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Value of Certification

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Value of Certification

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  • #35002

    NATZIC
    Participant

    Hello,
    I currently work within a financial services firm and my management team is debating whether green belt certifcation is “valuable” or not to the overall program.  I would love to get your comments on whether you can demonstrate the value added components of having a portion of the empolyees become green belt certified.  Thanks for your help,
    Pat

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    #97265

    Mikel
    Member

    If the question is whether there is value in having a critical mass having a working knowledge of the most commonly used tools – it is a dumb question, your management does not get it.

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    #97266

    Chad Marlowe
    Participant

    I believe that six sigma would be very valuable to your organization.  For as the actual certification, I guess that depends.  The knowledge that a person would receive from a green belt program would surely be useful for your company.  I don’t think that they need to be certified, as long as you find a program out there that can teach them the tools they need.  There are some great certificate programs out there that you will learn the same toolsfrom, but are taught by universities that are very credible.  With programs like this you receive a certificate as a green belt.  Let me know if this helps.
    Chad
     

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    #97268

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Stan’s right.   Your Mgmt doesn’t get it.

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    #97270

    Rebecca
    Participant

    My company has certified green belts and speaking from experience, it is very valuable. The insight that you receive during the green belt training and certification process changes the way you view every day processes at work. A new perspective is gained that will help to guide discussions and encourage challenging the status quo.
    I would definitely encourage your management to invest in green belt training and certification.

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    #97271

    NATZIC
    Participant

    Great responses so far, thanks.   One more question to throw in the pot….if you had to debate “against certification” what would your arguements be based on?

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    #97273

    Dusty
    Participant

    I agree with Stan. Only basis I can think of argue against certification of  GBs is ignorance; i.e., not understanding the value of the process to the company.
    But then, I’m presuming you are talking about strategic, internal processes to continuously improve the overall organization and ‘certification’ is a way of recognizing that GBs are gaining experience and making improvements as part of their certification process.
    “Certification” alone is worthless if, for example, you have people go take a class and get “qualified” but never do anything within the organization to apply the methods.

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    #97275

    Ashman
    Member

    I see to many people going thru GB training solely for the purpose of getting certified, they are either required to or need it for a resume, and not for the purpose of using the tools and methodology to add value.
    Steve

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    #97276

    Ang
    Participant

    Further to the question of certification within my organization we do certify GB’s the reason for this is two fold. Firstly the people are trained and given certification, this gives them some sense of achivement and value from the course. Secondly we then have a GB coordinator who visits these GB’s and works with them to complete either a project or some use of the tools in everyday work. This stategy works well and we get good results from the GB’s.
    So in answer to your question i would definitly argue that the organization should certify GB’s but as has been said you must also develop a stategy that uses their skills.

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    #97277

    sweettalkder
    Member

    Arguments against GB certification:

    It costs money
    We’re too busy
    You haven’t proven there will be an ROI – “Show me the data!”
    I manage from the 30,000 foot level with the big picture view, and don’t need to get bogged down in that kind of petty detail.
    I know how to manage and make decisions
    It’s all just common sense, anyway

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    #97278

    SSNewby
    Member

    All of which are, as you intended, excellent arguments in support of Green Belt training.    It’s not the Land of the Blind, but it’s a very dark terrain out there.

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    #97279

    Abodorra
    Participant

    Certification makes sense. The key is to ensure you only certify practitioners when the desired results are achieved.  This helps foster an environment of discipline around 1) choosing projects that will have significant business impact and 2) using six sigma tools effectively. Most of the time, if you do these two things right, you will get the desired results. Also, educate your organization about the benefits of using six sigma. At this point, it sounds as if they probably just don’t know enough about its value.

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    #97288

    MBB Facts
    Participant

    Do not train green belts yet. Have a training session for the leadership first and have them understand Six Sigma as a system. Once they see the overall picture, the questions on whether to train green belts will be answered.
    Training green belts without leadership awareness and support of their roles in Six Sigma is a recipe for failure.
    My 2c…
    MBB Facts

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    #97304

    SSNewby
    Member

    I agree fully with your thoughts.  Our path was to train executive Leadership, Champions, and then Green Belts and Black Belts concurrently.     This gave the senior management team the capacity to talk the talk and begin the process of walking the talk.   
    The one week training for the Green Belts and the five month + training for the Black Belts obviously had Green Belts completing their training first, and, while this was initially some cause for concern, it gave the Green Belts the opportunity to work alongside the Black Belts as they worked on their initial in-training projects.   I think this gave us stronger Green Belts and Black Belts who were appreciative of the help.   Every company is going to start-up their Six Sigma programs differently, but we began at the corporate level and then rolled it out to each of sixteen plants at the same time.  Each plant’s roll out involved several Green Belts (working part time on Six Sigma projects) and several Black Belts (working full time on Six Sigma projects) and then began gradual plant-to-plant expansion beyond that.   
    So far, with some growing pains here and there, it’s been successful – success measured in terms of energy, buy-in, and willingness to apply the Six Sigma process to solving issues of significance.    It is, at this time, still an investment with expectations of future returns.

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    #97305

    Martínez
    Participant

    Don’t do anything Pat until you’ve developed a deployment strategy for the entire effort, even training leadership and then rolling out training to GB’s and BB’s will fail if you don’t answer some of the basic questions that a Six Sigma program will uncover for example:
    How do we identify projects? How do we ensure they are linked to strategy? How will a GB or BB get certified? How do I become a GB or BB? Who owns the program? What is the definition of “hard savings?” who decides? the list goes on and on. I can’t tell you the number of top companies I have had to go in and help “fix” a six sigma program because they never answered these questions until they were asked, by then it was too late.

