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Old 15th July 2014, 18:23   #1
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Default Are you Six Sigma certified?

Having encountered this http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...fessional.html (Are you a PMP (Project Management Professional)) thread previously on Team-BHP, I thought that it would be pretty cool to have a similar thread for individuals with Six Sigma certification/ or those working towards getting certified to share their experiences about different certifying bodies, case studies, exam preparation tips, best practices and things to watch out for.

I am currently writing my project report, that will help me achieve my Six Sigma green belt certification from the Indian Statistical Institute in Delhi . Having quite enjoyed the data analysis and process improvement process, I am quite certain that I would be pursuing Six Sigma Black belt certification soon.

Planning ahead, I had the following questions.

How can I better improve my knowledge of Six Sigma, its best practices and read up relevant case studies ? Would an ASQ membership be a worthwhile investment ?

Also, would it be worthwhile to seek PMP certification as a way of bolstering my Six Sigma project management skills ?

Can somebody also comment on how big a leap is a Black Belt or a Master Black Belt from the Green Belt ? Would it be a good idea to do a Black Belt course with the Indian Statistical Institute ?

Last edited by revvedup : 15th July 2014 at 18:24.
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Old 15th July 2014, 23:38   #2
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Default re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

The best way atleast i find is getting a job in genpact and the BB from genbact has better market value in application.

Black belt and Master black belt requires practical application and you actually creating more black belts and green belts by training and guiding them.

On a 50000 ft its like train the trainer concept. You are trained and now the more you train and create more of your kind(GB).

My explanation is not exactly the book process or book defined steps. I am just saying how you can be a black belt in a practical way. But my understanding could be wrong.
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Old 16th July 2014, 10:18   #3
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Default re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

What exactly is six sigma ? Who is eligible to be a six sigma professional ? Is it limited only to manufacturing industries ? Is it applicable to sales and marketing domain too ?
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Old 16th July 2014, 11:01   #4
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Default re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Black belt and Master black belt requires practical application and you actually creating more black belts and green belts by training and guiding them.
Quite like Amway then.

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Originally Posted by girimajiananth View Post
What exactly is six sigma ?
Don't know - seems like a set of tools to improve processes. Like all other "process improvement" strategies like Agile software development. (don't get me started), this could be another way to force employees to follow procedures they don't need to.
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Old 16th July 2014, 13:59   #5
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

Quote:
Also, would it be worthwhile to seek PMP certification as a way of bolstering my Six Sigma project management skills ?

Can somebody also comment on how big a leap is a Black Belt or a Master Black Belt from the Green Belt ? Would it be a good idea to do a Black Belt course with the Indian Statistical Institute ?
These are two different things buddy. You can get a Six Sigma Certification without being a PMP. Six Sigma is a approach for a problem where you do not have any solution and get a solution by following the DMAIC methodology. Whereas PMP is a certification for those who are involved in projects and would like to manage projects through a systematic approach.
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Old 16th July 2014, 14:30   #6
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

Quote:
Originally Posted by revvedup View Post
I am currently writing my project report, that will help me achieve my Six Sigma green belt certification from the Indian Statistical Institute in Delhi . Having quite enjoyed the data analysis and process improvement process, I am quite certain that I would be pursuing Six Sigma Black belt certification soon.

Planning ahead, I had the following questions.

How can I better improve my knowledge of Six Sigma, its best practices and read up relevant case studies ? Would an ASQ membership be a worthwhile investment ?

Also, would it be worthwhile to seek PMP certification as a way of bolstering my Six Sigma project management skills ?

Can somebody also comment on how big a leap is a Black Belt or a Master Black Belt from the Green Belt ? Would it be a good idea to do a Black Belt course with the Indian Statistical Institute ?
Hello there, thanks for starting this thread.

Well to start with you're at the right place for the certification, Indian Statistical Institute is the best place to get your certification from.

To improve your knowledge and understanding, implementing your skills is important,
Does you current role support you for taking up projects?
The more the number of projects you lead, you will gain in confidence and knowledge as well.
ASQ membership by itself is not really going to do anything.

If your role expects you to be leading projects, then having a PMP certification helps in overall project management, however its not necessary, but having a PMP along with SSBB certification from a reputed institute along with relevant experience is a potent combination and definitely helps in carving out an edge for yourself in interviews.

