Showing posts with label Six Sigma Black Belt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Six Sigma Black Belt. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

10 best books to help you pass your Six Sigma certification

 By Sarah Morgan

The business methodology of Six Sigma can help your business to improve output by identifying and then removing, the causes of errors.

We’ve conducted research into which books on the market are best to help you get your Six Sigma Yellow, Green or Black belt certification. We then cut them down to a list of 10, to ensure whatever help you need within Six Sigma, there’s a book here for you.

Six Sigma Yellow Belt

The Six Sigma Yellow Belt course, with no real prerequisites, can give you a broad understanding of Six Sigma practices and methodologies that you can implement into your business right away. More Yellow Belt info can be found here.

1. Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt Exam Secrets Study Guide: CSSGB Test Review for the Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification Exam by  CSSYB Exam Secrets Test Prep Team 
ISBN: 978-1516700301

It covers an enormous amount of topics. One of the most comprehensive books out there and is specifically designed to help you study for the exam. As well as being extremely well-researched, it highlights tactics and areas of focus that’ll be useful when in the Yellow Belt exam room.


Includes:

  • Practice questions
  • 5 secret keys to exam success
  • A vast list of topics like CTQ, Quality Function Deployment and Gantt Charts

How good is it?

It’s one of the best Six Sigma books on the market focused on exam tips, and could provide you with the exam technique that could make the difference in helping you get the knowledge to pass.

2. The Six Sigma Yellow Belt Handbook by H. James Harrington & Frank Voehl 
ISBN: 978-1932828245 

Crammed with years of practical Six Sigma knowledge, this helpful handbook is both practical and insightful. You’ll learn what skills are required of someone who is Yellow Belt certified and how that will contribute to the improvement of your business. Another great plus is the inclusion of how statistical tools are important to your business.


Includes:

  • What is at the heart of the Six Sigma concept
  • Statistical tools for Yellow Belt
  • A wealth of knowledge and understanding

How good is it?

It’s definitely a great Six Sigma book to have at your disposal. Although it’s primarily focused on Yellow Belt, it’s useful for any level of Six Sigma. It has the knowledge you need to get started and can also help experienced Six Sigma users with some general pointers.

Six Sigma Green Belt

When you take on the Green Belt, you’ll cover detailed measurements and analysis and learn further techniques to improve operations. A full list of topics and further info can be found here. 

3. The Six Sigma Handbook by Thomas Pyzdek & Paul Keller 
ISBN: 978-0071840538 

This handbook includes every aspect of Six Sigma from Green Belt and beyond which is what makes it so good.

The fourth edition is revised to reflect the continually progressing area of Six Sigma and comprehensively walks you through the methodology, covering improvement techniques in all possible areas.


Includes:

  • Green Belt and Black Belt certification online quizzes
  • Links to walkthrough videos covering several practical processes
  • Great coverage of the sometimes neglected Lean methodologies alongside Six Sigma

How good is it?

A great in-depth guide, giving you understanding that’ll definitely give you a head start in the exam. It will also help you on the job, with brilliant attention to a wide range of practical processes necessary for someone who is Green Belt certified.

4. Six SIGMA Green Belt Study Guide: Test Prep and Practice Questions for the Six SIGMA Green Belt Exam by Trivium Test Prep 
ISBN: 978-1940978789

Ever used an exam study guide that is too fluffy and takes forever to tell you what you’ll actually need for the exam? This is the antidote. It’s brilliantly streamlined for efficient studying, only giving you information that is truly helpful.


Includes:

  • 100 practice questions
  • A review of every tested concept in the exam
  • Fully explained subjects that’re easy to digest

How good is it?

The most efficient and straightforward study guide for the Green Belt certification. A sure way to prepare yourself to pass the exam.

Six Sigma Black Belt

The Six Sigma Black Belt is for those who are responsible for leading projects using the Six Sigma & Lean methodologies. More info on the Black Belt can be found here.

5. The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook: Tools and Methods for Process Acceleration by Frank Voehl, H. James Harrington, Chuck Mignosa & Rick Charron 
ISBN: 978-1466554689

Another useful book that can vastly improve your understanding of Six Sigma. Built on a strong understanding, it comprehensively tackles the advanced level of Six Sigma in the Black Belt.


