How Long Does It Take To Acquire A Yellow Belt In Six Sigma?

What is a Six Sigma Yellow Belt?

The Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification is a training for those who have a passion to develop basic knowledge on Six Sigma and are not acquainted with Six Sigma before. They can be representatives of the entry level who want to get familiarized to the concepts of Six Sigma. They will be well equipped to support and work with the green belts in the organization. Six Sigma is a step by step process and this can be considered as one of the basics or the platforms upon which professionals build their Six Sigma capabilities.

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It is perfect for aspirants who want to make their projects successful and implement Six Sigma methodologies in the organization. It enables individuals to participate effectively in projects and contribute to the team. He will be made aware of the various tools and techniques used in Six Sigma.

Two Different paths to certification:

There are 2 different paths to earn your Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification.

1. Individuals who are already well acquainted with the topics covered in the Yellow Belt Certification and have received training can directly appear for a Standard Comprehensive examination.

2. Individuals who use Self Study Guides and prepare either independently or with a training provider can take several short exams as they progress through different sessions. This path also allows you to take other levels of examinations such as a white, green and black belt, without additional exam fees by taking the various exams as they progress through their certification journey.

Both these paths will lead you to the yellow belt certification. These tests will be an open-book and non-times examination. It is suggested that people who are new to this opt for the second path and also get to reduce their overall examination and certification costs.

How long does it take?

It generally takes one to three weeks to complete the Six Sigma Yellow belt certification program. The certification is meant for beginners and hence tests their understanding of the key practices of Six Sigma. The course is, however, self-paced and enables you to move at the speed you are comfortable with. If you have previous experience, you may be able to finish it even faster. You have up to one year to complete it. The exam itself takes only 1 hour to complete and has about 35 to 55 questions. The study material is specifically designed to help you prepare for this exam. It covers all the key topics that have to be understood by the professional. The Six Sigma Yellow Belt certifications do not require you to complete a project in order to be eligible to attempt the qualifying exam.

Follow This 7 Six Sigma Traits To Become A Change Agent In Your Organization

We have all been hearing about Six Sigma and how it has been a revolution in modern business. Let us take a look at what Six Sigma is and how you can learn from it to benefit your organization.

Six Sigma is a business methodology that brings about an improvement in business processes. It utilizes Statistical analysis instead of using intuition or guesswork while making a major decision in the organization thereby ensuring the best possible outcomes. If you undergo training, you will be assisted from the process of training and certification to implementation of the strategies in your company. Employees of a company can get certified at various belt levels such as black, white, green, yellow etc.

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The color represents your proficiency. For example, a black belt will have successfully led ten or more teams through complex Six Sigma projects. He or she is a proven change agent, i.e. a leader, a facilitator, and a technical expert in Six Sigma management. Here are some Traits that you should learn in order to become a Change Agent in your organization.

1. To become an effective change agent, you must recognize the importance of your own perceptions and the perceptions of those around you. To solve complex problems or bring about change, you should choose to perceive situations in a way that you will act as an agent who is in control, rather than someone who accepts bad outcomes and feels like a victim of fate.

2. You should take ownership of the outcomes that come as a result of your decisions or actions and remedy them or think of possible remedies for the future.

3. Do not seek directions from people constantly. Instead of being instructed on getting something done, Change Agents take initiative and constantly better themselves to benefit the company and the business.

4. Give credit to others. This is an important aspect of being a leader and Change Makers are always good leaders. Give credit to those who work with you and acknowledge their contributions and achievements, This will motivate them to consistently work better.

5. Learn from your mistakes. Learning is a continuous process. As mentioned earlier, you have to take ownership of your actions. Making a mistake is natural and this may bring negative outcomes. Analyze the outcomes and mistakes and learn from them.

6. Share Information before it is needed. This is a very important trait of any Change Agent. If you possess information that another person may need to perform a task, don’t wait for the last moment before sharing it. Sharing it beforehand may save you precious work hours and assist in the planning of the task more efficiently.

7. Overcome your fear of the unknown: Reorganization or other large changes may be necessary for the success of a project or better results. Do not hesitate or fear the unknown impacts this might bring about. Perform an analysis of the possible impacts and make a decision based on the results.

Developing Leadership: Six Sigma Efficient Platform

Six Sigma is a time-tested method for improving your business and getting better results. But what is it that makes Six Sigma professionals better leaders? What skills and knowledge do they acquire that develops their leadership potential? Let’s find out.

