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Six Sigma is a methodology for increasing productivity and eliminating waste. It is a mode of thinking and approaching projects and problems that greatly enhances the output of any operation.

It works by identifying the amount of defects in a given process and developing strategies for eliminating them thereby maximizing the potential of a team or workforce. Its emphasis is on turning practical problems into statistical problems making it easier to identify the changes to the process that will be most effective in creating a more efficient work flow. Simply put, Lean Six Sigma aims to increase process capability in order to more consistently meet customer needs, while eliminating waste. Students complete training and a project to receive Lean Six Sigma certification.

200368966-001The word “Sigma” is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection. The central idea behind Lean Six Sigma certification is that if you can measure how many defects you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to zero defects as possible. Six sigma utilizes an improvement process known as DMAIC, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. It’s a systematic and scientific way of honing in on the problems that are slowing down the production of your organization and finding ways of correcting them using statistical information and practical application. Throughout any process there are countless opportunities for defects to occur, the purpose of Six Sigma is to decrease the frequency of these defects.

By identifying the problems that have the most potential for improvement, discovering the root causes of these problems and creating a measurement system of the effect they have on the output you can begin making adjustments based on statistical information. If the principles are applied correctly, a successful Six Sigma project can reduce the amount of defects to 3.4 per million opportunities, saving your organization countless dollars, time and energy.

Ready to get certified? Here’s what to look for.

Lean Six Sigma Certifications and Certificates. The primary difference between the two is first-hand experience.

Certification is for the ranks of Green Belt and Black Belt and Certificates for the ranks of White Belt and Yellow Belt.

Certification is offered for professionals with experience applying the concepts and methodologies to improvement projects. This illustrates a firm grasp of the knowledge and demonstrates a proven level of capability in applying the skills covered by the applicable Body of Knowledge.

The Certification validates an individual’s mastery and competency in the application of the material covered by the Body of Knowledge to the level certified. Certification requires that an individual demonstrates both practical and academic knowledge. Practical knowledge will be assessed through the review of actual project work and response to essay type questions. Academic knowledge will be assessed through evidence of course completion at the level of desired certification and through multiple choice questions.

Certificates are awarded to those who have obtained the knowledge of Lean Six Sigma methodologies and concepts but have not yet had the opportunity to apply them in the field. The certificate signifies that the individual has successfully completed a training program and can demonstrate and understanding of the material covered in the body of knowledge. Certificates sometimes require the completion of a relevant training program, as well as passing an exam on the relevant Body of Knowledge.