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Are Green Belt Certification valuable?

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  • #40365

    IE Student
    Participant

    I just obtained my GB this summer, however, I don’t see where GB’s  fit in any organization (i.e. there is no demand for GB)?
    I will have a BS in IE this fall and I love my field,  my goal is to become a MBB one day but  I don’t want to simply rush into getting a Black Belt without further hands on experience.
    Are GB’s worth anything?
    Asking for Professional advice –thanx

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    #125082

    Darth
    Participant

    No, a GB is not of much value in the outside marketplace.  If your organization is deploying SS, then often the GB will be required for a number of people.  It is  not considered a “professional” designation as is BB and MBB.  You will notice job postings for achievement of those certifications.  If you are applying for a job in an organization that is utilizing SS, then possibly the GB will help distinguish you from someone who hasn’t done training and a project.  Unfortunately, many organizations may still make you go through GB training again especially if the source of your GB is not a well known SS organization, training group or consulting organization.  GB and IE are a good combination and there is lots of overlap with the respective bodies of knowledge.  You are correct, get some hands on experience and then decide whether you want to move up the food chain in SS.  Good luck.

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    #125085

    IE Student
    Participant

    Darth,
    Thanx for your response.  I got my GB through my university.  I believe that my certification should be more reputable than receiving one through an online site or even through a company.
    I was planning to take the ASQ BB exam in my final semester but I am hesistant because I am not big on online courses.  Also, I have a limited amount of experience being in school and everything.
    U of M offers a BB certification course but it is open only to Gradstudents… this would be my first perference in getting my BB, since this course would count towards a masters.
    What I am getting at is does it matter much if I go from my GB immediately to a BB? 
    It’s a catch 22… no one wants to hire a GB, but no one wants to hire a fast track BB either.
    Thanx,
    IE
     

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    #125088

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Any cert, GB, BB, MBB, CMC…
    is only as good as the projects you complete and the results you deliver.
    In other words, you have the power to make it valuable.   If there is “no demand”…make demand.   You can easily conduct GB-level projects in “stealth-mode”.   Once the results are acheived, create on executive outbrief and show your management the value you just created.

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    #125089

    IE Student
    Participant

    I know what you are saying Heebeegeebee….
    but the problem I have is actually getting the job… do you know if anyone is hiring???

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    #125131

    Darth
    Participant

    Student,
    Stop thinking of the BB as an academic achievement.  While the training component is important, it is the achievement of demonstrable results utilizing the tools and methodology that is important to employers.  You can get your BB anytime, no need to do in lockstep with your GB.  The key will be some projects.  Offer to do them for free, as an intern, anything to get some experience in the real world.  The university based GB/BB is not always the most recognized.  In many cases, it is frowned upon since the professors teaching the courses themselves don’t have extensive experience in applying SS.  They teach the same old course but position it as SS in order to draw a larger market for either grad school or executive education.  Make sure the person teaching has the scars gotten from years in the field, not a few academic exercises.

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    #125134

    IE Student
    Participant

    Point taken Darth,
    I spent the whole summer actually working on a project for the Maintenance Department at my job where I was able to apply some Six Sigma tools and applications.  I always look for opportunities to enhance my skills (not for free though)….
    That is why I am asking for Professional advise. What route did you take to get ur BB/MBB… are you successful? — this isnt a fight these are simply questions. 
     I took my GB at school because, it knew I wanted it but I cant afford to go paying for classes and certfications (college students dont make that kind of money)…. I got college credit and my certification.
    And yes I have considered the academia issues too… I am well aware of the fact that SOME college professors lack real industry knowledge.
    Thanx– if anybody else wants to give feed back feel free.