As a green belt, though you do have ample knowledge and understanding to carry out analyses, you still need a Black Belt to overlook the entire project. In any DMAIC transformation, you may have 1 or many Green Belts working as team members depending upon the size of the project(s).
In that respect, Black Belt is a big leap, as a Master Black Belt, you are reviewing progress and championing projects usually at a very broad level (region/verticals/organization) etc.

Hope this helps.

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Originally Posted by girimajiananth View Post
What exactly is six sigma ? Who is eligible to be a six sigma professional ? Is it limited only to manufacturing industries ? Is it applicable to sales and marketing domain too ?
Anyone who is interested in understanding the nuances of statistical process improvement can undertake six sigma courses. What your current role is would determine how well you get to use it

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Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
Like all other "process improvement" strategies like Agile software development. (don't get me started), this could be another way to force employees to follow procedures they don't need to.
No, six sigma does not add procedures, it helps the organization analyse and understand what is the maximum potential for the project and tells you where you currently are (in pure statistical measures) and showcases the deviation.

How you need to get to the maximum potential or somewhere in between is something that comes from Lean and from Operations

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Originally Posted by vinair View Post
These are two different things buddy. You can get a Six Sigma Certification without being a PMP. Six Sigma is a approach for a problem where you do not have any solution and get a solution by following the DMAIC methodology. Whereas PMP is a certification for those who are involved in projects and would like to manage projects through a systematic approach.
DMAIC is a project and having project management experience helps, PMP is not necessary though. Though I have seen that Prince methodology helps in managing Lean DMAIC projects.
Again Six Sigma does not give solutions, its describes the health of the project by way of thesis and analysis.


Cheers,
Trojan
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Old 16th July 2014, 17:08   #7
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

Quote:
Originally Posted by revvedup View Post

Planning ahead, I had the following questions.

How can I better improve my knowledge of Six Sigma, its best practices and read up relevant case studies ? Would an ASQ membership be a worthwhile investment ?

Can somebody also comment on how big a leap is a Black Belt or a Master Black Belt from the Green Belt ? Would it be a good idea to do a Black Belt course with the Indian Statistical Institute ?
You should check up with the Delhi chapter of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). They provide both training and certifications for green belt, black belt and master black belt. The ASQ membership is of great help and their online resources which you get access to are vast. Their monthly publication helps keep you up to date. Its great for professionals. PM me for details.

I am a certified green belt and trained as a black belt. BB is a serious step up on GB. A fair bit extra in theory and tools, and a hell of a lot more practical oriented.
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Old 17th July 2014, 11:06   #8
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Black belt and Master black belt requires practical application and you actually creating more black belts and green belts by training and guiding them.
I think that is overkill. I mean master black belt. Why would you need that. Anyway, most people in corporate world are pretty non physically active guys atleast in India. you can just go for a beginner kickboxing kind of course, and be strong enough to beat up 2-3 of them at a time.

Black belt etc., will require too much investment, and its an overkill. Its like turning up to an indica drag race in a ferrari. All you need is a simple cruze or something like a TSI Polo.

Second part about training. Why would you train others. I mean, if others are also as well trained as you, you are only increasing your competition.

In the corporate work, everybody is competing with everybody. Infact people even compete with themselves. I am told they go to the mirror and try to outrun the reflection to try and beat themselves.

So expecting a black belter who you trained to be in your team always is being naive. I mean if you want to be the most badass guy, make sure you are the only one trained in combat. This is all you need to come out winner in the appraisal meeting.
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Old 17th July 2014, 13:29   #9
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I think that is overkill. I mean master black belt.

you can just go for a beginner kickboxing kind of course, and be strong enough to beat up 2-3 of them at a time.

Its like turning up to an indica drag race in a ferrari. All you need is a simple cruze or something like a TSI Polo.

you are only increasing your competition.

So expecting a black belter who you trained to be in your team always is being naive.
Very well said TSK, thoroughly enjoyed reading and the 'directly' subtle references.
Absolutely, no need and point in hurrying up, if you're in that particular role it would be worthwhile to do the MBB, which is a senior role, if you find yourself having completed an Master Black Belt and reporting to someone who is probably a Black Belt then my friend you're going to be one frustrated soul.