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    #97677

    SR
    Member

    After 2 years of being exposed to six sigma (at GE no less), I think that while it may be helpful to data intensive process environments like manufacturing, it really is a waste of time “fitting” the six sigma methodology onto something like financial services, data mining, etc.  Frankly its possibly a real waste of resources and time in some fields.

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    #97680

    Hema Kumar
    Participant

    GB is really a high value, as it helps in attacking, identifying and resolvings issues statistically.  May it be financial, manufacturing or services, six sigma is totally data driven continuous approach and hence gives long standing solution and reputation to withstand.

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    #97686

    Adnan Basrawi
    Participant

    I think that it boils down to benefits vs cost. If employees will use the process then it is worth it to be certified. Timing would be of an important factor.

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    #97697

    MoMoney
    Participant

    When I think of value I think of $.  Where’s the gb study that shows the correlation between gb’s and their salaries overtime?  I know you guy get this.

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    #97703

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Here at GE, we have learned that having GB’s go through the following process.
    1. Trained
    2. Pass a GB exam (validates they understand the concepts provided in the training)
    3. Complete an approved Big Y project
    This entire process takes most about 1 year, we include GB certification (all the above) on all professional band employees and higher as part of their preformance & promotobility evaluations.
    As a result, we have now driven the six sigma methodology down through our ranks, being used by our teams everywhere, have saved 10’s of billions in cost, have a 95% contract renewal rate with our customers, and the skill set (productivity) of our organization continues to increase.
    I suggest comparing this data I have just provided you, that is the effect of leading a GB certification initiative to your own buisness results. The descision should be easier to make.
    Hope this helps,
    Steven Bonacorsi, GE Certified Black Belt

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    #97704

    Vahok
    Member

    For GB training to have a real impact to the company and not just the individual, management has to see the value in the use of the tools and the people using the tools. If management sees no value the GB is just more hype. If they see value in people using the tools and getting real measurable results by all means plant the seeds, nuture the GB’s and reap the rewards. I would suggest some sort of Champion training prior to any type of GB training.    

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    #97712

    KF in Truck
    Participant

    I totally disagree that SS can not be applied to outside of the manufacturing arena. Data can be collected in vertually any area you can think of. Although the correct data may not be readily available, with a little thought and planning, a data collection plan can be developed and successfully implemented. Medical providers and their insurance company counterparts are a prime example. These providers rarely process my medical paperwork properly (proper coding of claims, deductable portion of the expense and so on). It sometimes takes close to a year after the service to get the paperwork and billing corrected. If we think out of he box and utilize the analytical skills SS has taught us, the sky is the limit for applying these tools. I’m suprized at this assessment of SS aplication from a belt with 2 years experience. Maybe it’s a constaint that some organizations place on their belts.

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    #97714

    ARANGO VALENCIA
    Participant

    1) Management support is absolutely critical or Green Belts will fail, because by nature, they are “part time Six Sigma practitioners” and must still do their day job.  They need management support to help balance their time and to be recognized and rewarded as they complete milestones in project work.
    2) With management support, a Green Belt program can be very powerful. In most organization, there are many small projects that hit the day to day processes, where Green Belts have the best view and perspective.
    3) If you start a GB program, be sure that you know why you are doing it.  Is it to save money? To further the development and growth of the candidates? To change culture in the organization so that everyone is thinking in terms of data based decisions? Understand your goal, then design your GB training targets accordingly.
    Finally – to one of the responders – Six Sigma does work in financial services.  A process is a process is a process.  And we all have clients to satisfy – internal and external.  I work in a large f/s firm and we’re having great success with it.
    Good luck to you!…jav

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    #97732

    Debra Mallette
    Participant

    What’s the value? 
    1. To the individual
        a. Salary impact: Six Sigma Certification has been correlated to increases in salary.  Probability is 3-5 % higher than inflation rate after a year.
       b. Employability: Six Sigma Certifications are becoming minimum entrance requirements for positions ergo positive correlation to employability.
       c. Effectiveness and Efficiency: The Certification establishes your credibility – one of the 4 necessary requirements for effective influence and persuasion and your ability to put together your value in dollars earned/saved increases your ability to influence, persuade and lead. Consider these factors in your economic decision tree then these increase your probability of success and performance on the job.
    Perhaps more important to your organization is that green belt certification can increase the probability of delivering measurable, positive return on investment from your process improvement program. Green Belt certification also reduces the investment needed to address target resistance. As other posters have pointed out, management of change factors must also be addressed to mitigate risks of failure and accelerate delivery of positive ROI including Sponsorship – particularly the sponsorship by the managers of the green belt candidates, and mentoring of the green belt candidates. I found a greater than 80% increase in probability of successful delivery of positive ROI for process improvement projects when sponsorship, target resistance, education/certification, and communication of project status and results in terms of earned value are addressed in the organization.  The industry and type of organization was not a factor.  Green belt certifications were essential to these results.
    Debra Mallette
    ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt

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    #97750

    Matthew Smith
    Participant

    Pat,
    There have been many good points made on this thread.  Probably the only thing I can add to the discussion is to know your audience.
    Most of the manufacturing engineering employees you have will already be armed with a 4 year degree from a post-secondary education institution.  If there is an effective hiring process, these people come armed with more problem solving hardware and grey matter than will ever be fully used by your company.
    The goal of my green belt program was one of awareness.  Allowing these very intelligent people to continually improve within a defined framework.  At the end of the day, we want a fact-based continual improvement engine to drive process effectiveness and efficiency. 
    Certification? I didn’t bother. Why? Because these people have a diploma worth more than anything I can paste on their wall.  Recognition? ABSOLUTELY and every chance I get.
    Matt.

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    #97751

    NATZIC
    Participant

    Great responses so far…please keep them coming.
    thanks again,
    Pat

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    #107600

    Tarik Basrawi
    Member

    1.

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