The better something is done, the more successful the person or enterprise doing it will be – if all other things are equal.
This may appear to be a case of stating the obvious. Intuitively we all sense that doing something inefficiently or to a poor quality standard means time, effort and money are being wasted. That is a no-brainer.
However, there are some subtleties involved here too. For example, quality issues in projects or production can lead to:
- Damage to reputation
- Critical resources being tied up for longer than necessary in order to achieve a conclusion – with consequential effects for other activities
- People working as part of the project or production starting to accept sub-standard quality as being acceptable and the norm. That can in turn feed low-morale, low self-esteem, and indifference amongst employees
For all these reasons and indeed many more like them, organizations are investing large sums of money in quality management processes that, broadly speaking, have the end goal objective of “getting it right the first time, every time.”
Quality Management Methodologies
There are many methodologies designed to deliver quality management and its related high-quality outcomes. Organizations will select the methodology that’s most appropriate to their particular circumstances. Some are designed for large organizations of 500+ people, others for smaller companies and yet others for very specific industry niches.
One of the most widely adopted and recognized of these methodologies is what is termed “Six Sigma” and at times “Lean Six Sigma.”
This methodology is based upon a cycle of:
That can cover anything from a production line process building say cars, to a large-scale IT project developing software.
The term “Six Sigma” is statistical and is defined as the objective of delivering less than 3.4 defects for every 1 million occurrences. If that sounds unachievable when thinking about the complexities of a manufacturing line or a major piece of software coding, consider how it might work in areas such as safety.
Would anyone fly on an airline that said 90% of its landings were “fine” – with all that implied for the other 10%?
Six Sigma essentially states that near perfection in quality terms is achievable if you have the right skills in applying the right techniques.
Six Sigma roles are typically described as follows:
- Executive leadership. This may be an individual or individuals nominated as being roadblock clearers and ultimate owners of the responsibility for quality success
- Champions. These are often people in senior management who interact with other Six Sigma practitioners and executive leadership. They promulgate the leadership’s visions for success to different Six Sigma levels
- Master Black Belts. Individuals who are exceptionally well-versed in Six Sigma and its implementation. They may well spend 100% of their time helping to drive its implementation and guiding other Six Sigma practitioners
- Black Belts. Usually working under the direction of a Master Black Belt, this role involves working actively to lead specific tasks and activities
- Green Belts. People in these roles may be relatively new to Six Sigma and will be learning and applying the techniques under the direction of Black Belts.
Some organizations may vary these role designations as required by their individual circumstances. For example, you may also see roles described as “White Belts” or “Yellow Belts.”
How Training and Certification Can Help
Certification is imperative if you are to increase your chances of securing the top Six Sigma positions. Some of the most appropriate courses might include:
- Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Training. This methodology combines the basic quality management principles of Six Sigma together with lean manufacturing and processing techniques designed to eliminate waste and variation in production cycles. This leads to the term “Lean Six Sigma.” The course comprises 21 hours of e-learning and simulated exams. Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt practitioners in this domain can command salaries of $83,000 up to $175,000.
- Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Training. This is a second-level course aimed at expanding the knowledge of the discipline including introducing the concepts of Lean Six Sigma. It comprises 40 hours of instructor-based training and 27 hours of e-learning. No pre-requisites are required. Job roles such as Lead Manufacturing Engineer, Operating System Specialist, Senior IT Project Manager, and Business Process Analyst, might all see career enhancement as a result of adding this Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification to a resume.
- Lean Six Sigma Expert. A certification designed to develop high-level expertise in the disciplines of Lean and Six Sigma. This course takes students from the basics through to expert knowledge levels and includes 10 simulation exams. Salary levels of roles featuring this form of certification range from $99,000-$110,000.
- Lean Six Sigma Application in Information Technology. As the title suggests, this course is specifically targeted to the application of Lean Six Sigma Black Belt techniques within the field of IT. It is based around case studies and examples. This course has pre-requisites including the completion of Six Sigma Green Belt training and at least 2 to 3 years’ work experience in a relevant niche sector. This certification is particularly useful for IT Project Managers and IT Quality Control Specialists.
It is a generally accepted truth of all quality management methodologies that it is always more cost-effective to build quality into your processes from start to finish rather than to try and do so only via inspections at the tail end of the lifecycle.
Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma are techniques aimed at helping to do exactly that, and large numbers of organizations now believe that their successful implementation of quality management systems will be essential for success – and possibly even their very survival.
Lean Six Sigma Black Belts and Lean Six Sigma Green Belts can look forward to being in high demand throughout many industry sectors and achieving both significant career advancement and the rewards that go with it.
However, just as with many other professions, potential employers will look for evidence of real in-depth knowledge on resumes as their first preference. Employment positions offering training and development from day-1 may be hard to find.
That’s why Simplilearn certification courses might be an invaluable career development aid. Why not contact us sooner rather than later to find out more about how we can help you to become a certified Six Sigma practitioner?
We are waiting to help.