Trying to understand Lean and Six Sigma: is anyone trained?

(8 Posts)
KetchupOnRoastDinner Sun 29-Apr-18 09:41:38

I’m working on transferring from one industry into another, working in a senior Operations role (what I do now, but as part of a customer experience job).

Just at the research stage at the moment about what would convince an employer to take a chance on me, rather than someone who is already established in their industry and a lot of jobs specify training in Lean or Six Sigma.

I’m trying to understand the differences between the techniques and whether paying for a course, value to my CV. Google is throwing up lots of courses, but not many articles on the content of these, or what the learning outcomes are!

Has anyone been on these courses or worked for companies who practice the techniques? Would love to know if it’s worth the money and time.

OP’s posts: |
leghairdontcare Sun 29-Apr-18 09:57:34

Yes. The main thing to be aware of is that it originated in manufacturing and had been co-opted by some big organisations and applied to things like the customer experience. An understanding of it is good but it doesn't need to be very in depth.

What kind of price have you found? I wouldn't spend more than £300.

KetchupOnRoastDinner Sun 29-Apr-18 10:47:09

Thanks and yes, I think that’s why it speaks to me: I like breaking processes down and rebuilding them, and I want to have a career that lets me specialise in this.

The BSI run a 2-day course for £1020, which is classroom based... I can find online yellow belt courses for the £300 mark, but wondering if I need face to face, given my complete unfamiliarity with it.

And also, whether Lean would be better for me than Sigma!

OP’s posts: |
BalloonFlowers Sun 29-Apr-18 11:09:21

You don't need to be qualified in those processes to be familiar with them - and I'd say you'd struggle to get qualified as a yellow belt without an improvement project you can test the skills on.

Both systems have similar outcomes, just look at things in different ways.
The better system would depend on exactly what you are looking at.
6sigma tries to get rid of variation, so things are always the same.
Lean gets rid of steps that don't add value.
In manufacturing, there is space for both view points - and indeed, you can approach 6sigma projects and frame them appropriately to achieve a lean outcome using 6sigma methodologies.

You might just be best purchasing "6sigma for dummies" - I have no idea if this exists - style book, and being familiar with where the ideologies come from and can lead to and some of the terminology than throwing money at it.

For sure, with 6 sigma, they only way you learn is to try things out. Leaning in isolation without real life projects to work on would be very dry, and not particularly beneficial.

Hope that grain dump us helpful, and not further muddying the waters!

KetchupOnRoastDinner Sun 29-Apr-18 11:32:07

Thanks, that’s helpful.

I can afford to punt some cash at this, if it helps get me a leg up on switching industries, but obviously I need the training and actual experience then, before I anything on my CV... I’ll look into some more online courses today.

OP’s posts: |
user1489844432 Sun 29-Apr-18 11:32:15

Whilst I am not qualified I researched the subject myself. I believe you would need at least green belt accreditation for it to matter. When it comes to the difference between those two I would say that Six Sigma is more aimed at manufacturing and Lean Six Sigma at services.

Chewbecca Sun 29-Apr-18 13:58:22

I work in banking, head office. Did the black belt six sigma course about 10 years ago but never completed the certification with a practical application as I found it really hard to apply to the processes we run, the examples we worked on during training were based on manufacturing widgets which is v different to what we do.

Focus in the organisation now seems to have switched to lean which is more process based.

QueenofWhatever Sun 29-Apr-18 17:33:10

I work for the NHS and use Lean a lot, six sigma to a certain extent. If I was recruiting, I would be looking for someone who has hands on experience of design and delivering projects, and not a course certificate. Agile project management is also becoming increasingly sought after.

It can be hard to successfully apply without a good grounding in the subject matter. Does a step add value or is it because this service is special/different/ always done it this way?

I would disagree with a PP that you don’t need in depth knowledge. You need to know your muda from your kanban!

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