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Six Sigma Certification – Any advice?

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  • #37275

    Cheryl Corbett
    Participant

    Hi All,
    I am a business analyst at my company and I am very interested in acquiring six sigma certifications GB/BB/MBB via the Internet.  I am not allowed to take time off from work in pursuing these certifications, since my company does not implement the six sigma methodology.  Therefore, I will have to do it on my own time.  I am a CPA and I have 3 college degrees (high honors).  Do I need anything else to prepare for the certifications?   Is it worth it to do it online?  What is the proper protocol in acquiring the certification and who offers the best program.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 
    Thank You in advance for your time.
    Cheryl Corbett, CPA.
     
     

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    #109415

    melvin
    Participant

    Certifications are just pieces of paper…completing several improvement projects by leading cross-functional team is what’s truly valuable. If you are working for a non-6s company, I wouldn’t bother getting an online certification (ASQ does these I believe). This is just my opinion, but I beleive there is nothing worse than a BB by paper only.

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    #109416

    Cheryl Corbett
    Participant

    Thank You, Bob.  I really appreciate it.   I actually started a new position here at my company, where I will be evaluating business processes and implementing new improvements/eliminating inefficient ones, etc.  I thought six sigma would be helpful in my new job.  I know my company does not sponsor six sigma, however, I thought I would be able to utilize some of the techniques and gain a fresher perspective from my six sigma peers.

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    #109417

    boettler
    Member

    Breakthrough Management Group (http://www.bmgi.com) has strong Six Sigma e-Learning programs (BG, BB, MBB).  They are well-recongized in the industry.   Their ad is displayed in the top right hand corner of this page. 
    /rw

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    #109419

    rwatters
    Member

    If you think this online cert. is going to help you then by all means go for it. If you are in a position where this is all you can do right now, it’s better than nothing. Take what you can and implement these into projects at work, and let the company that you work for see the value of Six Sigma. Your interest alone is a good starting point.

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    #109420

    Cheryl Corbett
    Participant

    Hi Rob,
    I just received some documentation from them.  I am going to review it.  I just hope I don’t have to have my company sponsor me.  I know some certification programs want you to have sponsorship.  I am lacking this. 
    Thank You Very Much for your input, Rob.  :)
     

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    #109422

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Cheryl,
    Ostensibly, this forum would be the ideal place to ask a question about Six Sigma certification.  In reality, this forum is the absolute last place in the world where you could ever expect to get anything resembling a straight answer about anything related to Six Sigma. 
    There are about 20-30 people out there who evidently do absolutely nothing else than post on this forum — some of them will make 50-75 posts a day almost every day. 
    Anyway, these people tend to be very knowledgeable about Six Sigma — many of them are academics — but the purpose of their posts is usually just to insult the person who asked the original question.  Specifically, they evidently believe that anyone who does ask a question is simply lazy for not looking it up instead of asking.
    As for your original post relating to Six Sigma certification, it’s fairly obvious that you wish to learn the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge and obtain a certification from a reputable certifier in order to broaden your horizons, expand your skill set, make yourself more marketable, or any of 50 other reasons.
    The first person to reply to your post could have told you what you needed to do but instead, he simply challenged the formulation of your intentions.  REALLY HELPFUL.  Unfortunately that’s usually the best that you’ll ever get in this forum.
    As to your original point, the ASQ material is probably the best and it’s geared towards the ASQ Black Belt exam.  That exam is a point of major dispute in this forum.  You can probably find hundreds of posts slamming the validity of that test.  However, it’s the best certification out there.  If a SS job posted online and 75 resumes are received and 10 of those 75 are ASQ certified, then those 10 resumes are going straight to the front of the line. 
    You should check out their website at asq.org for more info but don’t ever expect to learn anything valuable from the isixsigma forum.
     

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    #109423

    boettler
    Member

    Cheryl:
    BMG doesn’t require corporate sponsorship.  I obtained my BB certification through them earlier this year.  Very comprehensive program and MBB instructors.  If you want to know about their program from a hands-on perspective, Email me directly ([email protected]). 

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    #109425

    Savage
    Participant

    “If a SS job posted online and 75 resumes are received and 10 of those 75 are ASQ certified, then those 10 resumes are going straight to the front of the line.”
    Where did you get this data??