1.Hands On experience:

Leadership comprises of skills that are learned through hands-on experience. The project work given by Six Sigma to professionals will include:
• Completing multiple projects in different functional areas
• Using Six Sigma tools and techniques
• Developing insights into leadership competencies
• Analyzing and improving processes
• Deep understanding of their task as well as tasks of their associates.

2.Business Knowledge:

Six Sigma helps professional accumulate an important understanding of the company, its business strategies, objectives, and its products and services. They also gain knowledge about relevant markets, customers and decision making. This gives them a perspective that is broader than that of a normal employee. It also gives them experience in networking and developing contacts. They are also equipped with the knowledge to focus on strategy related issues and not be distracted by low-priority tasks.

3.Management and improvement:

A Six Sigma leader knows to identify the most important tasks and monitor them. He knows to look out for indicators and improve processes to achieve better outcomes. He can also make good decisions. They are trained to think cross-functionally and look at the various factors involved while making a choice. They take into account various expectations and requirements and redesign processes to work towards continuous improvement.

4.Change Agents:

Six Sigma leaders start with a small-scale project and start implementing changes. They look at all the factors involved, consider all possible outcomes and bring about changes in the processes to improve efficiency. They learn how to overcome resistance to change and soon move on to bigger projects. They are equipped with active listening skills as well as strong communication skills. This helps them successfully guide people through the transition phase. Their interpersonal skills make them good and influential leaders.
Now that we know how Six Sigma enables professionals to become leaders let us look at certain things to keep in mind while using Six Sigma to develop leaders.

1. You need to select the right talent to ensure that the best people become the best leaders of teams tomorrow. A good candidate should be one who takes initiatives and performs tasks with minimum supervision. He should be able to work with a team as well mentor and communicate effectively. Above all, he must be an enthusiastic and energetic person with a passion to do better.

2. Developing a clear progression path is very important. Six Sigma is not a temporary assignment. It is a continuous process and therefore needs a clear structure and planning. The leaders must be aware of the role they will play along this path and contribute towards the common goal.

3. You may also need to provide the candidates with additional training such as developing strategy, financial planning. Marketing and sales techniques etc.

Six Sigma is a very efficient platform to convert your professionals into leaders. They are well equipped and trained to face challenges and make choices while guiding peers towards improved results. Six Sigma, therefore, is a highly useful tool to develop leadership and nurture the potential in your organization.

5S Tools Of Lean Sigma That companies Should Focus On

The lean methodology also defines a workplace organization methodology called 5S. It ensures work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. Initially, 5S was implemented only in the manufacturing arena. 5S began as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS), the manufacturing method begun by leaders at the Toyota Motor Company in the early and mid-20th century. This system is often referred to as Lean manufacturing in the West. It has now expanded into all sectors of business and has shown proven results for faster and better performance.

The 5 ‘S’ stands for 5 Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. Let us look at what they mean and how they can be implemented in the workplace.

•Seiri means Sorting and prioritizing. You go through all the materials and tools available and keep only the essential items. The unnecessary ones are discarded or stored away. Keeping only the required information means only that particular data will be analyzed. This fastens up the process greatly.

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•Seiton means Straighten or set in order. Focus on efficiency. Arrange the tools and equipment in an orderly fashion that assists the workflow. Ensure that everything stays in place. While performing analysis or process, having the data in a particular order can save you a lot of time.

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•Seisō means Shining or cleanliness: Systematically clean the workplace to keep it neat and clean. At the end of the day, everything is restored to its original place and the workplace is cleaned up. When your workplace and reports are clean, your data is easily accessible.

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•Seiketsu means Standardizing: Align your work practices such that you operate in a consistent and consistent fashion. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are and adhere to the previous three S’s.

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•Shitsuke means Sustain the discipline. This is done by Maintaining and reviewing standards.

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5S Implementation Rules To Generate Successful Reports Using Six Sigma

5s implementation defines rules that eliminate waste as well as maintain a clean working environment. It is easy for employees to start following and doesn’t require much technical knowledge and can be followed globally. Small to large scale manufacturing plants, offices and even multinational businesses organizations can adopt these practices. It is simple, practical and applicable to all sectors. It is one of the first steps you need to adapt to eliminate waste in your business. It is an innovative management technique that helps employees manage their offices better. Let us look at the various steps involved in successfully implementing 5S for improving productivity and all-round development.

