8 Burning Questions Every Six Sigma Professional Would Ask

8 Burning Questions Every Six Sigma Professional Would Ask
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Priyadharshini

Last updated February 16, 2017


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The value of Six Sigma skills for enterprises is clear. From helping in the successful completion of projects and in improving productivity, to waste and cost reductions in businesses, Six Sigma practices have benefited organizations. 3M, Amazon.com, Boeing, Dell, and Wipro are few of the top enterprise organizations benefiting from Six Sigma practices.

The demand for qualified and certified professionals has also been on the increase. It is estimated that certified Six Sigma professionals have an advantage of more than $ 15,000 hike in their salary when compared to their non-certified peers. On an annual basis, this amounts to over $ 165,000!

While there are legions of professionals who have already qualified, gotten certified in the domain, and benefited from it in their careers, as a beginner setting out on the journey to getting qualified, you might find yourself drowning in a sea of questions as to – how best to benefit from the certification, what belt/level to choose, what each level of certification focuses on, and many more. We've got you covered. Here's your answers to the top eleven questions about choosing your Six Sigma certification.

If you are making decisions about Six Sigma, we hope this article helps you make the right decisions in terms of investing on the more-suited Six Sigma certification and the right training partner.

Question 1

If you wish to be validated for your skills in deploying Six Sigma tools and techniques effectively in your organization, then this is the right certification for you. The certification has become a mandate for Quality Specialists who wish to advance in their career in Quality Management. The certification journey is quite a rigorous one that aims at training professionals in advanced skillsets through its different levels of certifications. It is also a booster that helps you with hikes in your salary.
  
Question 2

If you’re already in Quality Domain, you’ll be aware of certain important factors like: the industry needs, the level of knowledge expected of professionals at the different rungs in the processes in your organization, the available resources in this domain in your organization, the kind of Six Sigma tools and techniques that your organization uses and so on. With this knowledge, you can cross-check the course content with the requirements, before making the final choice.  

On the other hand, if you are new to the arena, researching on certain basic industry requirements and qualifying yourself in the foundational levels should help you edge ahead.

Question 3

Both Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma are Quality Management tools and practice techniques with similar goals of improving processes. However, they differ in certain principles and use cases.

Here is an article that explains in detail the differences between Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma certification and helps you decide between the two.

Question 4

Many organizations, having realized the enormous role Six Sigma can play in their organization, and ensured they have a strong support top-down to incorporate this practice in their processes. Thus, they also secure dedicated resources, like professionals certified in the different levels of the certification of Six Sigma, at the different hierarchies to implement Six Sigma. Progressive organizations, in order to retain skilled Six Sigma professionals, are ready to invest hugely in them.

To implement the methodology effectively, businesses first need to identify their aptitude for the practice. Later, upon clear analyzation of their objectives and needs, they take initiatives to train resources for its successful implementation.

With all of this in place, impactful projects can then be generated and implemented. For this, organizations should have their key business indicators and metrics identified and further link them to the projects that are generated. The project selection process is a complex one in itself – the management or the Black Belts identify these projects through a rigorous selection process. Project sponsorship is then taken care of – combining a complex set of steps and procedures.

Also, management should always be kept engaged and informed during the course of the project. Effective communication at each level of implementation of the project is important. Organizations ensure that an effective medium to ensure this is in place.
 
All of these factors have to be checked off the list before the deployment of an effective Six Sigma plan. Through concepts, tools and techniques unique to Six Sigma, like the DMAIC and DMADV, the projects are then executed. 

Question 5

There is no single body of accreditation to certify from in Six Sigma. While some organizations, like Motorola and GE, take the initiative to train professionals by themselves, there are also training providers who offer training and certification in Six Sigma level of certifications.

First-party certification denotes self-declaration in the part of professionals who declare to have met the criteria of Six Sigma certifications.

Second-party certification is when a company or a training partner create their own certification program with their own set of validators.

Third-party certifications, refer to those that identify and validate that product, process or service meets standards and criteria that are independent of any industry. These are reviewed by independent, impartial associations that maintain the industry standards. American Society for Quality (ASQ) and International Association of Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) are some standard third-party accreditations.

Question 6

Second-party certification has become the norm in Six Sigma levels of certifications. This way, you can choose the training provider based on your needs.

With good research, you can compare and contrast organizational/professional needs with the course content of different training providers and choose that which suits your needs best.

One thing to note here is that, just as course contents differ from each of the second-party certification providers, so does the demarcation of content that goes into the different levels/ belts of the certifications.
So, ‘needs’ of the professional, is the core criterion to be kept in mind while deciding on the training provider.

Question 7

Six Sigma, as a customer-driven quality-control program, is advantageous in plenty of ways. From retaining customers, helping employees effectively in time management, reducing cycle time in processes, to effective strategic planning and supply chain management, Six Sigma abounds in benefits to organizations. However, there is a flip side to the coin.

As a vigorous program that has a “defined limit of about 3.4 defects per million products or service processes”, it can create rigidity in its deployment, thereby delaying processes. Also, with greater emphasis on customer satisfaction, it may underplay the value of internal quality-control measures of a company.

Further, this is a program that can only be conducted by employees who are trained in Six Sigma. For smaller businesses, this is a pricey expenditure, as providing Six Sigma training for employees or employing Six Sigma certified employees is expensive.

But the benefits are immense and as more and more organizations are coming to adopt Six Sigma in their processes, particularly those involved in manufacturing, the demands for certified professionals is on a steep increase.
 
Question 8

The course content for Six Sigma certification training covers aspects of all basic components, tools and techniques – knowledge of which are expected of Six Sigma certified professionals across organizations.
Our training material is aligned with the ASQ body of knowledge and training; the certification is given along with real life applications on various industry used cases, and thus practical and credible.

Check-out our Six Sigma training courses:
Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Training
Lean Six Sigma Professional Certification Career Advancement Bundle

If you are already a Six Sigma certified professional or have some important news to share about how Six Sigma is deployed in your organizations, do share the knowledge in the comments section below. We would love to learn from you too!

About the Author

Priyadharshini is a knowledge analyst at Simplilearn, specializing in Project Management, IT, Six Sigma, and e-Learning. With a penchant for writing and a passion for professional education & development, she is adept at penning educative articles. She was previously associated with Oxford University Press and Pearson Education, India.


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