Taking My Career to the Next Level

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums General Forums Training Taking My Career to the Next Level

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    Benjamin Carter

    Hello. I find this site after looking for some guidance from experienced, hands-on professionals with real world six sigma experience.

    After getting a chance to participate in a couple of six sigma projects at my company, I decided that Lean SS is the career path I want to go down. I was chosen by my company to go through six sigma black belt training with a group of others. It was not what I had hoped it would be.

    The class was offered through a local University which I will not name for now. The cost was $3,500 per student(class of 8 from my company). We were in class two full days a week every other week from mid October-mid January. At the conclusion of the class, we had a couple of weeks to study for the completion exam. Then, we set about working on our assigned projects.

    We were forced by our managers to finish our projects in 6 months, which wasn’t fair in my opinion. But, everyone received their black belt, regardless of the success of their project. One guy literally did nothing. His final project presentation was 3 power point slides, the first slide was a cover page, the second slide was a picture of a tool box that he 5s’d, and the last slide was a 3 bullet point conclusion. He was awarded black belt certification through this University.

    Anyway, the point is, I have discovered that my training was spotty at best and basically a certification mill. I am actually embarrassed to put the cert on my resume because I don’t feel I have really earned it. Meanwhile, 3 slide, tool box guy has updated his resume and linkedin page to “lean six sigma expert” and gotten two promotions, but I digress.

    I really love this field. I like being the problem solver guy. I find it so rewarding. But now need to hone what I have learned and become a real expert. I have been looking into other training programs online to pay for and complete myself(my company won’t pay for more LSS training for me because they already have me listed as a black belt). I have looked at the Villanova program and the ASQ certification process but I don’t know what to do. I want to take my ability to the next level and I’m willing to put in the work, but, I have read so many posts on this site saying the Villinova or any other online program isn’t the way to go as it could be more of the same of what I have already gone through. If these programs aren’t the answer to get better, what is? A mentor?

    Any advice or resources to take my career to the next level would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone out there is interested in being a mentor to someone that believes in the tools and really wants to learn to apply the process the right way, please let me know!!

    Thanks for reading!



    @lefthooklacey – it is sad that your company was taken in by the worst of our industry. Since you already have some idea of what six sigma is all about, I would recommend that you embark on a course of self-study. I would start by reading Deming and Juran. Then for specific tools I would check out Pyzdek and Bothe. If you are a Minitab user for your statistical analysis, I would get the manual “Lean six sigma and Minitab” by Opex. I would also recommend that you hook up with a mentor. You might find one who is teaching at a community college or through ASQ.

    Good luck.


    Robert Butler

    I too am sorry to read this. @MBBinWI is correct – try some self study and if you have a community college nearby see if they offer anything. In addition to the books already recommended I would add

    1. The Cartoon Guide to Statistics – When my engineers want to get a better understanding of what I do (I’m a statistician) I recommend they look at this book.

    2. If your course introduced you to linear regression so that you have some idea of what it is all about and you are interested in learning more then I would recommend getting a copy of Applied Regression Analysis by Draper and Smith through the library and read and copy the first chapter. In my copy of the 2nd edition the critical pages are 8-24. If you do this you will save yourself a lot of grief and avoid being taken in by any number of websites, blog, peer reviewed papers, and even some textbooks trying to tell you what you can and cannot do with linear regression. After reading and understanding that chapter I would recommend Regression Analysis by Example by Chattergee and Price.

    3. You should also get one good book on statistics whose offerings are in the form of if-you-want-to-do-this-then-you-need-to-do that. My go to for this kind of information is Statistical Methods by Snedecor and Cochran. Mine is the 7th edition but any edition of the book will do.


    Chris Seider

    always improve….a good mantra for ourselves and our organizations.


    Mike Carnell

    @lefthooklacey The situation you described is unfortunately more common than not. They exist because companies like the one you work for are basically to lazy to understand that the difference in training so they go to what people believe is the ultimate training experience – a college. Perfect place to walk away with exactly what you got and people like your toolbox buddy are created as well. Neither here nor there.

    If you want to go online for your training I would look very hard at Moresteam. I do not know everything that is offered but I do know these people and their material. They are very good people who want to deliver a good experience. They have excellent material and will take the time to train you properly.

    Moresteam does have mentors but you would need to speak to them about what those arrangements are. If you do not live in Texas and want to do it over the phone or the internet I will be glad to help where I can ([email protected]).

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