I have a Master’s degree from Rutgers University in machine learning and another from Northwestern University in cognitive science. I’ve worked for Schwab, Delta, and Blue Shield of California, introducing metrics, measurements and process changes for increased productivity. But my career needed a boost and I wanted a leadership role.
I was working in quality, but without a certification. Simplilearn helped move my career forward when I pursued Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training to prepare for the IASSC certification exam. When researching how to prepare for my certification exam, I chose Simplilearn in part because it is affiliated with the Project Management Institute (PMI) as a registered partner. This meant their training was in alignment with PMI concepts, so it would be aligned with my other certifications.
I also liked the format offered by Simplilearn, which offers interactive webinar courses and maximum flexibility for balancing work and life. It was easy to choose the times and durations that would fit with my work and home commitments. In addition, the format was interactive which made it more effective. Being able to engage with instructors during the sessions made it feel like a classroom environment, but in my home office!
Once I started on the coursework, I discovered the high quality of the content, as well. The level of the instructors was top-notch and their passion for their field came through. In addition, the lessons learned were immediately applicable to my job. The course was filled with real world examples, and students were encouraged to share their experiences. The instructor worked us through potential solutions that we could take back and immediately put into practice.
It wasn’t just about listening to the material being presented. The value really came from the instructor’s wealth of experience and presenting real-life examples of the concepts they taught. It’s one thing to learn how to create metrics. It’s another to hear a story of a problem, the metrics and measurements created to solve the problem, and the results—which could be failure or success.
I also appreciated being able to download links so I could go back and listen again to certain material, and use those downloaded links as reference.
After earning my certification, I became a Senior Project and Quality Program Manager at Blue Shield, providing oversight with a focus on streamlining efforts and increasing performance. I build and implement quality standards and metrics for the Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC), streamline processes for moving projects through the PMLC faster, and establish the “Customer’s Voice” to create a continuous improvement cycle with other project managers. I also combine quality metrics with User Acceptance Testing practices, serve as lean process expert to improve the product pipeline, and have built a high performance onshore/offshore team to procure and install new cloud technology.
Before, I was doing the work. Now I am setting the standards for the work and coaching and mentoring other project managers to improve the quality and efficiency of their own deliverables. I also apply benefit realization measurements to projects to provide executives with data to guide their portfolio decisions.
After certification, I could communicate my quality expertise with great confidence. This led to my promotion only four months later to the position I had desired, and for which I took this course. The increase in pay more than covered the cost of the course and was well worth it. I was an individual contributor at the start until I was promoted to leading the quality team and building out companywide benefit realization practices through applied metrics, measurements and process efficiencies I learned in my course. This was very exciting! I am now leading a team of 12 people.
My new role included an initial increase in salary, and then another as I was tapped for yet another new role, my current one. I just completed work on defining benefits for 156 proposed projects to strategically advance the company. In addition, I’m involved in strategic portfolio prioritization efforts based on these benefits to determine the top 10 projects of the year for the company.
Simplilearn’s course helped me learn how to professionally and effectively communicate quality, Agile, and Six Sigma concepts to my peers. It taught me how to switch from a detailed ‘get-the-job-done’ approach to a holistic, end-to-end view instead. In business, this holistic view is valuable and in-demand. Once I began to communicate at this level, my value was immediately recognized and sought out.
I strongly recommend Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training to others. It was an enjoyable and motivating learning experience. I always left each session with the task of applying some piece of what I learned to my job. It was great to see how I could immediately improve my work results, and it was great that this was recognized by my employer. Everything I do now follows thinking about how to increase and show value while removing local inefficiencies along the way. I get more done in less time. Work is fun and less stressful now!