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Mastering Lean Six Sigma

Mastering Lean Six Sigma

Our Lean Six Sigma classes welcomed a new instructor this fall. Jana Jenkins joins our staff, leading our Yellow and Green Belt evening courses. She works full time as the Lean Six Sigma Leader for WellStar Health System and brings more than 16 years of experience as a certified Lean Leader and Master Black Belt to the classroom.

We sat down with Jana to dive deeper into the field and learn what we can expect from her classes.

What is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma is a problem solving methodology that incorporates a suite of tools, tollgates as you move from one phase to another, and statistics to prove a change was made. Lean Six Sigma is a journey which results in tremendous savings.

What is the difference between Lean and Six Sigma?
Many years ago, companies mostly used Six Sigma methodology which focused on reducing defects to improve quality. Removing issues and defects resulted in improved quality.

While the problems and projects were being worked on during several months’ time frame, the business was not benefitting from the changes or solutions. Lean was incorporated to reduce variation to increase speed. Variation equates to processes not being standardized, resulting in less predictability.

Both Lean and Six Sigma coupled together allows businesses to not only fix the problems, but get the processes standardized and then rolled out to the rest of the business much faster.

What is the difference in the Yellow Belt and Green Belt?
Lean Six Sigma certification begins with becoming Yellow Belt certified. The training covers the foundation of the methodology, an introduction to the statistical process control elements, and focuses on the practical application of a very small scoped project, typically led by one person with perhaps a few other team members. This project should be completed within three months.

Green Belts earn their certification by learning additional concepts, understanding how data and statistics can lead them in understanding where to focus efforts on and completing a department-wide project. Teams typically consist of less than 10 people and include cross-functional members.

Who should take these classes?
Anyone can take the classes, even if you have been exposed to very minimal math. Lean Six Sigma is great for college students starting out in the workplace, seasoned professionals who want to continue their education and business owners who need to become more competitive. If you’re currently between jobs, this can be a great addition to your résumé.

What are a few of the top skills learned in the class?
Lean Six Sigma is based on the foundation of the DMAIC tollgates (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) along with a variety of lean tools. Learning how to define and properly scope a problem is one of the first steps.

Statistical analysis is introduced to learn about data, how to create and interpret control charts, while the practical analysis is taught on how to lead projects and engage team members, to ultimately place the solutions in control.

Finally, businesses want to see a return on their investment and how the solutions translate into quality improvements, increased revenue, increased staff and customer satisfaction, reduced man hours applied to a project, and reduced cost — just to name a few.

What job industries does the knowledge from these classes translate to?
Lean Six Sigma can be applied to any industry, any business and any department because it is a methodology, not industry specific.

Product based companies can increase capacity while reducing time to get a completed product out the door. Service related companies can focus on increasing customer service ratings while reducing time.

Whether a business is manufacturing, medical, utility, transportation, marketing, engineering, education, finance, nonprofit, food related, retail (and much more), there’s always opportunity for improvement. Some businesses have mapped out a plan to take them on the Lean Six Sigma journey and continually make improvements trying to achieve Six Sigma.

Take Two
As a special incentive for this program, we’re offering a 10% discount when you register for both the Green Belt and Yellow Belt courses. Call to register and receive the discount: 470-578-6765.

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