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Length of Training

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Length of Training

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  • #30782

    Patty M.
    Participant

    My company has been interviewing consultants to conduct Champion and possibly BB training. One of the consultants interviewed has structured their BB training format to be conducted in two weeks – without a break in between. I personally attended a 4 week session with a 3 – 4 week break between sessions to conduct project work using the tools we have been taught. Their spin is that the 4 week session contains much useless statistical training on theory, the computations, statistical history, etc when everyone uses Minitab anyway. They also cut out any public presentation of projects, which I actually found helpful while I attended my training. Does anyone have any thoughts on this type of training structure?
    Also, regarding the Champion training I would think that any reputable consultant would be able to easily respond to the question “How will you respond the the statement – Six Sigma won’t work in my line of business”. The answer was something like “I’ve had skeptics in the past, but they were believers after going through my training”. Your thoughts?
     

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    #80679

    RT
    Member

    I’m not a consultant but I have taught SS classes and attended many also.  My thoughts and impressions are:  if the student wants to be there and is fairly intelligent then they will probably survive an all at once approach.  You can skip the project reviews.  If the person is not sure what they are getting into or don’t want to be in the class which happens quite a bit in my company then I highy suggest taking the one week per month approach with project requirements and reviews.  The skeptics need to see SS work on a project.  The people seeking the knowledge will take and run.
     
    As you know taking the course all at once is very painful for your head as well as your behind.
     
    On your second question:  again I am in a company that requires skeptics to also take the training and execute projects.  Many of these people remain skeptics because the tools do not easily apply to their job.  Many engineers even after taking training and becoming certified do not always use the SS methodology.  Bottom line some people believe in and use it all the time and some feel that it is extra work to take sample perform MSA’s etc.  That’s why we have project reviews.  This ensures that SS is being used properly.
    My guess is that most skeptics stay skeptics and just talk the talk.
     

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    #80683

    SoCal BB
    Member

     Hi Patty,
     My recommendation is to run FAR and FAST away from these consultants. I observed the 2-week BB training at a former company, and it wasn’t pretty (I was hired externally into this company after receiving my BB certification from GE).
     To make the training fit into two weeks, the consultants removed topics such as hypothesis testing, regression, DOE, Change Management, … It had less DMAIC content than a watered-down GB course. To make matters worse, the consultants awarded BB Certification immediately following the training. So now the company has dozens of certified BBs who have never demonstrated the ability to apply DMAIC to an actual project.
     Additionally, some of the first MBBs at this company were assigned their title upon graduation, possessing no other Six Sigma experience aside from what they learned in the 2-week BB training.  Needless to say, an MBB with no DMAIC practical experience has a tough time mentoring BBs.
     Having gone through the 4-week training over a 4-month period myself, I do think that is the best way to go. Applying DMAIC to an actual project in a “Just-in-Time” fashion, while pitching out to your MBB and Project Champion, is an effective way to learn the methodology.
     But if there are folks out there that have seen a 2-week course result in effective BBs, I would like to hear about it. Remember, this is just an opinion based on what I’ve observed…
     And Patty, I give you credit for being able to look past the Consultant’s “Schmooze”  and try to do what’s best for your company.

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    #80684

    Cannizzo
    Participant

    Patty,
    My belief is that people learn through doing. As the addage goes: “Give a person a fish and s/he’ll eat for a day; Teach a person to fish and s/he’ll eat for life.”
    The 4 week training while not ideal is in the right direction. Some people don’t have projects scoped properly going into the 4 week training, and find themselves stuck in analyze at the end. Not the end of the world…at least they went through 3 of the phases and were able to DO something during the weeks.
    A 2 week training course wouldn’t allow project learning to occur and that’s why I feel it’s a disservice to the company. Ask your consultant about that.
    As to your other question, there’s a great article on iSixSigma about “My business is different” (https://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020701a.asp). I always refer people to it. In my opinion, your consultant copped out by giving that response. Show me the money: ask him/her for references and call them. While you’re at it, I suggest getting more than one quote for training/deployment. It’s more work, but well worth the payoff down the road.
    Good luck!
    –Carol

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    #80687

    Robert Butler
    Participant

    I can only second SoCalBB’s comments.  Deming’s comment on this kind of a situation bears repeating-Be careful, the woods are full of HACKS!  …and he always put a lot of emphasis on that last word. 
      I’d like to ask you if they actually said ,”the 4 week session contains much useless statistical training on theory, the computations, statistical history, etc when everyone uses Minitab anyway.”  If they did I’ll make it a point to add this one to my hall of shame collection.

