Six Sigma Training: What Every Green Belt Should Know

Recently, Maj. Amanda Harrah, of the Army’s 28th Infantry Division, explained why she fell in love with Lean Six Sigma and what every Green Belt should know. “Lean Six Sigma gets us to work as a team,” Harrah wrote, adding that it “gives us the impact of our lost time on our performance and ultimately our Combat Mission Effectiveness.”

As for what Green Belts should know, Harrah stated, “you’ll work smarter, not harder.” She stated that leading a Lean Six Sigma project was generally a part time undertaking. Additionally, she noted that not everyone on the team would necessarily be excited right away about the changes that will come through the Six Sigma process. However, she encouraged Green Belts to develop a solid communication plan right from the start, to ensure that the right information about the project is provided by all the stakeholders, and to remember that their leadership is critical to shaping the project’s outcomes. Buy-in from others could be achieved by including them in the process, and helping them to look for data-driven solutions, she noted.

At the Pyzdek Institute, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification involves 100 hours of coursework, a comprehensive written exam, and the presentation of a real world project to one of the institute’s Certified Master Black Belts. Once certified, Green Belts possess the knowledge of D-M-A-I-C, and can apply that knowledge in a supporting or leadership position on a Six Sigma team. There is no minimum education requirement for those seeking Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification, and the Green Belt training is not a prerequisite for Black Belt training.

Would you like to receive training that will teach you the principles needed to lead your company towards data-driven efficiency and cost savings? If so, contact us.

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President of Pyzdek Institute LLC to Receive Award

On February 27, 2017, the president of Pyzdek Institute LLC — Thomas Pyzdek — will be presented with the first ASQ Six Sigma Award for the Advancement of Six Sigma. The award will be presented in Phoenix, at the annual ASQ Lean Six Sigma conference.

The ASQ award recognizes the achievements, efforts and contributions of Quality Professionals in furthering the knowledge of the methodology of Six Sigma. Winners of the award must have a minimum of five years experience as a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, or other training as a Six Sigma Executive/Champion or Belt. They must have documented leadership expertise and have demonstrated that leadership through significant deployment of or application of the Six Sigma body of knowledge. The recipient of the award must also have made contributions to conferences, publications, or events, and special weight is given to book publications.

Pyzdek is the author of the best selling Six Sigma Handbook and other publications. He became a quality technician at a can factory at just 18 years of age and fell in love with the concepts of quality control and improvement. He has held jobs as quality inspector, quality engineering technician, quality and reliability engineer, and quality management. In 1983, having already gained publication in industry magazines and taught classes on statistical process control, he left a secure job to become a consultant. His drive was to help the American industry regain a position of quality leadership in the world. Some of his clients have included Ford Motor Company, McDonald’s, Intuit, Avon Products and many more. Currently, Pyzdek is the president of Pyzdek Institute LLC, which continues to marry his two passions: quality control and helping others to learn more about it.

Would you like to know more about Six Sigma and how it can help your business or benefit you as a professional? Contact us.

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Excellence Is Not An Act, It Is a Habit: Develop Good Habits With Excellence Training From The Pyzdek Institute

To strive for excellence in any endeavor is noble, in business, it is required. Successful organizations know the fundamentals of quality. Achieving excellence through quality is not as elusive as one may think. If the goal is excellence through quality products and services, then there are well-known processes to follow to reach the target.

Economics of Quality

Quality programs such as Lean Six Sigma provided by The Pyzdek Institute identify the essentials for organizational excellence. Organizational excellence starts with understanding the economics of quality. Simply put the economics of quality is the use of proven programs that improve revenue, reduce cost, and drive organizational excellence.

Attribute of Quality

The economics of quality flow from the characteristic of excellence. The goal is to provide a superior product. If the customer believes what they are buying is quality, they buy more. If not, they buy elsewhere.