Cheers!
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Old 17th July 2014, 19:57   #10
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

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Originally Posted by girimajiananth View Post
What exactly is six sigma ? Who is eligible to be a six sigma professional ? Is it limited only to manufacturing industries ? Is it applicable to sales and marketing domain too ?
Six sigma is a set of process improvement tools that together allow one to understand the variation in process performance. The idea being that you can reduce a process's variation, so that it varies within the specification set by your customer. The customer in question can be someone who pays for a product or service, or your immediate boss you report to.

A simple example, just to illustrate the theory stated above. Say, when you were at school your scores ranged between 80 to 90 per cent in different subjects, and your average for those subjects regularly came out to out to be 86. Say if one day, your parents asked you to improve your scores so that your average improved by a percentage to 87 per cent. How would you go about it ? First you would look at your scores and see the subjects where your scores vary the most. Say for example, you discover that your scores in Hindi vary between 80.5 and 87. 5 and eventually affect your average more than any other subject. Now you should look at all the instances where scored 80.5 and when you scored 87.5 in Hindi. You would then try and understand what are the reasons contributing to a score of 87.5 and a score of 80.5. You might find that your score has some sort of correlation with the number of hours you practice writing essays. You would then then try to understand the relationship between the number of hours you study and your score, so that you could make an informed decision about the minimum number of hours you should study to achieve your target score of 87.

I can clearly see Six Sigma being applied in a Sales environment and believe the same is true for marketing too, provided you have some way of measuring the effectiveness of the marketing department's work.

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
The best way atleast i find is getting a job in genpact and the BB from genbact has better market value in application.

Black belt and Master black belt requires practical application and you actually creating more black belts and green belts by training and guiding them.

On a 50000 ft its like train the trainer concept. You are trained and now the more you train and create more of your kind(GB).

My explanation is not exactly the book process or book defined steps. I am just saying how you can be a black belt in a practical way. But my understanding could be wrong.
This is actually true to an extent where I work, black belts are generally responsible for also training and guiding Green belts like me. In my company atleast, there is no full time black belt. The accepted idea is that six sigma is something that you do in addition to your primary operational responsibilities. If anyone knows of instances where the opposite is true, it would be interesting to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan View Post
Hello there, thanks for starting this thread.

Well to start with you're at the right place for the certification, Indian Statistical Institute is the best place to get your certification from.

To improve your knowledge and understanding, implementing your skills is important,
Does you current role support you for taking up projects?
The more the number of projects you lead, you will gain in confidence and knowledge as well.
ASQ membership by itself is not really going to do anything.

If your role expects you to be leading projects, then having a PMP certification helps in overall project management, however its not necessary, but having a PMP along with SSBB certification from a reputed institute along with relevant experience is a potent combination and definitely helps in carving out an edge for yourself in interviews.

As a green belt, though you do have ample knowledge and understanding to carry out analyses, you still need a Black Belt to overlook the entire project. In any DMAIC transformation, you may have 1 or many Green Belts working as team members depending upon the size of the project(s).
In that respect, Black Belt is a big leap, as a Master Black Belt, you are reviewing progress and championing projects usually at a very broad level (region/verticals/organization) etc.

Hope this helps.

DMAIC is a project and having project management experience helps, PMP is not necessary though. Though I have seen that Prince methodology helps in managing Lean DMAIC projects.
Again Six Sigma does not give solutions, its describes the health of the project by way of thesis and analysis.


Cheers,
Trojan
Thanks Trojan for confirming that PMP and six sigma indeed is a complementary combination, for professionals leading six sigma projects. It is always vital to practice to one's learnings to truly understand the concept and I have always been a big believer in ' learning by doing ' too . This is my first Six Sigma Green belt project, but my workplace has only recently started applying six sigma throughout the company. So I don't know how many projects might be coming up my way, but I expect something to turn up. Hence I thought it might be a decent idea to understand different aspects of Project management. Why have you found PrInce to be better suited to Six Sigma ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
You should check up Six sigma with the Delhi chapter of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). They provide both training and certifications for green belt, black belt and master black belt. The ASQ membership is of great help and their online resources which you get access to are vast. Their monthly publication helps keep you up to date. Its great for professionals. PM me for details.