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    #80690

    Hannabarger
    Participant

    Patty:
    I would have serious reservations about this consultant.  The project reviews are only a part of the story.  The other part that needs to be addressed is the effective mentoring and coaching of the BB candidates.  My experience has shown that without the mentoring and coaching, the projects are more likely not to be completed.  Those that are completed, will typically fall short of their goals.
    This sounds like the approach that many “consultants” are using to try and short-cut the process and to get your resources (money) and then leave it up to you to figure out how to apply.  A definite system for failure.  The throwing spaghetti against the wall analogy fits here – they throw the training at you as fast as they can and then hope some of it sticks.
    Not going through the stats is also a set-up for failure.  Yes, software makes it easier, but you’d better understand what’s going on behind the scenes so that you can interpret your software results and be able to identify any problem areas.  Remember the key with software:  garbage in, garbage out.  The BB had better know what is and is not garbage.  Understanding the stats is essential.
    My recommendation is to select a consultant who shows more of a commitment to you and your organization.  It sounds like they want to get in and get out as quickly as possible.  I agree with the recommendation that I would check their credentials and references very closely, and question the references on the long-term successes of their efforts. 
    Hope this helps.
     
    Chuck
     

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    #80693

    Patty M
    Participant

    Yes, this was actually stated. Feel free to use in your “Hall of Shame”

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    #80694

    Terry
    Member

    The two week BB is a weak approach.  People really need the 4 weeks of training over four months to soak up the details of their projects, work with dozens of examples, interact with each other, use the tools on other job activities, complete the whole process, experience vistory, etc.  They also learn a lot from Q&A peer reviews. 
    Believe it or not, I had a company ask if we could come in and speak to their executive group for a couple of hours about Six Sigma and then give the company an ISO-like Six Sigma certification.  There’s all kinds out there . . .
    How much do you think those 2 week BBs will retain by this time next year?  If you’re out to punch tickets at minimal cost then do the two week BB.  You’ll never know you did it a year from now.  If you’re serious about Six Sigma, there’s no shortcuts and you should send these folks on their way.
    Terry

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    #80695

    Patty M
    Participant

    I have already interviewed six consultants and have received proposals from three, including the one mentioned in my original e-mail. This particular consultant was not found in the isixsigma directory, but was recommended to our CEO from the CEO of another company in a similar industry. After further investigation, I have found that they had worked together in previous lives. While, that did not dissuade me from contacting him, as I understand the importance of networking, it did make me look carefully to try to understand if this was a recommendation based on friendship or from value received from their services. By the way, I did speak with a BB (actually a MBB) trained by this particular consultant, and he did not know what DFSS was. 

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    #80710

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Were their names Dave and George?
    If so, run like heck, their results are not there.

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    #80712

    Patty M
    Participant

    One name is correct, the other is not. Perhaps it is someone else.

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    #80715

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dave P?

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    #80721

    Patty M
    Participant

    Yes. Oh boy.

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    #80757

    Anon2
    Participant

    Patty,
    If you have not met G then that is why you are still speaking to them. These two have been coattailing on a particular exec from one company to the next for years. You are walking into a mess.

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    #80784

    Chen
    Participant

    I think you already received some good advice stay clear of the two-week wonders. People need to be able to apply what they have learned, so they retain it. If your are feeding information like out of a fire hose, you will not get the understanding needed. The project presentation I believe is very important, not only do people learn from them, but the idea of sharing and being part of a team is formed. It is kind of like a fraternity, once in it together, always in it.