1. Analyze your business:

Do you feel like it is a struggle to locate documents, files or tools in your office? Is everyone aware of their roles and responsibilities and how to keep your workplace organized? If not, you probably need to better analyze your office and your work process. The best solution available at your dispose of is 5S.

2. The 5S Methodology:

The 5 ‘S’s stand for 5 Japanese words that begin with S. Let us look at the equivalent terms in English and how they play a role in the 5S Methodology.

Sort:All tools, material, and documents need to be sorted and categorized into groups. Unrequired things need to be discarded or stored away.

Store:After organizing everything, they need to be stored categorically. All storage location need to be labeled for easy access.

Shine:Clean and remove dirt, trash, dirt etc from all surfaces. Cleanliness provides a better and safe environment to work in.

Standardize:Get your workplace to systematically perform the above steps in a methodical and standardized manner. Set schedules so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and adheres to them.

Sustain:This is perhaps the most difficult part of the 5S methodology. Incorporate the 5S methodology as a part of your work culture and maintain it over a continued period of time to see valid improvements.

3. The Plan of Action:

The first step to implement 5S and put into action is to train your staff. Then you should follow up by conducting one-day sessions to check on their implementation and clarify any doubts regarding the process.

4. Standardize and Sustain:

Encourage employees to work together and conduct peer audits. This can ensure they stick to the plan and standardize business processes. Define roles and responsibilities for all individuals in the office and appraise them for the same.

Conclusion:
Now that you know the basics of the 5S methodology it is time to try it out yourself. These 4 simple steps can pave your way to a standardized and well-organized workplace.

5 secrets of Success: Six Sigma Orientation

Six Sigma and Lean have formulated the success of many businesses in industries world wide. From huge multinationals to start-ups, all walks of business life has been transformed by Six Sigma. So let us look at the secrets of their success and how these company’s adopted Six Sigma to change their business processes.

1. Focusing on data as well as Management:

Lean Manufacturing does a thorough analysis of data present as well as marketing philosophy. It creates an environment for better outputs and elimination of wastage. It connects the customer’s needs to the company’s management strategy and then creates a process flow that generates best possible results.

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2. Continous Improvement:

Lean production and Six Sigma focuses on continous improvement. It analyses the results of every process and the end results of a project and then makes constant improvements inorder to reduce the defects produced at the end of every cycle. It also recommends the active participation of all employees and gives them the responsibility of achieving best possible results. With well trained and motivated employees, your targets become easier to reach.

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3. Customer Satisfaction:

The rapid improvement of customer satisfaction facilitated by Six Sigma, Ensures that your customers remain loyal to you. While attracting new customers to your business is a very important aspect of your business, retaining your current customers and maintain long-term business links with them is very advantageous for your business. Six Sigma studies the data available and points out the critical aspects of a product that plays a major role in customer satisfaction.

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4. Time Management:

A lot of companies lose sight of their goal or their quality standards while they rush to meet deadlines. These goals or standards are often not set taking time management into account. Six Sigma helps you set Smart Goals on an efficient Timeline that helps achieve the best possible results.

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5. Strategy Development:

All good businesses need a good strategy. This is one of the main areas Six Sigma focuses on. It identifies specific areas where a company need to perform better to improve its status in the market and works on building a strategy for thSourcee same.
With Six Sigma and Lean strategies that focus on the overall improvement of your business, and goal oriented progress it is assured to reach your success goals.

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The 5 important six sigma tips that you should remember

The 5 important six sigma tips that you should remember

Six Sigma is a statistics-based, disciplined and continuous approach that is data-driven, which eliminates defects in a product or service. Most of the companies around the world have adopted six sigma as their approach to delivering to their clients and have faced beneficial results.

The word sigma stands for the standard deviation which is a measure of the variation in a data set collected about the process. In simple terms, six sigma ensures that for a given process, the outcome falls between a specified rate. If an undesired variation does occur due to natural process variations, you will still have a buffer between the obtained value and the permissible limit provided by the client. For example, if your client requires a material with a diameter between 45.68mm and 45. 74mm, then your process mean would be 45.71mm.

It also measures a process performance based on defects per million. An improvement from 3 sigma to 4 sigma can greatly improve your results and customer satisfaction. It also ensures that you continuously work towards improving so that you achieve the target of a perfect six sigma. It consists of many practices that can be adopted by small, large or even home businesses that can make a huge difference. Let us look at some of the things to keep in mind which we can learn from the six sigma methodology.

