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What Training Do I Need?

Six Sigma requires people to think and work in different ways. This requires that they be trained in the new way of thinking and working. There is a lot of training to be done as spelled out in the implementation plan. The key groups to be trained are executives, business teams, site leadership teams, functional leadership teams, Champions, MBBs, Black Belts, and Green Belts.

The Executive, Business Team, Site Leadership Team, and Functional Leadership Team workshops are typically one or two days and focus on what Six Sigma is, how it will be deployed, and roles of the groups involved. These are active workshops in which work is done on the deployment and implementation plans; not passive overviews. A draft deployment plan with carefully selected areas for initial projects is a key output of these workshops (Figure 4-3).

Figure 4-3FIGURE 4-3 Project Development Through Workshops

The Champion workshop is typically three to five days. Its focus is on developing a deeper understanding of Six Sigma, deployment in the organization, and roles of the Project Champion and the Black Belt. Project Champions are trained to guide the work of the Black Belts. The Champion also spends time learning the DMAIC process and understanding the Six Sigma tools the Black Belt will be using.

Black Belt training typically lasts four weeks, with each week focused on a phase of the DMAIC process. The usual sequence is Week 1 (define and measure), Week 2 (analyze), Week 3 (improve), and Week 4 (control). The recommended outlines for finance and manufacturing-oriented courses proposed by Hoerl (2001) are shown in the following two lists. Note that these outlines include both Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) methodology and tools. Some companies teach DFSS separately, while others prefer to integrate it with DMAIC training. Both approaches work.

    Sample Black Belt Course for Finance

    (This course is in three weeks, with Week 3 being a Black Belt addition to an existing Green Belt course)

    Week 1

  • The DMAIC and DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) improvement strategies
  • Project selection and scoping (Define)
  • QFD
  • Sampling principles (quality and quantity)
  • Measurement system analysis (also called "gage R&R")
  • Process capability
  • Basic graphs
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Regression
  • Week 2

  • DOE (focus on 2-level factorials)
  • Design for Six Sigma tools
  • Requirements flowdown
  • Capability flowup (prediction)
  • Piloting
  • Simulation
  • FMEA
  • Developing control plans
  • Control charts
  • Week 3

  • Power (impact of sample size)
  • Impact of process instability on capability analysis
  • Confidence Intervals (vs. hypothesis tests)
  • Implications of the Central Limit Theorem
  • Transformations
  • How to detect "Lying With Statistics"
  • General Linear Models
  • Fractional Factorial DOEs
  • Sample Black Belt Course for Manufacturing

    (The superscripts refer to the week in which the material would appear)

    Context1

  • Why Six Sigma
  • DMAIC & DFSS processes (sequential case studies)
  • Project management fundamentals
  • Team effectiveness fundamentals
  • Define1

  • Project selection
  • Scoping projects
  • Developing a project plan
  • Multi-generational projects
  • Process identification (SIPOC)
  • Measure1

  • QFD
    • Identifying customer needs
    • Developing measurable critical-to-quality metrics (CTQ's)
  • Sampling (data quantity and data quality)
  • Measurement System Analysis (not just gauge R&R)
  • SPC Part I
    • The concept of statistical control (process stability)
    • The implications of instability on capability measures
  • Capability analysis
  • Analyze2

  • Basic graphical improvement tools ("Magnificent 7")
  • Management and planning tools (affinity, ID, etc.)
  • Confidence intervals (emphasized)
  • Hypothesis testing (de-emphasized)
  • ANOVA (de-emphasized)
  • Regression
  • Multi-Vari Studies
  • Developing conceptual designs in DFSS
  • Improve3-4

  • DOE (focus on two level factorials, screening designs, and RSM)
  • Piloting (of DMAIC improvements)
  • FMEA
  • Mistake-proofing
  • DFSS design tools
    • CTQ flowdown
    • Capability flowup
    • Simulation
  • Control4

  • Developing control plans
  • SPC Part II
    • Using control charts
  • Piloting new designs in DFSS

Green Belt training typically lasts two weeks with Week 1 focused on the define, measure, and analyze phases of DMAIC and the second week focused on the analyze and control phases. A recommended outline of topics for manufacturing Green Belt training is shown here—

    Context1

  • Why Six Sigma
  • DMAIC (sequantial case studies)
  • Project management fundamentals
  • Team effectiveness fundamentals
  • Define1

  • Project selection
  • Scoping projects
  • Developing a project plan
  • Process identification (SIPOC)
  • Measure1

  • QFD
    • Identifying customer needs
    • Developing measureable critical-to-quality (CTQs)
  • Sampling (data quantity and data quality)
  • Measurement System Analysis (not just gage R&R)
  • SPC Part I
    • The concept of statistical control (process stability)
    • The implications of instability on capability measures
  • Capability analysis
  • Analyze1, 2

  • FMEA
  • Basic graphical improvement tools ("Magnificent 7")
  • Confidence intervals (emphasized)
  • Hypothesis testing (de-emphasized)
  • ANOVA (de-emphasized)
  • Regression
  • Multi-Vari Studies
  • Improve2

  • DOE (focus on two level factorials)
  • Piloting (of DMAIC improvements)
  • Mistake-proofing
  • Control2

  • Developing control plans
  • SPC Part II
    • Using control charts

Black Belt and Green Belt training topics and areas of emphasis must be based on the specific needs and targeted applications of the organization. The sample curricula presented here form a base of reference or starting point, not the final answer for all organizations. Alternative curricula, as well as guidelines for conducting effective training, can be found in Hoerl (2001) and its associated discussion.

Key to the success of Black Belt and Green Belt training is the practice of working on real projects during the training. It is our firm belief that a real, significant project should be the admission ticket for the training: "No Project, No Training." As noted earlier, if the projects are completed, the resulting benefits should more than pay for the training.

Organizing and conducting Six Sigma training needs careful planning, coordination, and execution. It is so important for the training leaders to have experience in the deployment of similar efforts that most companies hire outside Six Sigma consultants to provide this service initially. Experienced providers have the knowledge, experience, capability, and capacity to do what is needed to create a successful deployment. Once the initiative has been successfully launched, and internal MBBs obtain sufficient experience, they should begin to assume leadership of this effort.

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