Method of Quality

The method of quality is an important link to the attribute of quality. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Day by day we should strive to improve our work product. The method that we follow to achieve quality is the road map to excellence. Lean Six Sigma is the road map to follow that encompasses all the criteria for excellence. It can produce clear expectations for customer focus, process approaches, and for achieving profitable results.

Organizational Excellence

The essentials for organizational excellence are the overarching concepts that any organization can use. Quality tools, techniques, and practices that solve the issues that organizations must overcome to reach and sustain excellence. As many already know, “the devil is in the details.” The details of excellence learned through Lean Six Sigma training impacts more than organizational excellence. The impact reaches to customer satisfaction, through quality business performance, new product development, expediency through efficient supply chain delivery and results in better customer service.

The Excellence in Leadership

A fundamental criterion for excellence is leadership. While employees as leaders may seem like a higher level concept, being open to unusual ideas can produce results. Training employees in Lean Six Sigma empowers them to want to lead. Offering employees the opportunity to flex their leadership skills results in performance improvements that contribute to the overall goal of performance excellence.

The author of The Six Sigma Handbook and the founder of the Pyzdek Institute, the acclaimed Thomas Pyzdek knows how to make the complex subjects of process excellence easy to understand and put into action. Find out how The Pyzdek Institute can put you on the road to excellence by contacting The Pyzdek Institute today.

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Six Sigma Training Takes Healthcare Facility Design to a New Level

did you know that some of the nation’s leading architects of healthcare facilities are also using their Six Sigma training to improve healthcare delivery?

Previously, we’ve discussed how Lean Six Sigma is transforming the healthcare industry by decreasing patient wait times and improving emergency room admissions flow. But did you know that some of the nation’s leading architects of healthcare facilities are also using their Six Sigma training to improve healthcare delivery?

According to a recent press release from Array Architects, 25 percent of the firm’s staff is now green belt or black belt certified, including its senior leadership. The company states that its approach to lean-led design carries a focus on sustainable business solutions for the healthcare environment. The firm hopes to positively impact the facility’s ability to deliver effective care by carefully evaluating every task and how it fits into the overall flow. The areas in which the firm uses Lean Six Sigma include the c-suite, practice area leadership, studio directorship, interior design, and project architecture.

Healthcare delivery has shifted from a volume driven process to a value driven one, the company states, and the design of the healthcare facility should do the same. The company’s belt practitioners are able to identify a problem and then use value stream mapping and a host of other tools to obtain input from their group and to reach a consensus.

Array Architects began in 1983 and is committed solely to the design of healthcare facilities. Through the years, they have completed a number of healthcare facility projects, including specialty surgery centers, behavioral health centers, cancer care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and much more.

Architecture is yet one more industry that is positively impacted through the use of Lean Six Sigma methods. For more information about how these methods can transform the way your business operates, contact us.

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Thomas Pyzdek to Speak About Leadership

In this keynote I will describe how Lean Six Sigma is more than a collection of tools and techniques, it is actually a complete new system of leadership.

Tom Pyzdek Keynote Speaker

Join me in Springfield Massachusetts on Tuesday October 21 at the 60th annual Northeast Quality Conference where I will speak on the topic of Leading with Lean Six Sigma. Too often we limit ourselves to projects and fail to realize the full potential of the Lean Six Sigma approach. In this keynote I will describe how Lean Six Sigma is more than a collection of tools and techniques, it is actually a complete new system of leadership.

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Lean Six Sigma Expert Named to Top 100 List

The Vice President of 3M’s Lean Six Sigma, Supply Chain Acquisition Integration and Quality for 3M, Jerome D. Hamilton, was named to Savoy Magazine’s 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.

The Vice President of 3M’s Lean Six Sigma, Supply Chain Acquisition Integration and Quality for 3M, Jerome D. Hamilton, was named to Savoy Magazine’s 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.  The list is a compilation of African American individuals who are facilitating global change through their leadership.

