iSixSigma

Roles & Responsibilities

Motivate Champions as a Peer Group

We all know the importance of a good project Champion in the execution of a successful continuous improvement project. Without good Champions, project teams do not get the resources they need to do good work. Without good Champions, teams become mired in the internal politics of change that delay project execution. Without good Champions, project…

How to Encourage Green Belts

Coaching Green Belts (GBs) constitutes a primary responsibility of most Black Belts (BBs). Providing advice on which tool to use, directions on how to run a statistical test and input on preparing for a project tollgate review all exercise a BB’s technical know-how. But what if you can’t be assured of a GB’s enthusiasm for…

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Six Qualities of Successful Green Belts

Many factors play a role in the success of a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt: support of top management, a well-defined and properly scoped project, a solid project team and more. One element that may be overlooked is the qualities of the candidates themselves. Everyone can contribute to continuous improvement efforts, but the Green Belt…

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Champion Training Enhances Lean Six Sigma at Tower Automotive

Tower Automotive has practiced Lean manufacturing and had a continuous improvement department in one form or another since the late 1990s. Through these continuous improvement efforts, Tower was able to eliminate waste and reduce overall operational costs, helping the company survive when many other automotive suppliers fell by the wayside. Even with all of the…

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Three Methods to Sharpen New Deployment Champions

Before any Lean Six Sigma (LSS) program can begin to drive efficiency at an organization, it must have a solid foundation of team members who are immersed in the LSS culture. When third-party logistics firm Transplace established its LSS program, management placed an emphasis on developing a regimented training program for those who would become…

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Six Sigma Evolution Clarified – Letter To The Editor

On behalf of Six Sigma Academy, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the evolution of six sigma since this seems to be a lively topic of conversation among many practitioners (even cartoonists!) these days. The roots of six sigma as a measurement standard can be traced back to Carl Frederick Gauss (1777-1855)…

Six Sigma Roles and Responsibilities

Six Sigma has a martial arts convention for naming many of its professional roles. The chart below describes how these roles are typically defined. Leaders and Champions usually receive high-level training on the technical aspects of Six Sigma and specific training on how to lead an initiative. At the “Belt” level, each candidate is assigned…

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Six Sigma Green Belt Curriculum and Body of Knowledge

Education is a key component of your Six Sigma initiative. Below is a recommendation of what should be included in your training, whether conducted in-house or by a third-party consultant. If you feel that some relevant topic is missing from the curriculum or body of knowledge of any of the areas listed below, please send…

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Six Sigma Black Belt Curriculum and Body of Knowledge

Education is a key component of your Six Sigma initiative. Below is a recommendation of what should be included in your training, whether conducted in-house or by a third-party consultant. If you feel that some relevant topic is missing from the curriculum or body of knowledge of any of the areas listed below, please send…

Master Black Belt Curriculum and Body of Knowledge

Education is a key component of your Six Sigma initiative. Below is a recommendation of what should be included in your training, whether conducted in-house or by a third-party consultant. If you feel that some relevant topic is missing from the curriculum or body of knowledge of any of the areas listed below, please send…

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Six Sigma Champion Curriculum and Body of Knowledge

Education is a key component of your Six Sigma initiative. Below is a recommendation of what should be included in your training, whether conducted in-house or by a third-party consultant. If you feel that some relevant topic is missing from the curriculum or body of knowledge of any of the areas listed below, please send…

To BB or Not to BB?

OK, so you are not Hamlet, and deciding whether to become a Six Sigma Black Belt (BB) is not a matter of life or death. But it is a major career move, and you should carefully consider the pros and cons. With a nod to David Letterman, we have created two “Top Ten” lists that…

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101 Things a Green Belt Should Know

Green Belts are employees of an organization who have been trained on the Six Sigma improvement methodology and will lead a process improvement team as part of their full-time job. While Green Belts do not need to know as much as Black Belts or Master Black Belts, there are many things a Green Belt should…

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Top Ten Six Sigma Black Belt Candidate Qualities

