As Digital Transformation is taking over the world, many companies are moving to state-of-the-art technologies to enable them with practical methods for growth. One such method is the Six Sigma method.
Developed in 1986, Six Sigma is a methodology used to detect defects and faults in business processes using analytics, strategies, and Data. This method helps businesses manage their manufacturing to transactional processes and run their functions smoothly. It leads to improvement in the capabilities and profits of the organization.
The goals of Six Sigma include the development of the organization by eliminating errors and ensuring customer satisfaction. The fundamental principles of the method are customer satisfaction, issue detection, error elimination, re-starting the processes, and creating a flexible system.
Customer satisfaction ensures that the customer receives the total product and service value; maintaining the quality and standards to appease the clients is the top priority. The second principle is detecting the errors and problems in the system. Finding the root cause and discarding the waste helps the organization adopt a new approach.
The third principle is to eliminate the discovered problem. Getting rid of the waste, bottlenecks, and errors promotes competency in work. The fourth principle is to get the team to adapt to the new changes in the system. The processes should not stop; the error should be found and eliminated. The last principle of Six Sigma is creating a flexible system that adapts well to changes since change is the only constant. It helps promote dynamism in the organization.
Many firms are adopting this method to improve themselves or cover their deficits. Thus, the demand for experts in this field has increased. Now that we know what Six Sigma is, let’s discuss the certification in detail to understand where and how to start.
What is the Lean Six Sigma Certification?
With the increase in competition, firms are resorting to different strategies to retain customers. One of the most common strategies is adapting oneself to the present times. With significant developments in the market, it has become the need of the hour to alter yourself to suit your clients’ needs.
Thus, many firms are revamping their old systems or re-developing new ones. Since Six Sigma works with these principles, the method is being adopted. This has led to a more significant requirement for professionals with Six Sigma certification.
The Lean Six Sigma Certification is a valid proof of expertise in identifying and eliminating errors in a business’s system. This certification lets you get jobs where you employ the Six Sigma method.
The significant differences between Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma is the adaptation of the older method, Six Sigma. It has been developed from Six Sigma’s principles and highly focuses on producing efficient solutions. They both have a similar goal to alter processes and derive customer satisfaction; however, they use different approaches.
Six Sigma is a method that has been developed into a program and functions as such. Lean Six Sigma also focuses on altering the employees’ behaviorism and the organization’s overall culture. It is counted as a significant difference between the two.
Lean works on reducing the amount of time and resources utilized and aims to satisfy the customer while eliminating wastage. It analyses and assesses the workflow to derive better solutions. On the other hand, Six Sigma achieves customer satisfaction while reducing costs. This implies that Six Sigma focuses on consistency, and Lean focuses on the efficiency of the workflow.
Although the goals of both Lean and Six Sigma are the same, their processes and methods differ.
Lean Sigma aims to eliminate waste by identifying the processes that no longer serve the customer and do not add value anywhere in the overall supply chain. Six Sigma eliminates waste by identifying variations in the processes and functionalities.
While Six Sigma targets the processes of a hierarchical system, Lean is great for inter-department collaborations and the benefits to the workforce as a whole.
Lean, as derived from Agile, is applied to all the areas of an organization, whereas Six Sigma cannot be applied to every area or every organization. There’s a difference in the share of responsibilities and ownership as well. Whereas special teams are created that look after the process of Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma encourages every member to take responsibility, thus taking charge towards improvement.
Types of Lean and Six Sigma Certifications
There are five types of Six Sigma Certifications available to you.
- White Belt
- Yellow Belt
- Green Belt
- Black Belt
- Master Black Belt
These certifications can be obtained from accredited institutions. Depending on their preferences, candidates can take an online or offline exam at a recognized training center.
Depending on the institution, these certifications are valid from 3 years to a lifetime and can take you higher in the Lean Six Sigma domain. It elevates your career and helps you make more money with time.
Let’s find out more about each of them and their examinations.
