What Is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach or methodology to project management that eliminates defects in any process. It drives towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limitation.
Six Sigma mostly measures the quality of manufacturing output, but also the quality of products and services. Companies that have applied Six Sigma and found success with the approach include big enterprises such as Amazon, 3M, Boeing, Ford, GE, McKesson, Johnson Controls, GEICO, and the US Army and Marines. While Six Sigma isn’t the standard across all aspects of these companies, it can be applied where needed and show positive results.
What Are the Five Basic Stages of Six Sigma?
The five basic stages of Six Sigma are:
Six Sigma Certifications
If you want to get certified in Six Sigma, first you must have been involved in analyzing and solving quality issues. This means you have worked with Six Sigma, Lean project management, or any other quality-related projects.
These requirements also differ depending on the level of certification you’re seeking. Certification is offered by the International Association of Six Sigma, and there are three levels of certification.
The entry-level certification. The Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt has no experience or education requirements. The Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt is aimed at candidates who have a small role, interest, or need to develop foundational knowledge. Each certification candidate is required to pass an examination that consists of multiple choice questions that measure comprehension of the Body of Knowledge.
Six Sigma Green Belts are employees who spend some of their time on process improvement teams. They analyze and solve quality problems, and are involved with Six Sigma, lean or other quality improvement projects. The Six Sigma Green Belt certification requires three years of work experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge. Candidates must have worked in a full-time, paid role. Paid intern, co-op or any other course work cannot be applied toward the work experience requirement. Each certification candidate is required to pass an examination that consists of multiple choice questions that measure comprehension of the Body of Knowledge.
The most advanced certification and can be achieved two ways, either with three years’ experience in one or more of the areas mentioned above, plus one complete project with signed confirmation; or two complete projects with confirmations.