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    #109427

    RubberDude
    Member

    Cheryl,
    Not knowing a lot about your background, I’m going to make some assumptions here.  You definately have the potential to gain “certification” status.  With three degrees, a CPA, and working as a business analyst, I’m sure there is some statistical background in there somewhere.  Statistics, formal problem solving, leadership, et al are all essential bodies of knowledge for the cert process.  I would suggest the Quality Council of Indiana http://www.qualitycouncil.com/ along with this website to learn the fundamentals and preparation for any certification exam.
    Contrary to what you have been told, this forum is most certainly a good place for learning as long as you take everything you hear in the forum at face value then back it up with facts from known sources.  Some people have a sour taste in their mouth because many of the “gurus” here do not want to waste their time answering simple questions easily answered by surfing this site or do homework for students.  There is a lot of great information to be gleened from this forum.  You just have to sometimes sift through the chaff to get to it.
    As for online certifications, I do not feel they are worth much myself, but I do agree that in your present situation (been there, done that… no support), exploring online learning and certification is “better than nothing” and you should pursue it.  My guess is that once you start getting into it, you will do one of two things…. convince your present employer to work with you to implement a SS program there, or you will find work elsewhere in a SS environment.
    Yes, nothing beats experience and leading projects when it comes to Six Sigma.  Paper certifications by taking an exam don’t get you to that point, but the knowledge and training have to start somewhere.  Not everyone can work for a SS based company.  However, with your self-start attitude, I’m sure you can find a BB or MBB who will be very happy to have someone like you observing/involved in some of his/her SS projects.
    Best of luck to you.
    RubberDude – Certified Grand Master Holiday Inn Express Black Belt

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    #109428

    Anonymous
    Participant

    HR Recruiters sorting out which resumes to send to Quality VP’s.

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    #109429

    Taylor
    Member

    Anonymous,
    I read this forum almost every day. I read it because there are a lot of great questions and answers. People get “flamed” on this forum when they ask dumn questions — questions that could easily have been found by reading two to three pages on this site, or searching using the box on the top right of each page. This is not a forum for dumb questions to be asked.
    The second reason why people get “flamed” is for writing dumb statements — statements that obviously cannot be verified and are of only opinion (“stick to the facts, maam.”). A part of your last post you stated “…the ASQ material is probably the best and it’s geared towards the ASQ Black Belt exam.” This is one of those statements. How do you come to the conculsion that the ASQ materials is probably the best? The best at what?…passing the ASQ test? Well, maybe but who says it’s better than the Indiana Quality Council and if it’s you that says so, state your data.
    There are such things as dumb questions, and they come from people who are lazy or speak without data.
    Todd

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    #109430

    Stand your ground if they let
    Member

    Anonymous, If you have been offended in the past by either direct response to your posts or by reading the responses to the posting of others, please consider joining our group of recovering isixsigma.com posters.   It is a support group aimed at restoring the fragile psyche of those desirous enough of learning more about the field of Six Sigma to have either been venturous enough to access the forum or courageous enough to have actually posted but in either case not well equipped to deal with responses.    First and foremost, it is not you, you are not to blame, you are not overly sensitive, you are truly dealing with people in the forum who are troubled and recalcitrant.   Don’t take your forum experience as a personal affront, state your case and move on.   The multi-step recovery process moves you from hostile denial and fear of rejection to becoming a well-informed callous jerk like your peers.    I don’t know that your statistics were or were not fact-based, but for every 30 – 40 accomplished posters there a literally hundreds of sensitive contributors like yourself who have tried to share their expertise only to be told that they were either idiots or ill informed only to have folded their little tents and moved to less challenging forums.    This will seem like tough love but – stop your whining, dry your little eyes, blow your little nose, stand up straight and post (intelligently this time).   The meetings are on Thursdays, 7:00PM on Yahoo’s Yahooligans channel five (you might have to wait until all of the complaining about this civics teacher or that mean Mom is over, but after an hour or so we bump all of those other whiner’s off the internet and really get down to healing and plotting – talk to you again Friday, and stay away from that Stan guy – he’s really mean). Stand your ground (if they let you)    

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    #109431

    Cheryl Corbett
    Participant

    Hi Anonymous,
    I find your words quite comforting.  I must admit, I started to panic a little.  I just received word from BMG regarding certification, so I may take that route.  I know my company does not incorporate six sigma in their strategy, however, I am hoping I can change that.  However, to do that, I need to speak to the program and its techniques clearly, I cannot do that unless I take a course.  Hence, the creation of my interests and questions begin.  I am highly interested in Six Sigma because you truly understand what makes a business work, you get to meet the people doing the work and it is a lot of statistics.  I LOVE STATS!  I received A+’s in all of my stat courses.  Wish me Luck and I really appreciate your reply.  YOURS MADE COMPLETE SENSE.
     
    :)
     

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    #109433

    Anonymous
    Participant

    There was a scene in a John Hughes movie back in the ’80’s where one character said to another, “You probably got beat up in high school a lot didn’t you?”…  I’m going to go with my gut here and guess that others have usually either asked or thought the same thing whenever they meet you. 
    I could provide a longer response but why bother.  Simply read Cheryl’s most recent reply to my first post.
    Later Forum

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    #109443

    melvin
    Participant

    Anonymous,
    Very nice post! Your post reminds me of another poster who quoted movies, Shakespeare, etc.
    Yeah, some of these posters did get beat up in high school a lot and haven’t gotten over it. Too later now.
     