#1. Six Sigma White Belt
Six Sigma White Belt provides a basic understanding of Lean Six Sigma. It prepares you with Six Sigma’s fundamentals, vocabulary, and methodology. Through this, you will also gain a comprehensive understanding of the roles of every team member. This will be about creating favorable outcomes and deriving solutions for the organization.
This exam, which is free for the aspirants, is an open book test and consists of 30 questions. These need to be solved within the standard 30-minute time limit. The questions are MCQs and true or false types. If you fail the exam, you can take multiple attempts without needing to complete a project for the same.
When you successfully clear the exam, you become a white belt who can earn an (average) salary of $42,000.
#2. Six Sigma Yellow Belt
A Yellow Belt Six Sigma professional becomes an integral part of the team and contributes to the project. They gain knowledge of the benchmarks and the procedures through their training.
The basic exam fee is $99 but can go higher or lower for other institutions that provide the certification. The questions range between 50 and 60, with 60-90 minutes to solve. These, too, are true/false statements. In case you fail the exam thrice, you will have to register again to attempt. You will have to pass the exam within a year of registration successfully.
Once certified, you can avail yourself of the average salary of $65,000.
#3. Six Sigma Green Belt
To learn product or service development and improvement, the professional needs to take a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. During this training, you will learn the methods to analyze and solve problems in the systems of a particular organization. You will understand performance tools like charts and process maps in-depth. After obtaining the certification, you will work closely with the team leader and be considered one of the senior members of your team.
The exam fee for this certification is $159. You must answer 100 questions within 120 and 180 minutes during your attempt. You have to score a minimum of 70% to pass this exam; however, in case you fail to do so, three attempts can be made before you have to re-register for the same.
Once you jump to this level, you can claim an average salary of $85,000.
#4. Six Sigma Black Belt
When a professional becomes a black belt, they gain one of the most critical roles of the position, i.e., to assign roles to various team members and oversee the work. Through the training, you understand using statistical analysis to derive Lean solutions and lead the team to a successful project and satisfied customers.
The exam fee starts at $229. You will have to get 70% correct answers from the 150 available questions to pass this exam. The exam is conducted for 180 minutes and can be attempted multiple times. Once obtained, this certification can get you an average salary ranging from $95,000 to $110,000.
#5. Six Sigma Master Black Belt
Most institutes that provide Six Sigma Certification are considered the highest certification level. This training gives you the tools and strategies to alter organizational functionality per the obtained statistics and produce the highest results. It helps in solving the technical issues of the team.
The examination fee for this certification is on the higher side and can start at $665. The exam consists of 150 questions that must be solved within the 4-hour limit. Organizations also require you to have at least four years of work experience before attempting this certification training.
Once awarded the Master Black Belt, a professional can earn up to $135,000.
Which institutions train in Six Sigma?
Now that we have looked at the basics of these certifications, let us look at accredited institutions that offer these training. Although there are many trainer organizations in the market, a few give you the overall benefits and knowledge of each level.
Six Sigma White Belt Certification
The Six Sigma White Belt Training by Udemy allows you to get familiarized with the concepts and fundamentals of Six Sigma in the most basic terminologies to help you understand better. You will be taught the philosophies of lean six Sigma and its approaches, including the D.M.A.I.C. and D.M.A.D.V.
You will learn about the levels and what is needed to obtain a certification. Udemy, with this course, gives you a 1-hour video, two articles, lifetime access to the training, and a certificate upon completion.
Pluralsight offers the course to understand philosophies, practices, principles, structures, and the history of lean six Sigma. This training helps you build your basics and pursue the other six sigma certification levels. This training dives into the practices of scrum and agile and facilitates you with the tools to connect the two methods and derive the best results. This is a beginner-level course for two and a half hours.
The certification offered by 6Sigma aims to facilitate the learner with the tools and methods of the fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma. You will learn about this methodology’s roadmaps, processes, ideologies, and concepts and create a pathway for your future.
By the end of this course, the trainees will be well-versed in implementing Lean Six Sigma and specific D.M.A.I.C. concepts in all levels and phases. It is an 8-hour training course that can be completed in a day. Students can take the course at their own pace or follow the virtual training.
Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification
During the course offered by edX, you will learn to employ the D.M.A.I.C. processes to identify the problems and initiate changes in the system. You will learn to drive change by analyzing the firm’s statistics and interpreting the required results. By the end of this course, you will be able to train team members and help them derive the desired outcomes through change.
This course looks at the measures of Sex Sigma and its analysis, improvement, and control. It is a 6-month program that requires 3-4 hours per week. Although it is a flexible, self-paced course, you will get trained and guided by an expert.
Through this course by Coursera, you will learn the Six Sigma fundamentals, tools for defining and measuring, tools for analysis, and improvement and control. Participate in a capstone project with your peers and get reviewed to obtain practical knowledge.
This beginner course is entirely online, with assessments and material present on your dashboard. You can avail flexible learning through this training at Coursera. By investing 2 hours a week, you will be able to obtain the certificate of completion in 6 months.
Udemy’s Six Sigma certification and yellow belt training will help you grasp the foundational understanding of the subject. The instructor will guide you regarding the processes and methods used to help your team drive change in your organization.
Learn to manage the quality of work and improve the performance for the customer’s satisfaction. You will define, measure, and analyze Phase and build a control plan. This flexible course with lifetime access will include videos of 6 hours, six articles, five resources that can be downloaded, and a 30-day money-back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction.
Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
During this course, trained professionals at edX will teach you Six Sigma methodologies and Lean Management principles. You will learn to apply the quantitative and qualitative tools of the methodologies. You will advance to evaluating Six Sigma projects in the organization and implementing Lean principles in those projects. It is an 11-month course requiring you to give 3-4 hours per week. It is a self-paced course that will help you obtain the Green Belt.
During this course by Coursera, you will learn the advanced practices of defining and measuring Phase and analyzing, controlling, and improving Phase. Courser provides a 100% online course that can be customized per your needs. It is an intermediate level course of 5 months, available in various languages.
Udemy is one of the organizations that provide this training. The training helps you align with your organizational goals and plan the processes. You will learn about Phase and its usage, analyze it through tools, control it with plans, and analyzing it with strategies, and much more.
This course prepares you to ace the Green Belt certification and move ahead in your career. This course is for quality engineers, managers, and professionals that want to implement Six Sigma in an organization. It is a flexible course with 25.5 hours of on-demand video resources, eight articles, 35 downloadable resources for further learning, and a certification post-completion.
Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
Udemy provides the training in this senior-level certification at an inexpensive cost. Trainers with 35+ years of experience and a thorough understanding of the subject teach this course. During this course, you will learn the most advanced technologies associated with Six Sigma.
You will get into organization-wide planning and deployment practices, process and team management, and project analysis. In addition to this, you will create technologies and designs for Six Sigma. This course comes with on-demand 34.5-hour videos, 11 articles, 24 downloadable resources to enable you the understand all the topics, and lifetime access.
Simplilearn offers this course to quality management professionals and senior managers who want to create a change in the organization using Six Sigma. During this course, you will learn the application of lean concepts, advanced analysis using statistics, the management of teams, and the working of all levels. Simplilearn offers you various practical sessions and quizzes with the training. You will have to appear for the course end projects to test your skills before obtaining certification of the training.
This Six Sigma Black Belt course aims to help professionals derive the best solutions and enhance the D.M.A.I.C. process while implementing Six Sigma. This senior-level course comes with an application-based project that would be mandatory to obtain the certification.
Coursera also offers various practical exercises to magnify the understanding and knowledge of the deliverables. You will only have to spend 2 hours per week to complete the course in 12 months and obtain your certification. The course is available on Coursera only in the English language.
Now that you know about the Six Sigma Certification, it’s time to take action. There are different hierarchical levels of Six Sigma in an organization, ranging from Black belts to Yellow or White belts, among others. To get certified, you must start from the basics and climb the ladder. A universal body provides certification for the same, although other reputed institutions also offer this certification.
You may also look at how to get a PMP certification.