Includes:

  • Diagrams and illustrations useful to understand the more complex frameworks and processes
  • Insight from a well-respected and distinguished group of authors
  • Exercises, worksheets and templates to assist your continuous improvement

How good is it?

This is one of the best at covering the level of detail required in the Black Belt certification. It simplifies the Black Belt methodologies, helping you to apply them to your exam and to real-world situations.

6. The Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook (Six SIGMA Operational Methods) by Thomas McCarty, Lorraine Daniels, Michael Bremer and Praveen Gupta 
ISBN: 978-0071443296

This handbook does a great job of explaining the more difficult elements of Six Sigma, integral to passing the Black Belt. It aims to make you an expert in Six Sigma, explaining how to take on multiple projects and solve complex problems.


Includes:

  • A complete guide to understanding and writing financial reports
  • Project costing tools
  • Problem-solving tools like Design for Six Sigma and TRIZ

How good is it?

A very useful handbook to aid you whilst studying for the exam, as well as after you’ve passed, helping you use Six Sigma to solve tricky on the job problems. A great Black Belt resource.

General

There are many useful books out there that can help you generally with some, or all of the Six Sigma certifications.

7. Six Sigma For Dummies by Craig Gygi & Bruce Williams 
ISBN: 978-1118120354

It may seem too basic consulting a “For Dummies” book for help with Six Sigma, but it has great reviews and genuinely provides very useful information about the methodologies. If you’re studying for the Yellow Belt it’s a great resource to get you started. Its usefulness is not limited though, and does provide knowledge relevant and helpful to those studying both Green and Black belts and for those who want general Six Sigma guidance.


Includes:

  • Top dos and don’ts of Six Sigma
  • Plenty of thorough how tos
  • Top tips for those currently in the industry

How good is it?

Amazon have made it part of their “Best Books of the Year So Far” for 2015 - it also averages 4.3 out of 5 from 39 reviews. It’s a great read for anyone in project management, let alone someone taking a Six Sigma certification.

8. Six Sigma for Managers, Second Edition (Briefcase Books Series) by Greg Brue 
ISBN: 978-0071838634

Greg Brue is CEO of Six Sigma Consultants and is a Master Six Sigma Black Belt and aims this book at the busy managers of today. His expertise provides tips for those managers of how to use Six Sigma to be successful in your field.


Includes:

  • Clear definitions of Six Sigma terms and concepts
  • Specifics about tactics and improving your planning
  • The latest in practical insights and tips

How good is it?

Another of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Year So Far” for 2015. It provides an up to date perspective from someone who has mastered the field with tips that can help you pass your exam and help you on the job.

9. Six Sigma for Everyone by George Eckes 
ISBN: 978-0471281566

If you’re looking for a book that doesn’t over-complicate the concepts of Six Sigma, look no further. This is perfect for someone looking to improve their basic understanding of the Six Sigma methodology – perhaps sitting the Yellow or Green belt.


Includes:

  • Straightforward explanations of terms and principles
  • In-depth examples for further insight
  • 10 basic tools each team member needs

How good is it?

Reading this will give you a solid foundation of knowledge before sitting your exam. It’s excellent at serving its purpose for those not looking to go over the top with Six Sigma.

10. The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed by Michael L. George, John Maxey, David Rowlands and Mark Price
ISBN: 978-0071441193

An ideal reference guide for those studying both the Green and Black Belts. Contains excellent advice on how best to use the Six Sigma tools in different situations. With step-by-step instructions it can help you get a true understanding of how to carry out the processes you learn on the courses.


Includes:

  • Brief summaries of the 70 most important tools in Lean Six Sigma
  • Quick and easy reference guide to the DMAIC improvement cycle
  • Concise but thorough information in a pocket sized format

How good is it?

A handy book if you’re looking for something that isn’t too dense but still provides helpful information. It’s very useful when revising for either exam.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 31 October 2014

What you need to know before taking on the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt


By 


Are you ready to take on the Black Belt?
freedigitalphotos.net / rawich
The Lean Six Sigma management philosophy can boost efficiency, save money and improve customer services within your organisation. It’s especially applicable if you need to generate business improvements in areas like: customer satisfaction, service delivery and cost control.

But it can only be effective when used properly and it takes a skilled professional to make the most out of Lean Six Sigma’s complex processes.

Luckily, there’s a range of certifications available to improve and validate your Lean Six Sigma knowledge. From the entry-level Yellow Belt, to the Master Black Belt, whatever your familiarity, there’s a cert for you.

- Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

A Green Belt certification identifies you as a trained professional in Six Sigma’s Lean methodology and tools. You’ll be able to work on small scope business improvement projects as part of your job role and will be an effective team member on any Black Belt team. 

Your training will also help you to promote a common set of behaviours and practices which drive acceptance and familiarity of Lean and Sigma concepts inside your organisation. 

There are no prerequisites for the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification. And because of this, it can sometimes be difficult to know when you’re ready to take on the more advanced Black Belt. 

- Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

With a Black Belt, you’ll be qualified to lead Six Sigma projects and enterprises as well as executing and completing crucial business improvement projects.

Your enhanced Lean Six Sigma knowledge will make you ideal for providing expert opinions and thought leadership around Six Sigma and Lean. 

As leaders, Black belts will often find themselves in the role of educator. You’ll be teaching team members about Lean Six Sigma methodology and tools as well as coaching Green Belts in your organisation.


Think you’re ready?

If you’re considering taking on the Black Belt, here’s what to look out for:


The Black Belt is a lot more statistics heavy

The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt has the ability to surprise candidates with its larger focus on statistics. 

It is advised that anybody with a desire to achieve the Black belt is quantitatively oriented with a good brain for numbers.

Definitely maths.
morguefile / cohdra


You’ll be expected to use data to convert broad generalisations into clear and actionable goals. You should also be proficient in determining statistical significance and possess good skills in quantitative analysis of data.

Most Lean Six Sigma courses even feature additional training in the use of statistical processing software. These handy pieces of software enhance a Black Belts ability to investigate and analyse complex data. Think of them as a more specialised version of Microsoft’s Excel. 

Try out Minitab, our preferred statistical analysis tool of choice.


Expect a massively increased scope

But it isn’t only about statistics; the Six Sigma Black Belt is bigger in almost every respect. You can expect a bigger curriculum and a greater emphasis on large case studies which can often span your entire certification course.

You might be familiar with studying several ‘mini-case’ studies during your Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course. The small size of these case studies reduces the depth of analysis and enabled a focus on the ‘end outcome.’

However, when studying for the Black Belt, you’ll likely focus on just one large case study. And as a result, you’ll be going into far more depth than you might have been prepared for during your Green Belt.


Not all Lean Six Sigma training is created equally

It’s important to note that there isn’t just one Lean Six Sigma vendor. Because of this, not all Lean Six Sigma training, courses and certifications are created equally. 

Lean Six Sigma training can vary depending on the provider. Some training providers will focus on aspects of the Black Belt that others might mention only in passing.

As a result, it’s advised that if possible, when you undergo your Black Belt, you stick with the same Lean Six Sigma certification provider that you gained your Green Belt with. 

If you have to make the change, be sure you double check the curriculum and speak to the providers to ensure that you’re not revising the wrong material. You don’t want to attend a training course only to find that you have been studying a slightly different curriculum. It’s true, you’ll possess more knowledge, but it won’t help you pass the exam.


Assess your company’s requirements

If you’re taking the Black Belt to help improve the organisation you work for, it would be an oversight not to confirm their requirements.

As we’ve mentioned, Lean Six Sigma courses can vary in terms of curriculum and the content that they cover. It’s important that you’re on a course that teaches skills and techniques applicable to your organisation. It wouldn’t reflect well if you returned to work without this crucial knowledge.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Top 10 reasons you should be Lean Six Sigma certified


By 


Lean Six Sigma is a management philosophy that has the ability to transform your organisation by enabling it to become more effective and efficient. Originally developed by Motorola in the 1980’s, Six Sigma soon became a world standard for quality implementation.

So how exactly does Lean Six Sigma achieve these lofty claims and by extension - why should you be Lean Six Sigma certified?


1. Lead your organisation to reduce errors and defects

Lean Six Sigma makes use of continuous improvement to reduce defects and errors across your entire organisation.

Achieve a Six Sigma qualification and you’ll enable your organisation to benefit from immediate functional improvements in production time and cost. The application of tools like kaizen (a method of constantly analysing process flow and how it’s applied) and poka yoke (mistake proofing) are proven to lead to faster-than-expected improvements.

In IT applications development, Six Sigma can reduce invoicing errors, reduce customer complaints and cut complaint resolution time, control IT spending and reduce schedule slippages.

