is a true leader, and an almost priceless asset to your organization. Empower your business with Six Sigma trained individuals, and you will see results you once thought unobtainable. Black Belts lead your major initiatives, inspiring their teams to take on and complete more projects in less time, with greater efficiency and an increased level of success. The benefits are manifest.

Certification as a Six Sigma Black Belt is no easy task, but the rewards can be astounding. New Black Belts have been known to save up to $130,000 on their first projects; experienced Black Belts have, on more than one occasion, achieved $1.4 Million in savings on a single project. Numerous companies employing Black Belt certified managers have won the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Award.

In order to become Black Belt certified, a candidate must complete a 4 week training course with perfect attendance and passing scores on weekly exams. Eight hours of personal coaching from an instructor are provided. The candidate must pass a written final examination. In addition, the individual must complete, within 4 months of the course, a project that they have brought into the training. To be acceptable, this project must achieve savings of at least $75,000, or a minimum 80% reduction in defects. The project must be successfully defended to a panel of Master Black Belts in order to demonstrate appropriate use of Six Sigma techniques and tools, as well as proper implementation of the "DMAIC" approach.

So, what is "DMAIC?" It is an acronym for one of the core methodologies of Six Sigma Training:

* DEFINE: It is critical for a Black Belt candidate to be able to define his or her project in terms of its magnitude, expected results, available resources, and deadlines;

* MEASURE: Six Sigma Training teaches the candidate how to quantify the project objective through the use of real data;

* ANALYZE: Candidates are taught to interpret and utilize statistical methodologies to identify root causes involved in the project;

* IMPROVE: Once the root causes are isolated, participants are shown techniques to identify, prioritize and implement solutions;

* CONTROL: Control of the process is instilled in the candidate, to avoid the temptation to go back to the status quo. As the Black Belt candidate leads the project, he or she must be able to garner the participation of the "process owners" involved in the project, as well as inspire them to embrace the process in order to ensure long-term success.

It is instructive to note that the choice of terminology in Six Sigma Training is not random. Much of the ideology and, taken to its logical conclusion, philosophy, comes from, and pays tribute to, the lessons taught to the companies from the now famous Japanese quality assurance disciplines which rocked the Western business world in the 1980's. The response to true competition breeds discipline; true discipline breeds success. To put it another way, adapt or disappear.

Seed your business with Black Belts, and other Six Sigma trained individuals, and you will follow a path that leads to remarkable and highly quantifiable success. Whether your operation mandates suits and ties, or jeans and T-shirts, make sure that "Black Belts" are part of your wardrobe.
About the Author
For more information about Six Sigma Training and Six Sigma Black Belt Training, please visit SAI Global, Six Sigma pioneers for over 20 years, with more than 1,000 businesses trained, at: http://www.xlp.com.
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