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    #125135

    Jaybee
    Participant

    Wise words Darth,
    It is vital the the learning is converted into reality (as with most things in life i guess)
    That is why it is imperative that real life projects are worked on to cement the learning – it also allows for your fingers to get burnt at times.
    There will be arguments that can rage until the end of time about ‘who is the best to train 6s’ but at the end of the day, it does not really mattter, what matters is what you have (or have not – ref; the fingers burnt!) acheived in ‘real time’ on real projects – that is a measure of how good you are as a BB/WB/MBB/GB/YB – whateverB.
    Sitting in a class learning (& possibly passing BB/GB exams with 1st class marks) will never ever replace real time, real projects – as dont forget, how do you know how to become a leader or how you will handle certain situations on a project (or with team member / snr.manager / VP etc) sitting behind a desk.
    Going out there & asking companies if you can ply your learning (free of charge is a great carrot!) on a real life project will enhance your career no end. Think about it in an interview “you say you were certified by a Uni – have you done a project?” – “yes, i contacted company XX & i did this/that etc” imagine how impressed the prospective interviewer will be!!
    my 2 p
    J

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    #125136

    IE Student
    Participant

    How do you list projects on a resume without being over a page? Isnt that true, employeers don’t like resumes more than a page for entry level/recent grads.
    Projects arent my concern (on a major scale)….
    I have one project completed (from work) and I am using my Senior Design Project as another… but how do you list them i.e. explain the project issue, process used to resolve the problem and results???
    Does anybody have an example they wouldnt mind showing me?

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    #125137

    Jaybee
    Participant

    Hi IE Student,
    Again, i would like to say (with my employer’s hat on) i would like to see both the project (very small overview of tools used in phases – maybe only 2 – 3 lines on resume) & also where / when etc you obtained your training. I would be more interested in what you have done, but also what you know.
    You could then put on your resume ‘full project report submitted upon request’ that way if your potential employer wants to look at your report, you can take it along with you.
    I have just dug this out from a CV from mine dating back to 2001 –
    Using Six Sigma statistical tools and techniques in order to achieve increased process performance and in turn business effectiveness, both in operational & transactional projects. Total management on projects undertaken. Tools used include DOE/FMEA/SPC & various modern practices to create accurate project plans to ensure that project performance is monitored and all financial targets are achieved. The Six Sigma Storyboard is used on all projects undertaken (RDMAIC – Recognise/Define/Measure/Analyse/Improve & Control)
    Assistant in training & mentoring of Greenbelts.
    It did me no harm!!!
    hope it helps
    J

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    #125138

    IE Student
    Participant

    J,
    Stupid questions prehaps but were you ever a greenbelt? Can you give me some advice on how to presue this from a greenbelt situation?
    Thanx!

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    #125142

    Jaybee
    Participant

    IE Student,
    No, I was never a GB, I was involved in project teams when 6s kicked off in my previous company(1999/2000), from a QA perspective. I then applied for & became a BB. The thing is all companies are different, where i worked a BB was 100% in 6s, a GB was trained nearly the same as a BB (BB was 5 days per phase training, GB was 3 days per phase training, but still received the ‘main’ tool training like FMEA/C&E/DOE/etc etc) The GB retained his/her position & ran one project alongside their day to day job.
    There were some GB’s that applied more tools & had more knowledge than BB’s & vice versa, some GB’s projects were real big $$$’s savings & the occasional one was more complex than a BB project (not often, but it did happen)
    As i previously indicated, myself (as an employer) would personally not be influenced by the colout belt you were, but more by what you knew & how you used the tools to perform & achieve breakthrough improvements & sustained them. For this reason i would concentrate on focusing your resume on what you have achieved on your project (s) to date, what tools you have used / how you understand what tool to use when & how you drove the project forward when times were rough (i prefer to hear someone telling me how they got through the bad times, rather than hearing about how good they are) & do not dangle the ‘belt’ word too much (tell if asked)
    It is worth considering going for your BB certificate, but again, only to pacify companies that prefer to see a certificate, rather than the potential. Most importantly, gain the real life experience.
    To be honest, i would prefer to employ a GB with a broader range of skills in whatever field (QA/Management.Engineering/IT etc) with other qualifications, than to employ a person who has just a BB certificate & no other real experience.
    Once you get into the interview mode, it is then that you can sell your knowledge & experience gained.
    hope this helps, let me know if more info is required.
    J
     

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    #125144

    IE Student
    Participant

    Thanx Jaybee,
    I also appreciated the advise you gave Paul (from the European SS site)…
    You were able to suggest to him some sites he could consider jobs from… are there any in the states that I can consider?
    It would be nice if I could afford to volunteer my knowledge… but it would be even better if I can find a job that pays….
    Thanx Jaybee, you have been must helpful!!!

