Six Sigma Certification

Road Blocks and Roads to Nowhere

As the creator of the QI Macros, I sit at a curious crossroads. Every week, I talk to people who say:

1) they've been "certified" as a Green or Black Belt, but have never done a project; or
2) they can't afford the time and cost of traditional Six Sigma training.

Frankly, I find both of these appalling because I want to create 100,000,000 Money Belts who can use the tools of Lean Six Sigma to cut costs, boost profits and productivity, and save lives.


On Ramps and Acceleration Lanes

At the 2010 ASQ World Conference, Joe DeFeo of the Juran Institute said that we need to "lower the bar" to Six Sigma. I've come to believe that he didn't mean to "dumb it down" but, instead, to "simple it up" so that everyone can learn the methods and tools. So, I've decided to create an "on ramp" and "acceleration lane" for people who want to learn Lean Six Sigma using our Money Belt Training online.


Our Green Belt and Black Belt certifications are based on completed projects, not training.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

- Henry Ford

I have found that most people just want a certification to enhance their resume, not their company. To gain our certification, however, you will need to apply the tools to an actual business problem.

Our Criteria for Certification

Yellow Belt Certification

  • Certification is based on demonstration of knowledge by passing a multiple choice exam.
  • Watch our free Money Belt training videos
  • Complete the exercises using the QI Macros.
  • Read Lean Six Sigma Demystified or Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals book.
  • Score at least 80% on the final exam.
  • Certification cost is $97 and covers exam grading and mailing of certificate.
  • There are no "up front" costs. You will only be asked to order and pay for certification after you've successfully completed the exam.

Green Belt Certification

  • Complete the Money Belt training videos and Yellow Belt certification exam first.
  • Green Belt Certification is based on the ability to apply knowledge to a real life problem and successfully complete an improvement project. Follow checklist below.
  • Green Belt projects can be focused on reducing either defects or deviation.
  • The cost for certification is $250 and covers our time to review and approve your project.
  • A credit card is required when you submit a project. However, your card is not charged until your project passes review.

Black Belt Certification

  • Complete the Money Belt training videos and Yellow Belt certification exam first.
  • Black Belt Certification is based on the ability to apply knowledge to real life problems and successfully complete two improvement projects.
    • Project 1: Green Belt Level Project focused on reducing either defects or delay. It may be easiest to do this within your department. See the criteria and checklist described below.
    • Project 2: Black Belt Level Project using the Magnificent Seven Tools on a cross-functional (i.e., multi-departmental) problem involving defects or deviation. See the criteria and checklist described below.
  • The cost for certification is $500 ($250/project) and covers our time to review and approve your projects.
  • A credit card is required when you submit a project. However, your card is not charged until your project passes review.
  • A previously certified Green Belt project can be used as Project 1. Therefore, your Black Belt Certification cost will be $250 for Project 2.

Green Belt and Black Belt Project Submission Criteria:

To make certification affordable, but not a burden to my staff, there are stringent requirements for submitting a project for certification:

  1. All projects must be submitted as a single Excel workbook using charts and templates created using the QI Macros.
  2. All data, charts and templates must be included in the Excel workbook.
  3. All charts and diagrams must be created with the QI Macros and Excel.
  4. We will not accept Word or PowerPoint files, or pictures of charts, or projects without raw data.
  5. Excel worksheets must be in the order shown below:



    There must be worksheets for raw data (before and after improvement).
    If used in the analysis, PivotTables should be included:



    Histograms can be used in place of Pareto Charts when solving problems of deviation.

    Healthcare Sample Case Study (click here)

    Manufacturing Sample Case Study with PivotTables (click here)

Green Belt and Black Belt Project Review Process:

  1. Does Your Project Meet the Submission Criteria?
    • If your first project submission does not meet the above criteria it will be immediately returned with a referral back to this page.
    • If your second project submission does not meet these criteria it will result in permanent disqualification from this certification offer. Why? We simply can't afford to review your project a third time for only $250.
  2. Does Your Project Apply Lean or Six Sigma Methods and Result in Process Improvement?
    • If yes, then we will charge your credit card $250, notify you of your successful completion and mail you a certificate.
    • If your project does not pass but shows promise, I'll suggest that you consider coaching for an hourly fee of $250.

Green/Black Belt Project Checklist

Here's what we consider to be the key requirements for a Green Belt Project (defects or deviation). All charts should be drawn with the QI Macros Lean Six Sigma SPC Software for Excel. See our Six Sigma Certification page for fees and other requirements.

Defects
Deviation (Variation)
Step
Project begins with data about the problem (defects or deviation),
not
by trying to retrofit a Six Sigma project to some accidental, knee-jerk success.
You must submit your raw data with your project.
1.
PivotTable of defects from a list or database (optional)
2.