  1. Proper Documentation of Goals:

Every great project or establishment starts with a goal. This helps us focus our efforts, whether it is a short term or long term venture. These act as our roadmap and hence should be clearly stated and documented for reference and perusal. Make sure it is a chronological order based on your timeline and priority.

  1. Proper planning:

This is quite an obvious factor that leads to the success of most ventures. It requires effort, expertise and time to get it done right. This basically involves asking 2 questions:

    1. What should be done?
    2. When should it be complete?
    3. Understanding the root cause of a problem:

We often face problems while we execute any project. These problems need to be solved efficiently and that can be done only by understanding what exactly the problem is and what causes it. Six Sigma advices us to understand and document the problem before trying to fix it. This can also help to deal with similar problems in the future.

  1. Be precise:

In order to achieve a specific goal, your attempts and the resources put in should also be specific and precise. Being generic may work a couple times, but the sure shot way to ensure things are happening right is to set down goals and targets and deadlines. You will also need to be specific about the resources you dedicate to a particular project and the team of people who work together to ensure its success.

  1. Use data to make a decision:

Regardless of your experience and meticulous planning, you are only human and often the decisions we make may not be as efficient as we think it may be. Six Sigma teaches us that, basing your decisions on data that is relevant to a given scenario can prove to be a blessing. Find out and use the numerical data and analyze it such that you may take a decision that best aids your achievement of a goal.

Six Sigma is a powerful methodology that when implemented effectively can bring great success. Keep these 6 tips in mind to boost the performance of your venture.

 

Why is the Measure Phase important in Lean Six Sigma DMAIC?

The DMAIC Improvement Process comprises five phases namely, Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control. The Measure phase is all about understanding the key performance measures associated with the process and setting the baseline for improvement measurement. The most important objective of this phase is to establish the current state so you know where you are before making any process changes. How often have changes been implemented with the belief that a problem was solved, but there was no way to validate the success or failure of those changes?

In this article, we are going to discuss the objectives of Measure, the deliverables to be achieved, and why this phase is important?

The overall objective of Phase is to collect enough pertinent information related to customer-facing metrics to establish the current state baseline of performance before any changes to the process are made. During the Define and Measure Phases of DMAIC, the project team often identifies issues where immediate corrective actions could be applied. The caution is to wait for the baseline to be established so the improvements can be measured and validated.

Objectives

  1. Establish current baseline performance of the process.
  2. Finalize the business case and set the point to measure improvements from.
  3. Understand the existing process conditions, the sources of the problems, and the magnitude of the impact caused by the problems.
  4. Determine What to Measure, Where, When, and How much data and information to collect that will answer specific questions about process performance and customer requirements.

How often have improvements been implemented and their success or failure is not immediately determined because measurement capability hasn’t been established? Once the baseline of performance is known the implementation of corrective actions may begin. The improvement team doesn’t have to wait until the Analyse and Improve Phases are completed before improvements are implemented.

When Lean Six Sigma projects dragon waiting for the Improve phase of DMAIC to implement improvements the leadership team may lose patience. That is why it is always recommendable to encourage the improvement teams to implement the Kaizen Improvements that were identified early on in the projects as soon as the baseline performance has been established in the Measure phase.

After completion of the phase exit review, the improvement team can begin to implement corrective actions identified during the Define and Measure phases of the DMAIC Improvement Process. The tougher problems that don’t have clearly identifiable solutions will be tackled during the final three phases, namely Analyze, Improve, and Control. The measurement capability established provides the data required for sound business decisions during the remaining phases of DMAIC.

From this article, hope you have understood what are the objectives and goals of Measure Phase and why this phase plays an imperative role in the Six Sigma DMAIC process.

Road Map for trained Six Sigma Green Belts

Much has been heard about the driving force behind Six Sigma implementations – the Black Belts. But what about the Green Belts? This article introduces these talented professionals and how they make the project run behind the scenes.

Roadmap for Green Belts

Green belts are change agents who carry out the Six Sigma duties along with their regular responsibilities. Typically, they would be putting in up to 5% of their time into Six Sigma activities. The Black Belts undertake projects which are cross-functional in nature. However, the Green Belts would be handling small projects in particular process level. These projects are short and relevant to the process in consideration. However small, they have a tremendous impact on the enterprise. Thus, minor problem areas and waste are sorted out at a quick pace. The Black Belts usually assist with multiple projects being handled by Green Belts.