Whether you are a process owner, Master Black Belt or Champion, you will at some point need to interview candidates for an open Black Belt position. Or, you may be a Green Belt or quality engineer with aspirations of someday working full-time as a Six Sigma Black Belt. What should you look for in a…

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The Role of Human Resources (HR) in Six Sigma

Chances are you’ve heard of Six Sigma, perhaps in connection with General Electric, the company that made it popular in the 1990s. You may even know that Six Sigma uses statistical techniques to improve processes in both manufacturing and service industries. But did you know there is an important role for Human Resources (HR) in…

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Becoming a Master Black Belt in Healthcare

A Master Black Belt (MBB) has been trained as a Six Sigma Black Belt and demonstrated proficiency in statistical tools and expertise in leading and teaching others. Within the healthcare organization, the MBB trains Black Belts and Green Belts, helping to select, scope and mentor projects. MBBs also guide the organization in addressing quality from…

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Six Sigma for Software – A Role Based System

Part 1 in a series exploring Six Sigma Deployment for Software and IT Organizations Because the application of the Six Sigma methodology is relatively new to Software and IT, many of the readers of this web site may be unclear as to the methods of deploying Six Sigma into an organization successfully. From participation in…

The Champion’s Role In Successful Six Sigma Deployments

For a Six Sigma deployment to produce the expected results, organizational roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined and aligned. If Executives and Champions are trained and Black Belts and Green Belts are not, the probability of success decreases to virtually nothing. The reverse is true as well. None of these situations will produce the…

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Six Sigma Training

Six Sigma training is one of the most important factors that contributes to and helps modify and shape a Six Sigma culture. This article will help identify who in your organization is required to go through six sigma training and what type of six sigma training they should receive.

Six Sigma Curriculum and Body of Knowledge

iSixSigma receives many questions regarding the Six Sigma methodology and, more specifically, what each business change agent (Champion, Master Black Belt, Black Belt, Green Belt) should know in order to be effective. To help meet this need, I have created a reference document detailing what should be contained in a Six Sigma curriculum. Below is…

Six Sigma Organizational Architecture

Six Sigma is a quality methodology that can produce significant benefit to businesses and organizations. Not much text, however, has been written about the structure needed to successfully implement Six Sigma quality within your business or organization. This article will focus on roles and responsibilities, as well as required rewards and recognition for a successful…

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Ideas for Using Lean Six Sigma in the Marine Corps

The U.S. Marine Corps’ continuous process improvement (CPI) effort is aimed at enhancing all aspects of support provided to operating forces to maximize combat readiness and war fighting capability. That means the Marine Corps is emphasizing that the CPI program is for every level and every element of the corps. Here is what is being…

Why Six Sigma Black Belts Make Better Leaders

A survey by iSixSigma Magazine of more than 1,300 business professionals whose companies are using Six Sigma revealed that leadership development programs which involve Six Sigma training are six times more likely to be called “highly successful” than those without. Many of these leadership development programs involve a Black Belt track for future leaders. Thus,…

Fitting the Right Belts for Design for Lean Six Sigma

Every Lean Six Sigma deployment leader must eventually confront the critical decision of how the various Belt roles should be allocated and deployed throughout the organization. Lean Six Sigma has existed for more than 10 years now in a variety of manufacturing, service and distribution environments, and through trial and error fairly standard niches have…

Who Wants to Be a Six Sigma Master Black Belt?

Here is how to become a Master Black Belt: Attend a one-week training course and earn a certification from a European institute. The institute claims on the web to be officially approved and the course is for open enrollment. To most Six Sigma practitioners this does not make a lot of sense, but it raises…

Process Owners: The Unsung Heroes of Improvement

Look around a company that has been using Lean Six Sigma for awhile. Listen to the kinds of stories that circulate. Which people are mentioned the most? Likely it is the Black Belt who led a project that saved a million dollars or created a whole new market for a product. Or the Master Black…

Change Issues Facing Leaders: Sponsorship

“Change is inevitable. In a progressive country change is constant.” Substitute “company” for “country,” and most people in modern organizations will nod and sigh deeply (although not many will know that the quotation is from British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli – and that it was uttered back in 1867). Change is inevitable – in pursuit of better…