I am a certified green belt and trained as a black belt. BB is a serious step up on GB. A fair bit extra in theory and tools, and a hell of a lot more practical oriented.
Thanks I thought so, will get in touch with them soon.
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Old 18th July 2014, 12:19   #11
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

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Originally Posted by revvedup View Post
This is my first Six Sigma Green belt project, but my workplace has only recently started applying six sigma throughout the company. So I don't know how many projects might be coming up my way, but I expect something to turn up. Hence I thought it might be a decent idea to understand different aspects of Project management. Why have you found PrInce to be better suited to Six Sigma ?
Well each organization picks up a method or thought process behind aligning itself to Improvement projects.
The ways are many, what I have seen in my current organization its more aligned with Prince and its easier to implement as well, though I am not commenting on PMP, I am myself PMP trained, but again that's the way I look at it.

What I would suggest for you, since you're keen about the subject is to also undergo Lean training. Six Sigma along with Lean implementation is more lethal and has a far more reach and penetration.


Cheers,
Trojan
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Old 18th July 2014, 12:28   #12
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

I have always wondered about this one. I did learn about Six Sigma when I underwent training for CQA in the 1997-98, it was a big thing in TCS. But I never wrote the exam as I changed jobs.

Why do people try to apply six sigma to software development? Unlike manufacturing, software development is too chaotic and situations change from project to project.
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Old 18th July 2014, 13:14   #13
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

Getting a Black Belt certification wouldn't really help anybody's cause unless they are trying to land up a Black Belt role.

On the other hand, having a GB certification definitely helps if the company that you work for or wish to work for has a rich Six Sigma culture.

I'm a full-time Black Belt consultant with a big consulting firm and it definitely helps us if the other guy understands some jargon, so having a GB on the other side helps. However, the subject is so wide that most people hardly know 10% of what they should even as a Green Belt.

The company I work for has a strong Six Sigma culture and projects are actually being led by GBs who are from Operations, HR and other support functions.

As for ISI, they aren't going to touch Minitab during the GB course and the only reason people go for certification at ISI is because its cheap and the assessments & project submission is a joke. The amount of statistics they teach is so very basic and they don't really follow the DMAIC story, instead those professors are in their own world and most of it is useless from a practical implementation perspective.

Attending a GB/BB training wouldn't help at all unless your only objective is getting that certificate. The subject is such that unless you practice it regularly, you wouldn't be able to make sense of whatever was taught to you just 2-3 weeks later.

PMP has no relation to DMAIC at all. It would be a rare case when someone wants a certified BB with PMP mandatory, but if you think there are ample jobs around this particular combination, please get both by all means.
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Old 18th July 2014, 13:22   #14
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Default Re: Are you Six Sigma certified?

Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that was kick-started by Motorola in the mid-80s. It helps a lot in knowing if the project is conforming to the expected quality parameters, apart from a host of other things like defect prevention, etc.

I am a green belt in six sigma and also a PMP, courtesy my organization. But unfortunately, I've not had a chance to use either skill much as there is no career path in India for such certifications. This being the case, I've not even bothered to link up my green belt with PMP to get some credit points.

Both certifications are very useful for aspiring Project Managers however. I had earlier worked as a PM and could realize a host of stuff that I was not aware of at that time.

The only thing bad about PMP is that the certification is valid only for 3 years. I somehow am not inclined to go the whole hog again after my period expires this December. I don't have the patience to take classes to earn credits either.

So basically, it is your call if you want to undertake these courses. If you are young and willing to switch companies for a better career path, they will surely add to your weight.
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Old 18th July 2014, 13:35   #15
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Why do people try to apply six sigma to software development? Unlike manufacturing, software development is too chaotic and situations change from project to project.
Hi Samurai,

Yes, development situations are constantly changing within projects, however, there still are a few constants with which you measure the performance of a project e.g. (defect density, utilization, rework etc.)

While the word six sigma sounds like something very big and complex, what it really focuses or drives is improvement. Improvement is the basic DNA within any organization which wants to succeed and get more business.

Using six sigma as statistical tool would enable Project Managers to understand the actual capacity of the project vs actuals, demarcate defect density %ages and plot targets.

All this is aimed towards one goal, improvement leading to customer satisfaction. And the improvement needs to be proactive not reactive.

Using six sigma alone within development projects would provide you with the statistical inputs but does not really translate into improvement.

For development projects, Lean and Six Sigma needs to be implemented together. This is necessary since IT projects are dynamic in nature and no two projects may be similar. So, while six sigma provides the statistical input and what we can really aim for, tangible actions and pain areas are identified using lean principles.

In my organization we follow the same.


Cheers!
Trojan
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