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    #125145

    Stevo
    Member

    IE  –
     
    A green belt can use valuable in the right situation.  With all of the consolidation of businesses, there are always six sigma companies that buy other businesses that are not.  Here’s where your GB might give you an edge over the competition and might put you on a fast track to get your BB.  Besides that – any knowledge of process improvement is a good thing; the title might not mean much at this time.
     
    Unsolicited advice –                If I could draw the perfect career path it would be:
     
                1) Get into a line of business first, ideally working your way to a front line manager.  Cut your teeth here on such things as employee motivation, budgets and bottom lines, and office politics, etc.  These will help you be successful later.  A BB can be a frustrating job without some of these “other” skills.  It has little to do with hard stat skills.
     
                2) Then get your BB.  Hone your skills; get a few projects under your belt. (at least a couple of years)
     
                3) Become a MBB.
     
    Stevo
     

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    #125146

    Jaybee
    Participant

    IE Student,
    No problem, maybe you could check out some of the advertised job sites on this website for the States.
    I also know that there are some big US multinationals that run graduate schemes (also employing recently graduated personnel) the one from the top of my head would be Johnson Controls (only from memory) i believe they are based in Milwaukee, but have sites countrywide, check out their site to see if they have anything interesting for you….
    J

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    #125147

    HF Chris
    Participant

    IE Student,
    Intern…intern…intern!  Recently I had 2 IE interns assist on a company project and they were able to get there feet wet. They also learned that each project was totally different and required different tools. You are looking for a patented method to be successful. If that’s what you want, watch late night TV, they are advertising how to become rich yesterday.
    Chris
     

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    #125148

    IE Student
    Participant

    HaHa HF Chris,
    FYI I have interned… I am graduating in the Fall, arent most graduates goals is to get a job? Or does the money grow on trees in your neck of the woods??
    Wanting a job… obtaining a career, doing what you like is not equivalent to “looking for a patented method to be successful”
    Please read my post thoroughly I asked for Professional advise and NOT wise cracks!!!!

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    #125149

    HF Chris
    Participant

    IE Student,
    Reality check time, please remove your blinders. I have reviewed your posts and despite the answers that you have received, you believe that asking the same question in a different manner will get the magic question. If you have followed my past posts I am an avid supporter of schooling (else I need to stop trying to finish my dissertation). I have learned that you don’t ask how can I be valuable do you so that you want to pay me big money? I show you what I can do for you to make you money. You must have missed that when you interned. You may have to take another job to apply your tools to gain successful track.  Time for finals review…it is not your title but what you do that makes an impact.
    Chris

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    #125152

    IE Student
    Participant

    I think you missing my question Chris,
    How do I show that I am a valuable contributor if I cant even find a job doing SS???
    That is my question, my original… are GB Certs Valuable? Maybe valuable is the wrong term… howcome there arent any job postings for this?  — I dont expect  you to know the answer to that question.
    Hmmm, I read these forums everyday…. many of the participants here are BB or MBB and higher… how did you get started though…do u just take a regular job and make it a SS job???
    But Chris… I dont want this to be a hobby… something I do for volunteer work…. no I want this to be a JOB… hopefully a career… and if that sounds negative to you… i dont understand why… and furthermore so what.
    I am interning now… but the place were I work… and like alot (by the way)… they are new to the SS concept.  There is only one BB here on site, maybe 15 in the whole company…. how can I position myself to get hired in doing some SS work? 
    Thanx for the feedback Chris.

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    #125153

    IE Student
    Participant

    Steve,
    Thanx. for the scenerio…. from what it seems you just need to get a job first.. worry about the specifics later.
     

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    #125154

    HF Chris
    Participant

    IE Student,
    Part time job…hobby…mmm, full time school, full time parent, full time six sigma expert (company organization label), and time to post (not really, just a distraction). Anyway if you like where you work now what are you companies weaknesses. Make an appointment with a financial rep or business lead and ask what do they lose sleep over. Sit down with the BB and ask him/her the same questions. Shadow the BB if you immediate boss allows. This is just a start to get your foot in the door.

