Welcome to the Lean Six Sigma Experts of Virginia
Companies and residents in Virginia usually think about how they can improve themselves in terms of growth and performance. It sounds a bit weird to say it in this way, but it is accurate to what all of them need to achieve, and the best solution found so far is to include Lean Six Sigma in their lives. But why is Lean 6 Sigma so relevant for companies and individuals despite what we mentioned so far? First, you must know it is a process improvement methodology that allows companies to boost their growth and performance, but instead of achieving this by focusing on one area or two, Six Sigma aims fr more than one objective.
Usually, methodologies overall would focus on one goal. Taking the example of the Lean methodology alone, this one is only aimed at reducing waste and nothing more, but it allows the company that implements it to improve processes to a certain degree thanks to it. Lean 6 Sigma is unique because it not only integrates the goals from Lean but also Six Sigma and still provides specific ones based on how the methodology was created.
If we have to make it simple, LSS is more efficient and effective in achieving process improvement than any other method in the same category or with a similar final and main goal. With this in mind, what does this have to do with individuals? Because when they get trained, experts are born and able to provide services like the methodology’s implementation and train other people. Also, learning 6 Sigma allows individuals to boost their own skills and growth by learning valuable information and new abilities that are required not only for Sigma but many other responsibilities and areas they could choose to work in.
But how do you know if you are a good fit for it? Or, to be more specific, how do you know if it is a good idea to invest your time and resources in either implementing the methodology or learning about it? It is simple: as a company, you will find it more than valuable if you truly want to boost your company’s growth and performance by improving its processes and all inefficient areas and when it comes to an individual, you will find it more than valuable in terms of your personal growth. At Lean Six Sigma Experts of Virginia, we can help you by providing all the services you need to learn or implement the methodology. However, before you make a decision about the service you need either from us or other experts, we want to make sure you have basic knowledge about the methodology and understand what it will entail for you and everyone else.
How Was Lean Six Sigma Created?
The methodology is not new at all, but many people tend to misunderstand this due to the popularity that has been increasing over the last few years. Lean Six Sigma was created in the 80s to address the competition with the Japanese method: Kaizen. Since a common process improvement methodology was not enough to boost a company and ensure it was able to deliver optimal results, there is a combination of two when it comes to LSS: Lean and 6 Sigma.
By this point, we have mentioned that Lean is a methodology that focuses on waste reduction, but that is quite a general description of it. The main goal is to indeed eliminate the waste from processes but also to help the company to understand them and know how efficient and productive they are being. Now, how does Lean help to achieve this? By providing different tools, principles, and concepts to ensure the company is able to focus on all types of wastes. Both methodologies provide all these aspects. However, it is necessary to know how to use them properly.
In the case of Lean, the principles focus on specific steps:
- Identify the value.
- Map the stream value.
And when it comes to the waste, you will not be aiming for a general waste but rather for several types that Lean makes sure to establish and identify:
- Unused talent.
Although there are more aspects and elements Lean Six Sigma itself adapts from the methodology, it is also a matter of using them according to the situation. However, the main ones lie in the principles and types of wastes only. As for Six Sigma, this methodology focuses on reducing the rate of variations and defects during production. Most companies have doubts about what is a variation when it comes to processes and instead of explaining it with technical words that only make it harder to understand, we prefer to provide an example.
Let’s suppose you own a company that manufactures light bulbs for several clients and organizations. Overall, you are probably delivering products that satisfy different clients in the market and just like other companies, vary in shape and quality. However, you have a client in specific that needs you to deliver a specific type of light bulb that covers its needs and requirements. In this case, you will be requested a million bulbs for ‘X’ reason and in a specific timeframe. As a company, you need to make sure every single one of the products meets the customer requirements but to do so, you might discard several pieces that do not meet them.
Usual companies that do not include Six Sigma among the methodologies they use are unable to get a million products or results without many variations. For light bulbs—following the example—, your variations or defective pieces can vary from 100 to 300, sometimes even reach the thousands. This is a lot considering the money and time you are investing in them and therefore, LSS aims to avoid this by reducing the variations up to 3,4 out of a million results. Therefore, you can consider a variation to be a product that is different from what is needed and expected but also a part of the production that does not help to obtain the desired results.
For this to happen, Six Sigma establishes 5 principles:
- Focus and work for the customer.
- Find problems, root causes, and solutions.
- Reduce bottlenecks and variations.
- Include employees and their involvement in projects.
- Flexibility and change are necessary.