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    #109445

    Dino Resendes
    Participant

    Hi Cheryl,
    I understand your situation and speak from a similar set of experiences.  I am also an analyst that gained certification (SSGB & SSBB from Villanova U.) in six sigma in an attempt to bring statistical/data driven management to a “traditional”, experience/opinion based organization.  My challenges have been in articulating the power of data driven management and the need for factual, statistical, data driven decision making in an unsupportive culture where experience and opinion dominate.  I would agree with previous postings that while paper certification is nice and provides the foundation for six sigma based improvement projects and initiatives (the essential body of knowledge), projects are where I have learned most, and where I have had the most success in illustrating the power of six sigma, statistics, data driven decision making.  Not knowing how receptive your leadership is (that they don’t/won’t support your education in SS may be an indication) I can only speak from my experiences.  Not having support makes six sigma life much more difficult.  Impressing upon unreceptive management, the need for data driven decision making (SPC, DOE, FMEA…) is difficult and requires forethought and tact, and Six Sigma implementation will be difficult, if not impossible in some cases.  Tread carefully, and intelligently.  I have found that small steps have worked best.  Suggestion: prepare, evaluate your environment, evaluate current and past intitiaves, what has worked and failed and why, formulate a plan.  You will find multiple articles refering to the need for management commitment to a SS initiative.  I agree that this facilitates a SS implementation, but even without commitment from the top, you may still be able to catalyze the effort if you are careful not to turn people off to it early on.  If you find the leaders in each peer group and develop their understand of the approach, you may be able to gain some traction.  If you don’t have a MBB or mentor with significant statistical knowledge, this site is (in my opinion) one of your best resources, although you might have to “sift through some chaff” and dust yourself off occassionally.  I also agree that the Quality Council of Indiana has excellent material.  Having the desire to bring SS, data driven management, is step one, now the fun begins.  Good luck

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    #109449

    fragile one
    Participant

    Actually, nope, I was always a smart-ass but never got thumped.   How about you?   I’ll bet you got whacked a few times.   

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    #109453

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Fragile,It’s more likely that you were an “attempted smart-a**” in high school because in order to actually be a successful one, you would’ve had to have something clever to say.I’m glad that you never got beaten up.  I’m sure that you’ve never run a mile or managed a staff either.  You’re non-value added.

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    #109471

    Dog Sxxt
    Participant

    I no chance to see ASQ material, but I do have chance to read through SS material from Indiana Quality Council. I have no deny that IQC material is good or geared towards ASQ exam.
    I have to say with my own opinion that IQC material is still insufficient to be used as a real-life training material for practioners. For instance, only very introductory level of materials for Kano Analysis and Taguchi method are given.
     

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    #109481

    Mikel
    Member

    Stan is really mean? Now my feelings are hurt.

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    #109485

    Mikel
    Member

    I believe surly and skeptical are more appropriate descriptions.

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    #109487

    ong
    Member

    And, let’s see… Anonymous, your initial complaint was what again??… Oh yes, people posting on this forum are rude, critical of others and don’t add value to Six Sigma?   Looks like you got over that concern quickly.   That didn’t take long.  Welcome to the herd.  Thinking about changing your posting ID to “Anonymous Twit”?

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    #109504

    Misc33
    Participant

    take the ASQ examsince you ar enot in manufacturing its all y9ou need.you should go and learn a thing or two about business and stop evaluating your pocket calculators!!Misc33

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    #109507

    RubberDude
    Member

    “since you ar enot in manufacturing its all y9ou need.”
    You have GOT to be kidding………..

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    #109514

    Misc33
    Participant

    that was meant to “stir” your emotions
    get back to work
    the comment was purposely made –

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    #109515

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    Cheryl
    As you can tell, there are a lot of opinions when it comes to certification.
    Clearly, for the purposes you describe, certification is not necessary (although it might be nice to have).  You can learn and digest the Six Sigma body of knowledge, and apply it to your company’s business processes, without the piece of paper.
    Indeed, it is the piece of paper that tends to raise the emotions around here.  Most reputable certifying agencies expect you to complete at least one project, and in some cases, even show some benefits.  However, there is no real standard as to what constitutes certification, so there are some pretty weak programs out there, too.
    The actual certification probably is helpful in getting a job, though as most folks around here will remind you, over and over, that any employer worth his salt will be looking much harder at what you have accomplished than at what pieces of paper you happen to be carrying around.
    That all being said, your plan to investigate BMG sounds like a good one.  I would, however, try to focus more on the softer side of Six Sigma.  You have indicated that you are strong on stats, and that is a good thing.  However, statistics are only a part of the Six Sigma toolkit.  Practitioners sometimes get so wrapped up in the statistics that they loose sight of the overall problem.  The stats are there merely to validate the data.  In Six Sigma, we make data based decisions, so that is important.
    But Six Sigma is also about change, and change is hard.  If you are going to go about improving business processes, almost by definition you are going to go around stepping on peoples’ toes.  Managing those interactions is key to being successful.
    There are lots of tools in the Six Sigma toolbox to help, be sure you don’t get so wrapped up in the statistics you love that you miss the change management tools you will need to be successful.
    Good luck!
    –McD
     

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    #109520

    RubberDude
    Member

    Typical…….

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