Six Sigma

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thejuice03
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Six Sigma

Post by thejuice03 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:31 pm

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had a Six Sigma certification. I'm trying to determine the value of spending time on obtaining the certification. I'm not 100% positive of the benefits of it. I have heard of it before, but really started thinking of it after reading "Winning" by Jack Welch. It seems like it's beneficial for manufacturing type industries, but I also have heard it's a great line of thinking and developing mental models.

A new executive that I straight line report to has a black belt certification, he thinks highly of it. I can see only benefits of even getting the simplest certification just to think the same way as him, and because it's important to him/ he thinks highly of it. He has recently joined the company and is still forming opinions of staff.

I should add that I don't think my company thinks highly of an MBA as an advantage so I'm looking for different options. Thanks!

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rob
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by rob » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:46 pm

thejuice03 wrote:A new executive that I straight line report to has a black belt certification, he thinks highly of it.
I think you typed the benefit :D I have some certs that are useful only for internal purposes because my mgt think highly of it :D I work with a few people that have lower levels SS and to be honest I don't see the benefit any more than experience etc.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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Bounca
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by Bounca » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:17 am

What is your company? Or, what is your career path/intent?

I "have" a green belt certification via my previous employer and from an online course thorugh Villanova U. My boss was a black belt.

In regards to my first question, if you are in the quality manufacturing field then the statistical experience for optimizing the manufacturing process is very valuable (again, generally speaking because i don't know what you do). If you're looking for the lean and 5S methodology six sigma is also beneficial as it captures that, but for lean there are gobs of 'side' certifications you could get just for that an avoid the more intensive six sigma cert. Lean is not rocket science, but the six sigma statistical aspect somewhat is in my opinion.

There is also ASQ certification that I'm interested in doing, as my career has been in science and pharmaceuctial manufacturing.

I feel that all of these are most certainly resume builders.

takeshi
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by takeshi » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:36 am

There's always a bit of subjectivity when it comes to matters of value on any topic. Given this:
thejuice03 wrote:A new executive that I straight line report to has a black belt certification, he thinks highly of it.
It sounds like it could be of value to you.

nolesrule
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by nolesrule » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:43 am

It really depends on the value that your current and/or future employers put in the certification. Sometimes having a specific line on your resume gives you an edge over other candidates when applying for a new position or a promotion, but only if the people reading your resume put value in it.

dbr
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by dbr » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:50 am

I think it could be helpful. I don't see how it would hurt unless you somehow run into someone above you who is in a reaction to some of the foolishness that can sometimes accompany that approach.

I think there are many tools in the system that are useful and applicable in many situations. A caveat is that the usefulness may depend on how systematically the organization buys in. It is not for the lone ranger. That may be a warning.

Disclaimer: I am not a six-sigma belt anything (or maybe I do have some belt something, but I never paid attention to that) but spent years working and practicing in an organization with a serious implementation of the system.

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nisiprius
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by nisiprius » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:47 am

Irrelevant grumble. I lost all respect for Six Sigma when I discovered that "Six Sigma" is really only 4.5σ. Someone just decided to add 1.5 to everything for no good reason other than to make it look or, more likely, sound better.
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acanthurus
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by acanthurus » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:59 am

Removed
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ResearchMed
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:25 am

nisiprius wrote:Irrelevant grumble. I lost all respect for Six Sigma when I discovered that "Six Sigma" is really only 4.5σ. Someone just decided to add 1.5 to everything for no good reason other than to make it look or, more likely, sound better.
^ This, and what dbr said, about the foolishness.

For the life of me, I could not figure out what "SIX sigma" had to do with it, or how it was calculated. Or why.

It was like the "5 by 5 matrix meetings" of group heads.
When I arrived, I envisioned a large meeting room of the top 5 members from each of 5 related (or not?) groups/committees within the organization, or perhaps some group of 25.

Nope.
"5x5 matrix" simply meant.... "5". Full stop. The heads of 5 committees. Five people.

Those two were my first real introduction to "corporate speak", I suppose.

About the "5x5 matrix", I guess I made quite a fool of myself briefly, when I kept asking what the two axes were. (At least I didn't pronounce them like two weapons or forestry tools, so hopefully that helped at least a bit.)
And when the answer was something like "the heads of the five committees", I asked, but what's on the *other* axis? And "who are the 25 total people?" once I figured out we were actually talking about people, and not some linear algebra...
Or at least *ten* people, in case "5x5" really meant "5+5"... but not just simply 5.

But the Six Sigma? Yup, "why SIX?" I wasn't even sure they were referring to the *same* sigma,"σ" . No one could define what "σ" actually was.
It was not defined anywhere in the handouts that were distributed.
But "it" was going to vastly improve everything.
How to implement it? No, apparently it wasn't actually going to be implemented, or so it seemed.
I moved to a different division/location about 2 years later, still having never seen how this was actually used anywhere at all.

It's the jargon that bollixes up everything all too often, making it appear tricky, like only the "experts" can understand it.
I see too much of the same with the "precision" of investing advice and terminology.

/end of rant/blasphemy.

RM
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anonenigma
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by anonenigma » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:10 pm


Jack FFR1846
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:23 pm

I took 2 weeks of six sigma training before belts were invented. I learned that when doing a design that had to work +/-6, design so it'll work +/-10. Also that toyota corolla release was delayed a model year to work the bugs out and paid off with a lack of repairs while the Ford Escort was released with lots of known problems and that as a model, lost money over its entire life because of constant warrantee repairs.

