Should You Get A Six Sigma Green Belt?

Six Sigma and DMAIC project methodology five phases

Six Sigma is a methodological approach to help an organization achieve a measurable level of near perfection in a specific business process. 

The name itself implies the quest for near perfection. Something almost perfect is only six standard deviations between the mean and the closest specified limit. Another way of describing near perfection is to say that a process does not exceed more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

Six Sigma aspires to eliminate any defects in a business process through a rigorous, structured, data-based methodology. It is agnostic about the business process to which it is applied. It works equally well wherever it is put to use, whether it is a manufacturing firm, a transactional business, or a retail organization.

Finally, six sigma works even better when combined with lean methodology, and it is then referred to as lean six sigma.

Six Sigma Belts

Before getting into a discussion about green belt six sigma expertise, it’s important to put things into context by first getting a quick overview of six sigma belts. Since this methodology requires such a high level of disciplined knowledge to be executed properly, levels of expertise are designated by belts, which echoes the martial arts tradition where each higher belt level indicates a practitioner’s level of advanced skill.

Six Sigma project problem solvers are designated as a white belt, yellow belt, green belt, black belt, and master black belt. A white belt understands basic six sigma concepts while a green belt has a sophisticated understanding of six sigma’s processes and tools. A black belt trains project teams and can also lead projects. Finally, a master black belt coaches black and green belts, and when involved in projects can develop key metrics, set strategic directions, and act as a six sigma internal consultant.

What Can A Green Belt Do?

Under the supervision of a black belt, a green belt can select a project, define the problem, measure the current problem, baseline the process, analyze the process, identify the root cause of the problem, improve the process, verify the best solution, and maintain the solution by establishing controls.

Green belt six sigma training teaches how to identify problems in the business and how this can be used to help an organization has happier customers, reduce costs, and increase profits. If, for example, a large company is spending more time, effort, and money than necessary with accounts payable, a green belt can identify the obstacles preventing a company from streamlining its accounts payable department.

Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

There is no prerequisite to getting started on a getting six sigma green belt certification course.

A certified green belt acquires the following skillsets:

  1. An ability to get a comprehensive understanding of the nature, origins, and benefits of Six Sigma.
  2. An ability to describe Six Sigma roles.
  3. An ability to define the eight primary causes of waste in an organization.
  4. An ability to find and pick worthwhile projects. For instance, projects that aren’t problematic or whose improved solution doesn’t make a significant contribution to improving efficiency that affects the bottom line are not worth spending time on.
  5. An ability to use the DMAIC methodology, which teaches a structured approach to problem-solving. This process defines measures, analyzes, and improves a project. It also makes it sustainable, which is to say it controls the continuity of the solution in the future.

The Evolution of Six Sigma

Since its invention in 1986 by Motorola, Six Sigma has become more than a methodology and something of business philosophy. As a result of its evolution, there is some confusion about its nature and scope. First, it is a statistical system for removing defects or resolving problems in a business process.

Second, it is also a training program that issues a certification. The certification levels are identified as belts, ranging from white to black belts. And third, it is a philosophy that proposes that measurement is the best way to optimize a business process.

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