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Six Sigma Certification: 5 Questions to Ask Your Practitioner

Six Sigma plays an enormous role in process and quality improvement within your business. Provided you utilize its ideas effectively, you can identify and eliminate common process problems like variation and waste. Before you jump into the deep end, however, make sure you get your facts straight. If you’re considering a Six Sigma training or certification program, here are five questions you should ask before you begin.


How Will Six Sigma Benefit My Business?

Many common problems go unnoticed on a day-to-day basis, growing and accumulating over time until they’re too big to handle. That’s where Six Sigma can help you. By investing in quality Six Sigma training, you can learn to help yourself. You can organize and run Six Sigma projects to target key process areas for improvement. Techniques like DMAIC and Design of Experiments allow you to test and control your processes with the aim of implementing new and improved ones. That way, you can be sure to make a lasting impact on quality and efficiency for your business.


What Do I Need to Know Before I Begin?

Six Sigma doesn’t have its own centralized governing body to monitor accreditation activities. As such, there are three different methods by which to achieve Six Sigma certification. Some corporations, particularly Six Sigma giants like General Electric and Motorola, have their own in-house training initiatives. But, external training providers can also offer training and certification for all Six Sigma belt levels. If you’re considering certification, it’s important to select the right method for you.


What are the Three Certification Methods?


  • The first method, known as first-party, involves self-declaration after you have met all the professional standards for Six Sigma certification. Most tend to view first-party certification with skepticism due to its lack of consistency. We recommend alternative methods for your


  • Second-party certification, for instance, comes from companies and training partners with their own certification programs. They will validate your certification per their standards, providing a structured and objective assessment of your achievements.


  • Finally, third-party certification describes the individuals who identify and validate Six Sigma training, ensuring you satisfy a set of industry-wide standards. They then pass results on to independent and impartial organizations with the goals of maintaining the same industry standards.


Which Certification Method is Right for Me?

These days, second-party certification is most common for Six Sigma certification. The great thing about second parties is that they allow you to select a training provider to suit your needs. A little research can go a long way to finding the right provider for you, as different organizations may not reflect your goals.


What Is the Key to Six Sigma Success?

For you to ensure Six Sigma makes a strong impact on your business, you must first secure adequate top-down support from higher-ups. If your management doesn’t support Six Sigma, how can you expect it to function? Without an organized, consolidated team-effort, you’ll be left spinning your wheels. Only with the proper support from all levels of your business will Six Sigma keep rolling towards success.

Not every business is alike, and Six Sigma may not take quite as easily under all circumstances. This is why complete investment is so important. As such, Kaizen thinking is essential to much of Six Sigma methodology. It’s all about cultivating a culture of continuous improvement in which everyone has a stake. If you can accomplish this, there’s nothing to stop you from achieving Six Sigma.

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