    Chris

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    #125155

    Stevo
    Member

    IE
    Don’t need to, but I believe it is easier.  you will also have the credibility when you want to go and change something.  Good luck.
    Ps.  Wise A$$ comments are the norm around here, read the message not the packaging.  If you poke back, you better enjoy it because it will be a long day.
     
    Stevo

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    #125156

    IE Student
    Participant

    Chris,
    See you and I are on the same wave length….
    I spent some time this summer doing mini-projects for the BB…. so that helped,  slight problem is that he is recieving recognition for my efforts…not complaining (completely)…..
    But thanx

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    #125157

    IE Student
    Participant

    Stevo,
    LOL…. yes poking back can be a very bad idea. 
    Yea I am thinking you are very right about getting “just get a job” concept and using it for SS…. I believe I will try that route as well.
    Thanx for the advice!

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    #125158

    HF Chris
    Participant

    Chris,
    I think your wavelength is shorter than mine. You seem to be looking at credit but what did you learn? You are just an apprentice until you can take the tools and run with them. How did the BB work through the process? Why did he work the project at all? Why did the big boss sponsor it? What credit do you deserve if you just turned the screwdriver based on instructions? Understand why?
    Chris
     

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    #125160

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    IE Student,
    I will probably be in a minority opinion on this to some extent. Industry is still on its honeymoon with Black Belts and consequently a lot of people want to get certified. Ultimately industry will understand that the long term sustainability of a Six Sigma culture is a productive Green Belt program. People who can time manage operational responsibilities and still drive improvement. Unfortunately you are before your time.
    Believing your certification carries more weight because it is from a university is naive at best. University certs smack of a “no project” certification. The other thing that nobody knows about you at this point – because you are university certified is if you can actually maintain a job with operational responsibility and drive results in a team environment. You may be surprised to find there are a lot of people out here who see your certification entirely differently than you do.
    Since Stevo doesn’t like my soapbox answers I will leave it at that.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck.

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    #125162

    IE Student
    Participant

    I am not much of a trash talker.. as you seem to be. 
    I did a lot of work with the BB project…. you are giving this BB alot of credit for not actually seeing him in action.
    I guess you are one of those people that assume GB < BB… By no means am I expert, but tell me, how high is your skill level if you can't analyze the data?
    Chris, it seems that you are more into antagonzing me more than actually providing me with practical advice.  This conversation isnt actually progressing because you keep digressing into the whole name calling, trashing talking thing… that is not why I started this discussion board.
    If it is okay with you… I will leave you be…

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    #125167

    HF Chris
    Participant

    IE Student,
    I’ll play nice. Analyzing the data and understanding the data are great skills, but only part of the equation. Look at the numerous posts and you will see discussions concerning this topic. Based on the comments I have received from others such as Stan, Vinny, Darth, Phil, and Mike (many others but these aged experts have a tendency to bring back to reality and there is no ranking in the order), I am in infancy in my path. I had TQM thrown down my throat from the defense side and enough stats to make your ears bleed. I volunteered for a company six sigma position (a lateral transfer with no big money) and they invested in numerous weeks of training and practitions across the country. The point is, I have to prove myself with my projects and I use a Human Factors twist to verify usability.

    Chris

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    #125168

    Darth
    Participant

    OK, let’s bring this one to a close.  You have been provided a good deal of information and food for thought.  Reflect upon it and let’s not let this thread head for the toilet like many others.  To review:
    I just obtained my GB this summer, however, I don’t see where GB’s  fit in any organization (i.e. there is no demand for GB)?  There is great need for GBs in an organization but you will not see them being advertised for.
    I will have a BS in IE this fall and I love my field,  my goal is to become a MBB one day but  I don’t want to simply rush into getting a Black Belt without further hands on experience.  Good idea.  A number of suggestions have already been made.
    Are GB’s worth anything? Yes, but not as a standalone profession.  The designation may help distinguish you from another job candidate but beyond that it is a “nice thing” but not enough to compensate for weaknesses in other areas.
    Asking for Professional advice –thanx  Best advice is to seek out whatever opportunities you can to beef up your portfolio of project accomplishments.  Get your BB and accomplish some more.  University based certification is not necessarily the most credible but if you can also get some academic credit towards an advanced degree, go for it. 
    Good luck.