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    #80789

    Praveen Ranjan
    Participant

     Patty,
    Length of training is not that important. Look into training contents and match with your organisational needs. If you are already trained into Six Sigma, look into the training materials of training providers and evaluate (1) which material is most suitable to your organisation (2) coverage on different tools with relevant examples and (3) most importantly, the case study. I have a different thinking on Six Sigma training. “Application Assistance” to Six Sigma trained personnel is more important than training. There is no point training everything on Six Sigma in one go. Training should be purely on NEEDS basis.
    If the organisation has hired seasoned BB or MBB, then my suggestion would be to have GB training (one week course without MINTITAB or any other statistical package) for ALL managers in the organisation. ALL trained managers should take a project (low hanging ones) and complete within two months. MBB/BB should act as mentors and work very close with all Green Belts. MBB/BB should evaluate GBs performance on the following.
    (1) Team meeting Effectiveness (every meeting – ask team to measure  the effectiveness, calculate the sigma level!!)(2) Passion for Six Sigma(3) Problem solving skills(4) Networking within and between departments (5) Analytical AbilityThose GBs who perform (announce the criteria upfront before they go for GB training) well and are interested into Six Sigma program should be sent for two weeks BB training covering basic statistical tools (like Capability Analysis, Gage R&R, Hypotheses testing, Regression and Control charts – one day each.) and the second week on ANOVA and DOE with special emphasis on “Response Surface”. These GBs should be willing to work full time in Six Sigma; otherwise organisation’s investment on BB training program will not have significant returns. This investment is like improving existing products and services to gain substantially on customer satisfaction and top line. No point investing (additional two weeks training) on trained GB if they are not keen in moving to BB role – full time.
    After the BB training, these manager should take cross-functional projects. They should spend 60% time on his/her own projects and balance 40% on project mentoring and facilitating some of the six sigma meetings/workshops of  freshly trained GBs. This is absolutely must. These BB should be part full time in Six Sigma at least for a period of 18 months to 24 months and at the end of his/her tenure s/he should have the a choice either to continue into Six Sigma (as MBB) or switch back into his/her specialised area. They should be suitably rewarded – cash/company shares and promotion.
    Any training is just a building a house but the challenge ahead is to convert this HOUSE into a HOME.  
    Regards,
    Praveen 
     

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    #80792

    “C”
    Participant

    I consider myself open minded and would never want to just say that because I went through the four week training program that everyone should.  However, in doing so I must consider the fact that Six Sigma’s foundation is based on Robust design.  We all know talented people will always succeed in some fashion.  I believe the amount of support you give them directly determines how much they will succeed in conjunction with their desire and determination.  What the four week training provides is a robust learning environment proven over time as well as providing educational, social, and emotional support.
    A couple of thoughts jump immediately into my mind with this discussion.  Would you want to prepare someone by giving them a bachelors degree in SS or an Associates degree in SS? 
    Would you want a house with four walls or two walls? 
    Remember company cultural change is one of the most challenging. 
    Good luck.
    C

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    #80802

    mcintosh
    Participant

    I underwent a 6 week training regimen spread over 6 months.  After each session, I was expected to put to use the skills and tools I had just learned.  And this worked incredibly well.  I can’t imagine a trainer that wants to eliminate “statistical theory” or project presentations from the curriculum.  After all, what is Six Sigma if not statistics?  It must be the basis for driving any project, and every black belt should understand the concepts behind it, even if they don’t use many of the statistical tools.  And unless you’re the top dog, you will have to present your projects to process sponsors and owners to solicit support and resources.  The consultant who says otherwise is full of something, and its not brilliance.
    As for making people believers through training: it wil never happen.  Don’t believe it for a second.  Effective training might open some eyes, but will never make a believer.  Only results, results, and more results.  Show them how Six Sigma can apply to any task in any environment, and get them involved in at least one project, then they may become believers.

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    #80813

    Daniel Sloan
    Participant

    As a recently certified ASQ Six Sigma Certified Black Belt with 12 years of experience I can testify to the amount of useless minutia in the ASQ CSSBB exam. On the other hand, I also know that it takes time, at least 5-6 months to “master” the tools and produce a 250K to 500K result.Anyone who recommends Minitab is asleep in the 90s. JMP is the tool of choice. Those are my thoughts. [Post edited by iSixSigma because it violated Forum policies on promoting products or services.]Good luck to you.

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    #80826

    SWPCBB
    Member

    On the surface it sounds as if the consultants want to make money and run.  The intangibles of the executing a project during the training is far more valuable than the shorter training schedule. 

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