Organizations that don’t have experienced Black Belts to handle bigger projects have to build a roadmap to tackle certain issues. In such cases, the Green Belts can be very valuable. They have to review the processes and figures related to the process and use this information to improve the satisfaction level of the customers. They also have to undertake the roles of Six Sigma project originators and leaders, displaying exemplary skills in local process areas.

Training and Skills of Six Sigma Green Belts

Six Sigma training involves using the DMAIC model to get the desired results. The Green Belts need to understand the processes, the constraints involved and create a roadmap for improvement of such areas. They must also be able to learn the usage and the creation of the process behaviour charts.

Another tool that they can utilize is QFD (Quality Function Deployment), which enables them to understand in-depth customer requirements. The reduction in defects ensures that there is minimum wastage as well as improved customer satisfaction. The Green Belts should be able to approach the customers to understand their needs and the quality they expect.

Green Belts have to utilize the DMAIC model as a problem-solving measure, for which they are well-trained. They should also be aware of control charts, which allow them to monitor and control process progress. With a communication plan in hand that is reviewed regularly, they can ensure the success of the project.

The Green Belts have to undergo classroom training. The training covers all the basic Six Sigma tools and concepts, project management, descriptive data analysis and quality control tools.

As with any Six Sigma project, a roadmap is required to proceed. This is specially related to organizations that are new to Six Sigma and don’t have any experienced Black Belts to take control. The role of the Green Belts is critical to the success of any Six Sigma project. A proper roadmap for Green Belts is just as relevant as a roadmap for the entire Six Sigma project.

The world of hospitality and Six Sigma

Six Sigma is traditionally a process used in business and industry. Its scope has widened greatly and is now applicable to many more domains, including the hospitality sector. Six Sigma is a set of principles used to improve business practices to reduce the number of defects or undesirable events within an organization. Undesirable events lead to poor customer service and smaller profits. Organizations that are related to the hospitality sector and want to retain customers, possess a competitive advantage, and remain profitable, should implement Six Sigma principles in an effort to maintain a certain standard.

The hospitality industry is an industry which deals with customers non-stop. By adopting Six Sigma methodology, you can create increased productivity and satisfaction in the following areas,

  1. An increase in customer loyalty
  2. A reduction in employee turnover
  3. Reduction in cost
  4. An outstanding increase in revenue
  5. Increased balance in employee’s work-life

Let’s take a look at how hospitality industry can get benefitted by using Six Sigma methodologies.

Hotels give a better customer service: A Hospitality industry needs to deal with different types of guests from gauche to timid to fussy to stubborn. Nowadays, the guests are very demanding and if don’t satisfy them with the best quality services, then they will definitely shift their interests. With the help of Six Sigma approaches, you can provide them with the necessary information in more accurately. Not only this, Six Sigma method also reduces peak time check ins and check outs, lessening in housekeeping room turnaround times and above all improve in customer loyalty.

Food and beverage industry: Food and beverage play an important role in the field of the hospitality sector. Six Sigma methodologies can also bring a positive impact in these parts also. Areas that can be improved by employing Six Sigma methodologies are,

  1. Turnaround time between an order placement and the delivery
  2. Decrease and control in inventory distribution
  3. Waste and theft product
  4. Food and beverage output

Purchasing and stores: Customer satisfaction dictates policies, procedures, sales, markdowns, and anything else associated with shopping malls, stores, department stores, delis, hotels, and restaurants. Six Sigma can make an impact in stores in the following areas,

  1. Seasonal cost-benefit analysis
  2. The decrease in inventory surplus
  3. The decrease in disbursement time to in-store departments
  4. Standardize the operating procedure of issuance to various departments

Sales & marketing and front office operations: Six Sigma plays a pivotal role in Sales & marketing and front office operations of a hotel industry. Six Sigma can improve in this areas.

  1. Eliminate billing errors
  2. Reduce no-shows
  3. Increase the occupancy rate
  4. Reduce or eliminate loss calls
  5. Increase customer delight

So, these are some areas where the hospitality industry can get benefited by implementing Six Sigma methodologies. Starwood hotels and resorts Worldwide Inc was the first hospitality company in the world which embraced Six Sigma in 2001 and since then, it extends this best practice to all properties worldwide. No matter how big or how small your business in the hospitality industry may be, all can benefit from Six Sigma and its tools, methodologies, concepts, and philosophies.