Agile Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training for Results

Agile Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training for Results

21st Century Quality is changing how companies implement Lean Six Sigma. Here’s how:

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“Over the last couple of years I’ve been going all of the Quality conferences, and I’ve seen some presentations that I think point us in a useful direction in terms of how to go about implementing Quality and getting results more quickly, and to accelerate, to develop some exponential growth in terms of how we achieve these results.

“About a year and a half ago I was at the Lean Six Sigma conference in Phoenix , and I saw Christus Health, and they talked about how they started out trying to do the traditional “Big Sigma Black Belt / Green Belt” whole thing, but they weren’t getting any results. This was worrisome. So they said, “Let’s start doing some one-day Yellow Belt trainings and see if we can’t get people making improvements right away.” This became very popular and people came in with real projects to work on. One-day training: minimally invasive training, as I describe it. Then they worked on their projects and implemented them… well, guess what? Magically, they started getting results and they figured out who should be a Green Belt or a Black Belt, who had the aptitude and the interest… the “crazy” that it takes to become an improvement junkie. Wow, that’s cool!

“Then at this this year’s (conference) I saw Novartis, and Novartis had also tried the ”Big Sigma” thing with Green Belts and Black Belts, and they said, “We can’t do that.” “That’s not working,” so they came up with a one-day Yellow Belt training that was about focusing on making immediate improvements, and they started getting results.

“Then at this [year’s] conference, the [ASQ] world conference in May, I saw Underwriters Laboratory. They talked about how they had been doing their Green Belt and Black Belt trainings, and they needed a way to get it to more people. They developed an online Yellow Belt training, and they talked about how they used advanced accelerated learning techniques. This was what they were doing to accelerate their Lean and Six Sigma deployment across Underwriters Laboratories worldwide.

“I got up and I said, “In 2011 I put a Yellow Belt training out online: Anybody can take it for free; I charge for certification only, and I use all those accelerated learning techniques that you talked about in here, so you don’t have to build it yourself. I mean, that’s unnecessary. I built that for you already, and I’ve been tuning it for the last eight years so it’s better than it was when I started. I didn’t just leave it alone, I keep tweaking it to match my reality of what we need to know.

“So this is what’s happening in the world. I think we’re shifting from the “20th-century-Motorola- Six-Sigma-Black Belt-Green-Belt” model to one that’s a one day, minimally-invasive-training focused on achieving results in a specific area.

“I’m about to go out tomorrow and do one of those trainings here locally. This company’s been saving millions of dollars over the last decade doing what I tell them to do, because they come in with a problem and with minimally invasive training we work on their problem… boom! They have some results.

“This is the future of how we should do Quality: getting results rapidly, and then figuring out based on who’s come through all these little one-day Yellow Belt Trainings, who has the aptitude, the burning desire, to be that Green Belt or that Black Belt or to grow their skill. You cannot know that in advance. I mean, you can try, but my observation is that just doesn’t seem to work. We don’t pull the right people for that. We pull the people who are looking for advancement or a better credential or a better something, but we don’t always pull the real improvement junkies who sometimes are quiet, but can really go make massive improvements if you let them go.

“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s exponentially accelerate how many people are engaged in Quality. How do we create a hundred million “Money Belts” worldwide? You can’t do it with four-week trainings… you just can’t do it. It’s not going to happen, right? So I have that free online training: Send anybody you want there. I charge for the certificate if you take the test and you pass.

“All right, so that’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”