Hamilton, known as a LEAN expert, has made tremendous contributions to a number of companies, Savoy stated, particularly in areas of cost, cash and growth. Hamilton manages a program called Optimized Operations, which recruits and trains entry-level 3M manufacturing and process engineers.

Lean Six Sigma is an important part of 3M’s daily operations. In a 2013 presentation for the Minnesota Chapter of ASQ’s annual summit, for which Hamilton was the keynote speaker, it was revealed that the company — whose global sales in 2012 were $29.6 billion — began its Lean Six Sigma program in 2001. Since then, 65,000 3M employees have been trained in Lean Six Sigma methodologies. As of 2012, 90 percent of all of the company’s employees were six sigma trained, and 99 percent of its executives were. There are now Lean Six Sigma black belts in every 3M region. 73,000 projects have been closed or are in-progress. 450 full time resources are committed to Lean Six Sigma. Hamilton’s presentation noted that the company’s Lean Six Sigma focus was creating a common leadership focus within the company, connecting business, supply chain, manufacturing, IT, sales and marke ting, and finance departments into one cohesive unit.

The EPA has also taken notice of 3M’s Lean Six Sigma commitment, which it has applied to its environmental goals. The company has been using Lean Six Sigma methods in 3P (Pollution Prevention Pays) program since 2005, the EPA stated. In 2006, 70 percent of all 3P projects relied on Lean Six Sigma, at least in part. 3M has consistently been named an industry leader in preventing pollution, the agency noted.

Hamilton is proof that Lean Six Sigma is a valuable tool for leadership. 3M is proof that Lean Six Sigma is a valuable tool for success. For more information about how you can obtain Lean Six Sigma training, contact us.

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Telemark’s ISO 9001 and Lean Six Sigma Distinction

According to a recent press release from Telemark CNC, the company recently received its ISO 9001:2008 certification and is the only ISO 9001-certified company in the world to be owned by a Lean Six Sigma master black belt.

Telemark, which manufactures precision alloy and plastic OEM components, states on its website that Lean Six Sigma’s practices give the company’s leadership the ability to provide precision components and quality management. All of the company’s leadership is trained in Lean Six Sigma, and the practices are also applied to maintenance of the company’s equipment.

ISO 9001-2008 is a list of requirements that a company must follow in order to maintain its quality management designation. In addition to Lean Six Sigma training for the leadership of Telemark, the company leadership also engages in routine systems reviews, has ISO 9001 compliant systems, uses Key Performance Indicators and the latest engineering software and much more.

Telemark services customers from a number of different industries, including photonics, aerospace, renewable energy, telecommunications, energy distribution, automotive, cryogenic, refrigeration, and medical. Based in New Jersey, the company offers Swiss and conventional machining methods with more than twenty machines in over 12,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

Telemark has built its entire business on the foundation of Lean Six Sigma training and the knowledge it provides to its leadership. Why? Because Lean Six Sigma helps Telemark create quality products in an efficient manner, helps the company maintain its equipment, and helps management to understand ways to run the company better. Those are some pretty powerful reasons. If you’d like to find out how you can introduce your business to the success of Lean Six Sigma, contact us.

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Lean Six Sigma Success: Xerox is Doing It

Employees who are trained in Lean Six Sigma practices become expert at identifying waste, streamlining processes, and increasing company profits.

What is it that makes a company stand out as successful?  Quality, productivity, and great customer service each play an important role in a company’s success.  For Xerox, each of these attributes has been consistently enhanced since the company implemented the Lean Six Sigma program thirty years ago.  Although the program was originally only established at local levels, Lean Six Sigma was effective in improving company functioning.

Recently, in 2002, Xerox decided to implement Lean Six Sigma programs at a corporate level, rather than relying on local branches to implement the program.  According to a report the company website, Xerox is using Lean Six Sigma to enhance online services, bring ideas to market more quickly, and promote sustainable progress within the company.  The Lean Six Sigma program is helping Xerox cut costs, improve productivity, and provide great customer service by promoting innovation and reducing both waste and cost.