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    #125175

    IE Student
    Participant

    Sorry to for delay,
    I just got back from a plant tour… I work at a Nuclear Plant.. .so it is always interesting to see something.
    Anyway Carnell,
    No, I am not shocked anymore, Dear Mr. Chris has graced me with enlightenment.  It’s all about the experience and not the creditials and I get that…. but just getting someone to give me the chance to get some experience is a little trickier.
    Maybe I am not seeing the BIGGER PICTURE… but, I would like a job… where I get paid doing what I think I like.
     

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    #125177

    TwentiesBB
    Member

    IE student,
    You asked the questions about GB certification and then about BB cert in school, but it seems that your real question is how do you get a job in this field.  Since I got my BB job relatively soon after college I think I can give you a good answer to that.
    Let me start by saying the most difficult thing in any project isn’t the statistics, or if it is lean then the balancing of the line.  The most difficult thing is the leadership, and for someone in their 20s it is even harder since we have the age barrier to get over.  As a BB I have to coach executives who are 2 or sometimes 3 levels above me; I have also had tell peers and superiors that the processes they have been running for the past 5 years stink and we need to rebuild them.  Add to this leading a team of people who you only influence and don’t directly control and you have a leadership need that school can never fill.  That is why so many people are saying that you need real world experience for your certifications to be strong and accepted.
    So how do you get this real world experience, and this job that will propel you into this field?  It is like anything else, a combination of luck and skill.  I got into my role because during college I worked for a company that decided to launch six sigma the same year I graduated.  I took a role as an analyst supporting some BBs and they mentored me and championed my movement into a BB role. 
    So here is the quick and dirty advice:
    1. BB roles are often leadership roles.  Don’t be too arrogant to start in an entry level position.  You will find this is actually saving you from failure.
    2. Let your skills show you off.  Respect is earned and never demanded.
    3. Get a good mentor(s).  Find someone who can recognize your skills and is willing to invest in you and teach you leadership.
    4. Be willing to be underpaid in order to gain experience. For the last 3 years every boss I have had tells me I am under paid.  After I got some solid projects under my belt though I took a promotion that paid at a rate that makes my lawyer brother jealous. 
    I know this e-mail is long, but I hope this helps with the job search.
    TwentiesBB

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    #125178

    IE Student
    Participant

    Ah so that is what the HF stands for Human Factors… interesting.
     
     

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    #125180

    IE Student
    Participant

    TwentiesBB…. my friend,
    I appreciate your email…. if you wouldn’t mind I would like to email you. Can you give me ur email address?
    All of you are great actually especially HF Chris :) ….

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    #125182

    TwentiesBB
    Member

    Don’t you have a lean initiative that you should be working on?  Or maybe some fuzzy math?

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    #125183

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    IE Student,
    If you have nuclear experience check out GE Power Generation. They have nuclear stuff. A nice plant on the coast in North Carolina. With applicable experience the GB may make a difference. It certainly won’t hurt.
    There isn’t any reason to be angry with Chris he basically told you the truth. Maybe not in the terms you wanted to hear it but it is still the truth.
    At the risk of offending you again – seem to have a bit of an entitlement attitude. It is (will) probably coming through in an interview. That isn’t going to help you get the job ……. where you get paid doing what you think you like. When people hire people they are looking for someone to do what they need done. If it happens to be what you like, so much better but for the most part that is your issue not theirs.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck.

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    #125185

    IE Student
    Participant

    No No Mr. Carnell,
    I am not upset with Mr. Chris at all… if I comes off that way then I will apologize for that as well… Chris if you read this, thank you!  It may have taken awhile but I got your point… and if we ever “talk” again please I ask for patience…. I will try to be open minded.
    Don’t worry about offending me (although I don’t like trash talking)….

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    #125186

    IE Student
    Participant

    Are you talking to me Twenties? Sorry you lost me

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    #125188

    TwentiesBB
    Member

    Sorry, I was talking to Stevo. He is a teammate of mine.

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    #125190

    Stevo
    Member

    Please..  Create a spaghetti and time value map, tell people we did a kaisen, make up some numbers, pay someone in finance to approve and  – badda bing badda boom – wait for my big bonus at the end to the year.
     
    Stevo

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