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Kaizen Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training
Six Sigma Continuous Improvement Principles
Six Sigma Yellow Belt training is the first rung in the ladder of Six Sigma qualifications. Six Sigma is the revolutionary process improvement methodology that has revived and energized major corporations from Motorola to General Electric over the past twenty years. This Hub explains the concept of Six Sigma continuous improvement and most importantly the vital role that a Yellow Belt, as a front-line operative responsible for day-to-day process performance, has to play.
These are the key levels of Six Sigma certification:
Master Black Belts: Lean sigma experts who champion quality across organizational boundaries. Master Black Belt certification is a highly sought after qualification and normally requires an advanced degree in statistics, engineering or similar.
Black Belts: Full-time Six Sigma experts who are skilled in deploying the DMAIC metholodogy - meaning Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.
Green Belts: Line managers and supervisors who are responsible for assisting Black Belts in their daily work and implementing process change in their areas.
Yellow Belts: Plant-level operatives and call center workers - the people who actually do the work on a day to day basis. Lean manufacturing yellow belt training is designed to reach these vital employees. These people are at the coal face and are the primary people responsible for actually ensuring the long-term success of a Six Sigma program.
Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification recognizes not just when someone has attained a level of competence in the fundamental principles - but most importantly in the actual implementation of these projects.
The first and most important requirement is an understanding of the basics.
Six Sigma - what it means, how the bell curve works, and the practical meaning of 3.4 million defects per million opportunities. This equates to world class process performance. The key thing is to focus on the "Cost of Poor Quality" (COPQ) - i.e. the end impact on the customer.
Basic tools for analyzing problems. A Cause and Effect matrix, a Fishbone (Ishikawa diagram) and the Y=f(x) technique of root cause analysis are all essential skills that every employee can and should master. Everyone should be familiar with designing and preparing a Yamazumi diagram. The technique of "Seven Whys" (Why is this so?) is an effective method of drilling down to what is really driving the poor performance of a process. 5S quality techniques are a helpful ancillary discipline that sustain a meticulously efficient working environment and quality mind-set.
Poka-Yoke solutions. These are improvements that can be made instantly and without seeking the approval of management. They can be simple, expedient and are decidedly not rocket science.One of my own project achieved some of its greatest sigma score improvements on a project simply involved setting a filing cabinet. One of the greatest myths of Six Sigma is that you have to plot Box-Cox transformations or response surface methodology to tackle simple problems. That would be like using a pneumatic drill to open a bottle of wine! Following the age-old principle of Occam's razor, we should recognize that the simplest solutions are often the best.
Cultural commitment to quality. Six Sigma Yellow Belt training does not equip an individual to lead projects. But it can deliver something just as important - trigger a quality mind-set, an awareness of lean management principles and a commitment to kaizen, or continuous improvement. This long-term commitment to quality must become cultural, inner and ingrained, rather than driven purely by numbers. Deming in his Fourteen Points famously told us to "Abandon targets and exhortations" because he famously realized that real change comes from within. Six Sigma continuous improvement training can be a hugely formative step in this process as well as the gateway to levels of deeper immersion in those core lean Six Sigma principles.
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