According to the Xerox website:

“To help organizations streamline operations and capitalize on limited resources, Xerox Black Belts and Green Belts provide volunteer leadership and coaching in community projects. By deepening their leadership and technical skills while giving back to their communities, both our people and the organizations they serve benefit.”

Xerox isn’t the only company that has seen success with the Lean Six Sigma program.  Companies such as Kraft and Molex have also both benefited from the implementation of Lean Six Sigma strategies.

Your company, too, can see increased productivity through the implementation of Lean Six Sigma.  Employees who are trained in Lean Six Sigma practices become expert at identifying waste, streamlining processes, and increasing company profits.  Want to learn more about the benefits of Lean Six Sigma for your company?  Please watch this short introductory video or contact us for more information on our Lean Six Sigma training programs.

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Six Sigma Project Presentations in a Nutshell

What we’re asking is actually very simple, namely how did you apply the Six Sigma process to pursue a real opportunity?

I’ve reviewed thousands of improvement projects. I’ve lost count of how many project presentations I’ve attended, either for certification purposes or for presentations to leaders. I’ve come to the conclusion that most Green Belts and Black Belts simultaneously present too much information, and not enough information. If I may speak to Green Belts and Black Belts on behalf of leaders and Master Black Belts everywhere, here’s what I’d like to say. What we’re asking is actually very simple, namely how did you apply the Six Sigma process to pursue a real opportunity? In other words, for your project just walk us through the L1 Six Sigma process shown in the figure, and do so in 45 minutes or less. I actually don’t even care if you use a PowerPoint template, or even if you have any slides whatever. I just want to hear a great Six Sigma success story.

Six Sigma L1 Map

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Project Selection – Getting a good one!

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support.

Project selection is critical to project success.  To insure you have the right project let me give you nine areas that you should think about and if any you do not have then I’d find another that has all nine as they ALL are important.

  1. Project Sponsorship – The project needs a High Level individual that is committed to seeing this project completed. Not just interested but a real need for him/her to see success.
  2. Benefits – You need to make sure you have well defined and measurable benefits agreed upon by you your team and your sponsor.
  3. Available Resources – You do not have a crystal ball so at this point you will not know all the resources that you will use but you do have an idea of some of the resource that it will take. Make sure that they will be available during the project when you need them.
  4. Scope in terms of your (the black belt) effort – Do you have the time to do the project and will it return a big enough benefit for your level of expertise.  This is really asking will it take to much of your time and you will need other Black Belt help or is it something that is a “go do project” that really does not need your Six Sigma Expertise to accomplish.
  5. Deliverables – Have the things that you need to accomplish well defined. This is not the benefits but the things you have to put in place to get the benefits. Think of this as the vision of the state you are trying to achieve.
  6. Time to Complete defined – Usually for a Black Belt project it should take more than 3 months but less than 12. Like some else said if the project is to big, break into pieces and make your first project one piece. BUT avoid making the problem a “Job”. You have to complete hand off and move on.
  7. Team – Do you have a true cross functional team? What I mean is do you have someone from every function that works the process you are trying to improve.
  8. Project Charter – This is where you have the project well defined. As mentioned by other if you do not have this you will not succeed.
  9. Approach Value – Like the Scope in terms of your effort ask yourself if this project really needs a Six Sigma approach to solve? Or can a group just go do it. Usually if the project has been suggested by someone who understands Six Sigma it will be and will need the DMAIC process to solve. But I have projects given to me to “Clean the lab”. In reality they just did not have time themselves to clean it. So hire someone to do that for less than you make and you use your talents on a project fitting them.

Well I hope that is help.

Good luck! Let me know if I can help any more.

Peter Bersbach

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Marana, Green Valley Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call  Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-829-0090  Now!

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