You’ll stand out as a valuable asset to your organisation if you can apply Six Sigma effectively. With a fall in defects and errors, your organisation will save money – and you’ll be responsible.


Just like this small red man is doing
Image courtesy of freedigitalsphotos.net / jscreationzs

2. You’ll be able to apply it to almost any industry

We know it can be applied to manufacturing, and I recently mentioned IT applications development; but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Six Sigma is an industry independent methodology and has been applied successfully across:

  • Manufacturing industries: Aerospace, Health equipment, Electronic Goods, Textiles
  • Service industries: Telecom, Banking and Financial services , Health care, Hotels, IT, Airlines, Cargo Movement, HR, Marketing 
By getting Lean Six Sigma certified, you’ll be able to apply your hard-earned skills and knowledge across a huge number of industries, organisations and businesses. This provides you with a massive boost in employability because your new skills and knowledge will be applicable in almost any company.


Definitely Six Sigma certified
Image courtesy of freedigitalsphotos.net / Suat Eman

3. You’ll directly improve customer relations

Whilst Lean Six Sigma is primarily a means to increase efficiency, you’ll also be able to apply its practices to reduce the number of customer complaints.

The quality of services has a strong impact on customer satisfaction and by extension, customer loyalty. Customers will be less affected by defects in their products if the manufacturing process is improved and the number of these defects reduced.

When you apply Lean Six Sigma to customer relations it will likely result in reductions in complaint resolution time and a cut in the number of complaints.

So, becoming Lean Six Sigma certified won’t just allow you to improve efficiency and productivity – you’ll also be able to positively impact how your organisation is perceived.


4. Ensure industry and government compliance

Six Sigma aims to reduce manufacturing errors to a rate below 3.4 parts per million. A number of enterprise purchasers, amongst them government organisations and large corporations, actually now use this metric to review vendors.

Be part of the change. Lead or mastermind the Six Sigma strategies in your organisation to achieve or maintain profitable contracts.


5. Improve your organisation’s use of resources

Get Lean Six Sigma certified and you’ll be able to show your organisation and/or your employees how to utilize resources in a more efficient way. As a result, the cost of operations, materials and time will be reduced.

Apply Lean Six Sigma and fewer resources will be allocated to correction and more towards production. This means less defects in your services/products and more emphasis on providing sales.


6. Stand out from the crowd

Get the Six Sigma ball rolling in your organisation and you could experience tremendous professional development opportunities. Help your employer to adopt Six Sigma tools and training and you’ll stand out from the crowd as a proactive and determined individual.

Plus, Lean Six Sigma uses a set of quality management tools to provide a unique infrastructure of people within your organisation.

For example, Six Sigma Green belts are trained to generate business improvements in areas like: customer satisfaction, service delivery and cost control. Moreover, those qualified with the Six Sigma Black Belt are fluent in the practice and can deliver major performance and efficiency transformation in a business or organisation.


7. Command a bigger salary

Six Sigma is no push-over. It’s for determined professionals who are motivated to achieve more and receive validation for doing so.

Hiring professionals and executive managers know this and Six Sigma, as a result, commands respect and a comfortable salary. A Six Sigma Black Belt certified professional, for example, possess an average advertised salary of £45,000 a year according to ITjobsWatch.co.uk


8. You’ll be prepared for leadership roles

Once the Six Sigma Black Belt is obtained, a person is both educated in Six Sigma methodologies and prepared to become a change agent within their organisation. You’ll lead efforts to improve processes and the quality of services.

The Six Sigma Black belt can open doors to promotion in upper management and, as you might expect, improves your prospects of obtaining a job with a different employer.


9. Lift morale within your organisation

Lean Six Sigma has the potential to positively affect people by engaging them directly. Employees are the best resource to understand how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a business.

As a result, by participating in Lean Six Sigma projects, employees are able to build confidence by directly affecting the capability of your business.


10. A competitive advantage for your organisation

Possessing a Six Sigma qualification will enable you to effectively differentiate your organisation from your competitors. Distinguish yourself through Six Sigma and your marketing team will be thankful with this additional string to your companies bow.

On the other hand, delay and you may find your competitors gaining the upper hand when they decide to implement the Lean Six Sigma strategies for themselves. 


There you have it, 10 great reasons how both you and your organisation can benefit from getting Lean Six Sigma certified. Now you just have to get certified, right?


About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.