What is Lean Six Sigma Methodology

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

– H. James Harrington,  Author & Management Mentor

Every company wishes to ensure the successful completion of projects before the given deadline. Some of the hindrances that organizations face in this process include defects, over-production, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion, and extra processing. These issues, often termed as waste can be eliminated by combining Lean manufacturing/lean enterprise and Six Sigma. This method is nothing but the Lean Six Sigma Methodology.

In other words, Lean Six Sigma is a managerial approach that focuses on improving the performance of organizational processes through the elimination of defects and waste. Here, the Lean concept basically deals with the elimination of the mentioned kinds of waste while the Six Sigma concept focuses on the tools and techniques used to improve and optimize business and manufacturing processes. Combining both of them ensures continued improvement.

The Lean Six Sigma approach is effective in a work culture where importance is given to autonomy, flexibility, feedback, and inspiration. The methodology helps organizations streamline their processes and provide as much value to the end-users as possible. Hiring managers can rely on professionals who undertake the Six Sigma Green Belt course to understand if they are the right fit for improvement projects.

There are five phases of Six Sigma (DMAIC) which are utilized in Lean Six Sigma methodology as well:

  • D – Define
  • M – Measure
  • A – Analyze
  • I – Improve
  • C – Control

Lean Six Sigma projects involve the whole team to set the objectives and allow professionals to work in a different manner under a leader. Milestones are set for the team and the progress is measured with regular follow-ups. When feedback is provided, team members are able to identify which areas need improvement and try to work on it quickly.

Lean Six Sigma Levels

The Lean Six Sigma training uses ‘Belt’ levels to indicate expertise quite similar to Six Sigma:

  • Yellow Belt – this involves expertise in the specifics of Six Sigma and foundational elements of the Lean Six Sigma methodology.
  • Green Belt – this involves advanced analysis and solving problems related to quality as well as competence in DMAIC phases.
  • Black Belt – this involves implementing, performing, interpreting, and applying Lean Six Sigma with an advanced level of proficiency.
  • Master Black Belt – this involves shaping strategies, developing key metrics, and acting as coach to black belts and green belts

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

The International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) offers the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification. This credential demonstrates that the professional has a clear understanding of the core to advanced elements of Lean Six Sigma methodology and is capable of leading improvement projects of an organization. The certified professional is also well-versed in the subject matters within the phases of DMAIC as defined by the IASSC Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge.

The associated exam for this certification is the IASSC Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Exam which involves 100 questions to be solved in 3 hours. The passing score of the exam is 70%. There are no prerequisites to take this exam. However, it is recommended to have some real-world experience of applying Lean Six Sigma in projects.

IASSC also suggests candidates take up Lean Six Sigma training from an accredited institute or a corporate program. There are around 395 institutes that are accredited by IASSC to offer Lean Six Sigma training. If you are thinking of taking up a course to prepare for this certification, it is beneficial to go for an accredited institute since it represents globally recognized Lean Six Sigma standards.  The list of accredited training organizations is available on the IASSC website.

One can enjoy a lot of perks after achieving the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification. Companies have faith in such certified employees to make better decisions and solve complicated problems in lesser time. With better credibility, Green Belts can also convince the clients that their organization would offer best-in-class services or products.

With this certification, a professional can also become eligible to apply for roles like:

  • Quality Systems Manager
  • Quality Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Quality Control Manager
  • Quality Analyst
  • Quality Auditor

Finally, you should take the next step and start your Green Belt training right away. By enrolling in an accredited online course, you will not only gain theoretical knowledge, but also gain practical exposure through integrated labs, live virtual classrooms and forums, working on industry-oriented projects and more.