Control Chart Excel for Six Sigma
Analyze defects, mistakes, errors and costs over time.

  • c Chart - Defects
  • p Chart - Defective/Sample Size
  • u Chart - Defects/Sample Size
  • XmR - Ratio of Defects/Sample Size
  • XmR - Costs ($) of rework, waste
Control Chart Excel for Six Sigma
Analyze deviation of part dimensions or cycle time.
  • XmR - (length, width, weight, time)
  • XbarR - 2-5 Samples/Subgroup
  • XbarS - 6-25 Samples/Subgroup

Is the Process Stable?
If not, analyze root causes of out-of-control points to stabilize the process before improvement
(see Root Causes below)

3.

Pareto Chart Excel for Six Sigma
Analyze Defect Categories using defect types in Control Chart data (above)
There may be two levels of pareto charts.
There may be more than one "Big Bar" resulting in more than one fishbone.

Histogram Excel
Analyze Capability using Control Chart data (above)
Is the process capable?
(Cp > 1.33, Cpk > 1.33)
If not, analyze root causes.

4.

Ishikawa Diagram Excel for Six Sigma
Analyze Root Causes of Defects
Head of the Fish is the "Big Bar"
on the Pareto Chart.
Root causes should be the last bone in any chain. Circle the Root Causes.

Fishbone Diagram Excel for Six Sigma
Analyze Root Causes of Deviation
Use for special (out-of-control points) and common causes.
5.
Countermeasures Matrix Excel for Six Sigma
Countermeasures
and Action Plan for Improvement.
Copy the Problem Statement and Root Causes from the Fishbone Diagram into the Countermeasures Matrix.
Countermeasures Matrix Excel for Six Sigma
Countermeasures
and Action Plan for Improvement.
 

Countermeasures describe clear methods for changing the process to prevent defects and deviation, not detect or correct them after they occur. Cost savings from implementing these changes should be included.

Countermeasures should not involve:

  • adding more people (especially inspectors) because you don't need more people, you need less rework and waste.
  • spending more money (process changes are often procedural not mechanical).
  • automating the detection and correction process (i.e., inspection).
  • more training (it's not a people problem, it's a process problem.).
6.

Control Chart Excel for Six Sigma
Verify Results by comparing before and after control chart showing improvement

Control Chart Excel for Six Sigma

Verify Results by comparing before and after control chart showing improvement
7.
Pareto Chart Excel for Six Sigma
Verify Results by comparing original and new Pareto Chart side-by-side. Adjust Y-axis scale to show reduction.
Histogram Excel for Six Sigma
Verify Results by comparing original and new histogram.
8.
Flow Chart Excel for Six SigmaControl Chart Excel for Six Sigma
Control plan to sustain the improvement using a consistent process and a control chart.
Control Chart Excel for Six SigmaHistogram Excel
Control plan to sustain the improvement using a consistent process, control chart and histogram.

Project Coaching

If you want to "pick my brain" about your project or need some help getting started, we offer coaching for $200 per hour. Coaching is only available for those who have completed the Yellow Belt training and certification.

Send your project to:

Email: info(at)qimacros.com

To put your credit card on file call 1-888-468-1537 or (303) 756-9144 and tell us if it's for your Green or Black Belt project.

But Jay, I don't have a job. How am I going to do a project?

Easy. Go to a local business meeting. There's lots of Kiwanis, Rotary and other groups that meet weekly or monthly. Introduce yourself. Tell them you want to get your Green/Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma and volunteer to use your Money Belt skills to help one of these companies fix some seemingly unsolvable problem that involves defects or deviation, waste or rework. Ask them what keeps them up at night? What problem costs them the most money? For example, a printer that reprints too many jobs; a restaurant that wastes too much food. The company probably needs to have 10 or more employees and some data about their problem to be a viable candidate for Lean Six Sigma.

Set up a day to gather their data, turn it into a control chart, Pareto and/or histogram and develop a problem statement for the fishbone. Show these charts to the owner and ask for a few hours to do root cause analysis with the people who work in that area. Analyze the root causes using "5 Whys." Avoid the training, time or money traps of root cause analysis. Verify the root causes and identify ways to mistake-proof the process so that it is impossible to continue making the error. Show the results to the owner and ask for permission to have the team implement their improvements. Track the results using the control chart, Pareto and/or histogram. This should give you what you need.

Who knows. This might even turn into a job or consulting career. Volunteer to do it for free with minimal involvement of their employees, just a SWAT team convened for root cause analysis and implementation.

Hire Jay to train your staff in his one-day Lean Six Sigma Workshop! Contact us at 1-888-468-1537 today.

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