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Black Belt as Mobilizer: Key to Six Sigma Effectiveness

How does a company measure the effectiveness of a Six Sigma program? Common metrics include: time to the break-even point for the program, project completion rate, total and average financial value of completed Six Sigma projects, and average project completion time. The common element in all these metrics is that they rely on the effectiveness…

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Work-out as a Problem-Solving Tool for Healthcare

Healthcare organizations face tremendous challenges in addressing efficiency, cost, quality, staffing shortages and mounting pressure to raise salaries. To bolster lagging morale and improve retention rates, management must empower staff and effectively leverage existing resources. Tools and techniques that support these imperatives are critical to the success of modern healthcare organizations. Many problems in healthcare…

Process Improvement: A Process Owner’s Dilemma

In the midst of a complex organizational structure and multiple frameworks, a process owner is often faced with the challenge of providing the biggest “bang” for the lowest “buck” in the shortest time. At the same time, organizations want to optimize the investment a process-improvement drive demands and strive for a common approach that can…

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Six Sigma Convert Offers Views on Healthcare Leadership

Remaining within a hospital management role for more than two years is an uncommon achievement today, but a resume with multiple job changes is not as detrimental as it used to be. A new organization, or even a new role, offers the advantages of learning new skills and discovering the contributions leaders can make. So…

Manager’s Guide: Fostering Success with Lean Six Sigma

Managers play a key role in building a successful Lean Six Sigma organization. They must create and foster an environment that sets the stage for employee success. Here are six essential factors for creating Lean Six Sigma that thrives: Pick the right projects Pick the right people Follow the method Clearly define roles and responsibilities…

Six Habits of the Highly Effective Master Black Belt

Six Sigma practitioners across the globe are trying to accomplish similar objectives. Some might be surprised that these goals do not vary much from countries where Six Sigma is just beginning to take root to those where Six Sigma practitioners work in organizations where Six Sigma has become a way of life. As evidence, one…

Guidelines and Matrices for Picking Six Sigma Candidates

Green Belt and Black Belt candidate selection is a critical step in ensuring that a Six Sigma program provides the benefits intended. Overlooking the importance of this step can lead to slow progress and incomplete results. Finding Green Belt candidates with the right traits is a proven method for kick-starting a Six Sigma program. This…

Work-out: The Most Powerful Process Improvement Tool

If an organization could choose only one method for unlocking value quickly, what approach should rise to the top of the list? If a company could adopt only one method for shaping its culture toward continuous improvement, what tool should it use? The answer to both questions is Work-out. Work-out certainly should not be the…

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Establishing Criteria for Black Belt Candidate Selection

It is widely recognized that a number of factors are important in achieving successful Six Sigma Black Belt projects. In particular: Leadership support Project selection Black Belt candidate selection Much has been written about leadership support and project selection, not as much on candidate selection. Many Six Sigma companies would benefit from knowing more about…

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Optimizing Software/IT Role in a Typical Organization

Whether the business unit is called information systems, information technology, software development or some other name, the group that provides these services is often among the most misunderstood and undefined in a corporation. And it is no wonder, considering that technology capabilities and dependence are rapidly expanding, combined with an ever-changing array of desktop and…

‘We Are the Champions!’ – Exactly What That Means

Freddie Mercury, former member of the 1970s British rock group Queen, may not have been the most appropriate and politically correct when he wrote these song lyrics, “No time for losers, ’cause we are the champions….” However, fans understood the meaning and the excitement generated by being a champion. The same should hold true for…

Balancing Roles and Responsibilities in Six Sigma

Any new initiative in a financial services business will require some job shifting. Some people will have to stop what they have been doing and take on different responsibilities; some may be required to add new responsibilities onto an already crowded slate. Both types of reassignments are common with Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma….

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Using ‘Preferred Roles’ to Assure Best Team Performance

People who have successfully implemented Lean Six Sigma all say the same thing: Having the best data, tools and improvement methods in the world is no substitute for having effective teams. Lean Six Sigma is about leveraging the knowledge, energy and passion of the whole team – Green Belts, process owners, Black Belts and other team…