I later tool a 2 day course at a new company where I learned that removing redundant steps in a process saves money. A coworker received his black belt. I pointed out that I spent 9 years earning my "real" black belt (karate).
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barnaclebob
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:35 pm

nisiprius wrote:Irrelevant grumble. I lost all respect for Six Sigma when I discovered that "Six Sigma" is really only 4.5σ. Someone just decided to add 1.5 to everything for no good reason other than to make it look or, more likely, sound better.
I didnt know that, I always thought sigma referred to standard deviation. I too have lost all respect for it.

astrohip
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by astrohip » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:38 pm

I went thru Six Sigma training directly from GE around 10-15 years ago. We were a big GE customer, and they were offering it to some of us, to help spread the religion. At the time, GE was very deep into the Six Sigma koolaid.

I actually found it useful. Like anything else, there's good and bad. I enjoyed the methodology, the process of walking thru a current system, and discovering the actual process flow. We didn't implement a pure Six Sigma, but many of us did use some of what we learned to help us manage our areas.

To me, it was like many other seminars, in that you can almost always find some kernels to take away, to help you be a better manager. And I felt Six Sigma offered more than its fair share of take-away value.

I'll always remember something I learned, from the first day. They were giving us a general overview of how it had helped GE. They told the story of GE Appliance service; their goal at the time was to offer the fastest response humanly possible to a service call. So if someone called in the morning, they would try to get out that afternoon.

What they learned was people didn't want the fastest response, they wanted an appointment at their convenience. Don't tell me you can be there this afternoon, I'm at work now. Tell me you can be there Wed morning before 10am, then I can plan my day. It seems obvious in hindsight, but at the time, it was groundbreaking stuff for them.

So my take-home value, and a lesson I've carried forever, is don't create systems that do what you think the customer wants. Find out what really matters, and create around that. This probably has nothing to do with real Six Sigma, but I learned it from GE/SS, and it proved invaluable over the years.
"Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being." - R Branson

astrohip
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by astrohip » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:42 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:I later tool a 2 day course at a new company where I learned that removing redundant steps in a process saves money.
This was one of the things I learned from SS. They taught us how to map out, really map out, a process from start to finish. Then go thru it and figure out how to simplify it, remove redundancies, eliminate waste and areas for confusion, etc. I remember mapping out a simply order taking process, or so we thought. I think we had something like 50-60 stickies on the whiteboard showing process flow. We reduced it by half, eliminating steps that offered no real value. It's amazing how clear things become when you look at them that way.
"Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being." - R Branson

dbr
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by dbr » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:07 pm

astrohip wrote:I went thru Six Sigma training directly from GE around 10-15 years ago. We were a big GE customer, and they were offering it to some of us, to help spread the religion. At the time, GE was very deep into the Six Sigma koolaid.

I actually found it useful. Like anything else, there's good and bad. I enjoyed the methodology, the process of walking thru a current system, and discovering the actual process flow. We didn't implement a pure Six Sigma, but many of us did use some of what we learned to help us manage our areas.

To me, it was like many other seminars, in that you can almost always find some kernels to take away, to help you be a better manager. And I felt Six Sigma offered more than its fair share of take-away value.

I'll always remember something I learned, from the first day. They were giving us a general overview of how it had helped GE. They told the story of GE Appliance service; their goal at the time was to offer the fastest response humanly possible to a service call. So if someone called in the morning, they would try to get out that afternoon.

What they learned was people didn't want the fastest response, they wanted an appointment at their convenience. Don't tell me you can be there this afternoon, I'm at work now. Tell me you can be there Wed morning before 10am, then I can plan my day. It seems obvious in hindsight, but at the time, it was groundbreaking stuff for them.

So my take-home value, and a lesson I've carried forever, is don't create systems that do what you think the customer wants. Find out what really matters, and create around that. This probably has nothing to do with real Six Sigma, but I learned it from GE/SS, and it proved invaluable over the years.
My experience also was lots of useful things, some of them incredibly obvious but not actually practiced with some insightful methodology and appropriate application of good math when suitable. Lots of ways to take a wrong path too. My experience also was foolishness when trying to make a religion out of something that would otherwise be applied common sense.

It would be interesting to see how the system is surviving a decade on. My experience at Megacorp was a rotating door of quality systems that did the job right "this time."

FedGuy
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by FedGuy » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:58 pm

I once went to a short presentation on Six Sigma, designed as an introduction and to whet our appetite for further studies. They described a case study in which Six Sigma techniques reduced the time between receiving an order and mailing the product from 63 days to 2 days. I was intrigued, until we learned that the "techniques" and "analysis" revealed that the product spent 61 days sitting in a bin before it was taken to the mail room. They simply told the people handling the product not to let it sit there for 61 days.

My (internal) reaction was, "Really? You needed special training to tell you that you shouldn't let the product sit in a bin for 61 days if you're trying to improve time to shipping?" That's when I lost respect for it.
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jasc15
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by jasc15 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:34 pm

I am a six sigma green belt. It is only useful if the company culture follows six sigma, or an equivalent operations strategy. The company who sent me to training spent a lot of money on everyone, only to continue doing business a it had before, so it was essentially useless. It has potential for sure, and people I know who work(ed) for organizations that followed these strategies thought they were great.

It is strongly dependent on company culture, and if you are in a position to implement this and have the authority and will to impose it, it could be useful. If you are not part of upper management, and they are opposed to it, don't waste your time.

overst33r
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Re: Six Sigma

Post by overst33r » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:07 am

nisiprius wrote:Irrelevant grumble. I lost all respect for Six Sigma when I discovered that "Six Sigma" is really only 4.5σ. Someone just decided to add 1.5 to everything for no good reason other than to make it look or, more likely, sound better.
The extra 1.5 accounts for the mean shift.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Sigma ... igma_shift

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