Companies across the globe apply the principles of lean six sigma to improve business efficiency and enhance the customer experience. Simply put, six sigma is a collaboration of methodologies designed to identify goals and thus measure, analyze, improve, and control processes. While the system originally applies to big manufacturing companies, its benefits are now seen in diverse industries, including small-scale businesses. With practice, learning lean six sigma should come easy. Here are ways to learn effectively.
Define your Purpose
Lean six sigma certificate costs money, time, and energy. For the investment to be worthwhile, you need to define your purpose. Are you a first-level manager who wants to become an effective problem solver? Enroll in a white-belt certification. Do you want them to assist team members in problem-solving tasks? Then upgrade to yellow belt certification. Aim for the master black belt if your end goal is to become a consultant. Defining your purpose allows you to measure learning outcomes later on.
Assess your Situation
Effective learning of any methodology or system requires an honest assessment of one’s capabilities– both strengths and weaknesses. Six sigma is a self-paced program that requires a written exam and a competency demo. In any self-paced course, learners are prone to distractions and biases. You need to set aside emotions and realistically assess your shortcomings as a leader to address the learning gap in your six sigma exercise. At the same, you must identify your strengths and bank on them to mitigate your weaknesses as a leader.
Consult a Buddy
The learning may be self-paced, but your entire lean six sigma certification journeys need not be a solo flight. You can always consult a friend, a mentor, or a work colleague who has been through the certification themselves. You can ask for tips and ways to improve your learning and pass the qualifying exams.
You can even ask your staff for a candid opinion about your management style. You never know what insights they might bring to the table. Alternatively, you can enrol in a training program supervised by experts. With feedback from other people, you will gather a more accurate assessment of your management skills and thus know better what aspects need to be improved to align with lean six sigma principles.
Develop a Habit
Due to the nature of the learning process, you need to discipline yourself to devote time to study, understand, and apply the six sigma methods. Working professionals often fall into the trap of procrastination as they have corporate deadlines. They learn the materials only when the time is convenient. However, learning should be continuous and progressive. Hence, partnering with an institute for facilitated training proves advantageous.
The key to in-depth learning is to practice the learned method over and over again. You have the option to train with others in a resource centre, which often uses a combination of classroom training and personal coaching. Other schools allow you to choose either online or in-house training. In these settings, you are given exercises designed to improve your management skills. You also get to socialise with fellow lean six sigma aspirants.
Learn the lean six sigma principles by heart. You not only upgrade your value as a professional but, more importantly, contribute to the company. Also, in today’s competitive work industry, an increasing number of companies choose to hire six sigma professionals.
Alan Roodey is a professional Author and contributor to many sites. He loves to write on various topics.