Question About Starting a Six Sigma Project

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums General Forums New to Lean Six Sigma Question About Starting a Six Sigma Project

This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Vinod 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    I am currently the only one in the company who has a background in Six Sigma because I have self-funded my certification. I am planning to proceed to be a CSSGB while working in my current company but the certification will require me to do a Six Sigma Project.
    My question is if it is possible to do a Six Sigma Green Belt Project in a company where no one has a Six Sigma Certification?

    Hoping to hear from the experts because I am having confusion on what to do right now.

    Thank you.



    Of course it is. You can identify an improvement opportunity related to your job, write a charter, and get your manager to approve it. You might need to use a different project proposal format but it’s basically the same thing. Choose something that’s low cost/time/effort, that will have a measurable benefit, and that you can do in addition to your regular job so it’ll be an easy sale. Although you won’t have an in-house mentor you’ve probably met some people along the way who can offer advice if you need it. I congratulate you for taking the initiative. We have to take responsibility for our own career development.


    Jose Jacalne

    Thank you very much Sir for your response. I appreciated it and was inspired from what you said.

    Additional question, would interviewing our Operators be helpful in determining a Six Sigma Project?


    Tony Groves

    Hi Jose,

    I would pick something simple as suggested but one everyone can relate too. Im not sure about what the set up is like where you are, but iv found the simple tasks such as implementing recycling points if none currently exist, get the most attention. Also assuming your waste is transferred appropriately, the people who provide this service will also be able to provide the weights as prices so you can compare. We found there were government incentives for recycling business’s and that was reflected in the rates for recycling compared to removing your general waste. Having a comparison with something that everybody can easily relate to would be a quick win, and potentially start people asking what else they can save on…


    Jose Jacalne

    Hi Tony,

    Thank you for your suggestion. By the way, I am working as a Process Engineer in an Packaging Manufacturing company that uses Sheetfed Offset Printing Machines in printing cartons. I believe that our company has already a system in recycling wastes like Papers and Inks.

    What I observed that should be improved in our process that is a Value Added to Customer is called the “Color Balancing/Matching” in printing. Color Balancing/Matching is a process in which the Operators have to produce colors of the cartons in the same color range of what the Customer approved. As a beginner in Six Sigma, this is a challenge since Color Balancing involves a lot of skill because our machines don’t have an “Automatic Color Balance” feature since it is an old model of Printing Machine.
    As of now, I think my only option is training. But still, it’s not an enough control to ensure the consistency of what they print.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you.



    Nice job taking control of your own career and development. That is a tough sell in organizations without defined Lean/Six Sigma departments.

    I advise my GB’s when looking for a project, or to dig into one they think is a project, to start with answering two questions. If you can’t do this, you don’t have a project, or more work is needed in define.

    1) What is the problem you are trying to solve. This needs to be measurable and also something that impacts the customer in the process.

    2) What does success look like. Quicker, cheaper, less defects etc. Once again something you can measure.

    You may not know the true measurements of either question out of the gate, however just being able to identify the ‘what’ and ‘how much’ can get you a good start.

    Taking a stab at what you defined above in your printing process. It is OK to not know the specific defect details until you get through a measure phase.

    Problem: The color balancing process produces X defects per X attempts. The defect is defined as not meeting our customers color scheme. (Use their definition of success, whatever that is)

    Goal: Improve our color balancing process to X defects which will save X in time, $$’s or efficiency.

    Hove fun learning and developing your skills.


    Mike Carnell

    @jjacaine23 I am with Strayer on this. You do not have to go to the company lunch area and climb up on a table and announce to the world you are doing a SS project. You need to fix something. That is it. It is a thought process for solving problems not some menagerie of tools that is there to make people who don’t know how to fix things look like they have some special talent.

    Just keep quiet, put together a small team, follow the logic (use the applicable tools not some BS checklist) and get some results.

    Regardless of what anyone says we never did all of this pomp and circumstance at Motorola. We got a one liner on our budget for cost savings from process improvement. Nobody cares how you get it. When we did the Allied Signal deployment all this ceremony stuff got added.

    Remember Ockham’s Razor (from the article).

    Just my opinion.


    Chris Seider

    Go for it!


    Jose Jacalne

    Wow. Again, thank you @Don Strayer, @Tony Groves, , @Mike Carnell, and @Chris Seider for your responses. It gave me more clarity in choosing and starting a project.

    Have a good day to all of you.




    You totally can and should!

    The question is do you have the support to accomplish it? I think you will need the help of a seasoned pro on your side to talk through what’s going on every once in a while.

    For example, after you define your problem with an opportunity and defect, and then go and collect the data, how do you know if you’re doing the right analysis to find the root cause? Sometimes it’s low hanging fruit and you just know. Other times, you need to run statistical analysis. In way too many cases, my green belts found what they thought was the problem but it wasn’t.

    To prevent this, you need some guidance. Someone to discuss the project with once a week or every two weeks, and ensure you’re heading down the right path.

    Maybe your training provider is also providing a few hours of mentorship on your project. I know of some providers that do that. Maybe you can find someone who is an expert at six sigma at a company other than yours (great networking opportunity). Or maybe you can post questions here and tag the excellent people above to ask for their help.

    I hope my additional thoughts were useful to you as you move forward in your learning.

    Good luck in your project. Every journey starts with a single step.

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