Six Sigma has many tools that are many more compared to the ones Lean provides, but the main one or more like a method instead of a tool would be DMAIC. This 5-step practice allows all companies from any industry to address the previous needs and goals based on the principles:
- Define the problems, objectives, and needs.
- Measure the processes and identify problems in them.
- Analyze the root causes of the problems and needs of the company.
- Improve them based on the data collected so far.
- Control the changes and improvements to achieve continual growth and improvement in the company.
As you can see, each letter determines a step and you can consider DMAIC to be a methodology included in the Six Sigma one. Now that all the essential information about these two methodologies has been provided, you must know that Lean 6 Sigma was created based on them but also the entire principle and philosophy of each method. You might notice that some tools and principles are used and followed compared to others, but every part of Lean and Six Sigma is important to build the LSS one.
How Is Lean Six Sigma Implemented in A Company?
Considering the previous steps and principles, we are confident you have a clear idea of it. However, there is more to it than following some steps or the previous methods and practices. Lean Six Sigma can take a lot of time and cost lots of resources when a good strategy is not established and as a result, you will end up implementing it incorrectly and lead to spending more than necessary. Therefore, if you are a company thinking about implementing the methodology you will have to make a decision out of two options:
- Develop talent.
- Or hire it.
Developing talent is about training your own workers in the methodology and making sure they are able to handle projects and even start them when needed. But more than handling projects or managing them, it is a matter of knowing what to do when it is required. Decision-making is crucial when implementing such methodology and you will have to make sure that your experts and properly trained in order to obtain the desired results. But what happens if you do not want to invest in training them? Then, you can always hire talent.
Hiring it means you can rely on LSS consultants who are experienced and properly trained in the methodology to ensure you achieve results in no time and using the right strategy that adjusts to your needs and goals. The issue with consultants is that they can end up being more expensive but the main benefit lies in how fast you can notice the changes. After all, you will not have to wait for the experts to finish their LSS training nor get certified. But based on this, how do you know what is the best option to implement the methodology in your company?
Lean Six Sigma consultants are the best alternative when you are trying to obtain fast and efficient results and do not have time to spare in training others. Also, you are always guaranteed to obtain what you need if you take the time to choose the right experts. With this in mind, developing talent is better when you do have time and want your workers to handle the projects. It tends to be more affordable as well but you will need to handle the months it will take until you are finally able to obtain results. It is a matter of choosing a solution based on your needs, situation, and goals; remember to also consider the people on who you are relying and if they’re a good fit for what you have in mind.
Who Can Learn Lean Six Sigma?
Clearly, workers or employees from a company are able to access Lean 6 Sigma training when choosing to develop talent, but that does not mean they are the only ones able to do so. Any person or individual can take the time to get trained and certified in Sigma, but this person will need to think about the level of compliance and expertise that wants to be achieved. LSS is divided into levels when it comes to training since not all experts have the same roles within a team. According to the belt training—belts are considered levels in Sigma—, the person gets to fulfill a different role.
For Six Sigma, there are over 4 different belts, but the main ones consist of the yellow, green, and black ones, which are the ones we offer for training in our company, Lean Six Sigma Experts of Virginia. Since it has been decided you can get trained regardless of your backstory and current responsibilities, it is more important to worry about what type of training you will take. The reason why we personally focus on these three belts lies in the fact that they are the most important ones. White and brown belts are also known among trainers and companies, but they are not complete enough to allow someone to fulfill small roles or take them to the next level when it comes to leadership.
But when it is about a yellow, green, or black belt, things are different considering what you learn and the skills you get to develop.
- Yellow belt training: it focuses on the basics about Six Sigma, how it works, principles, concepts, terminology, and data collecting for the expert to fulfill small roles within a team.
- Green belt training: focused on how to implement LSS, its tools, philosophies, and developing leadership along with problem-solving skills.
- Black belt training: the expert in this belt will achieve a full understanding of the methodology, know how to lead and supervise a team, and make sure every project goes smoothly to guarantee the desired results are achieved.
Depending on your personal goals or the ones you have for your company, you can choose the best belt training for you or your workers. However, training is not the only aspect to worry about if you want to be able to work with the methodology or allow your workers to cover roles related to it. LSS certification is a must to be able to add the experience and knowledge to a curriculum and start working in any of the roles within the team. Therefore, be it for you or your employees, you need to worry about one of the previous training options but also the certification that comes with one of them.
How to Get Certified in Lean Six Sigma
Not all companies are able to issue certifications in this methodology. Yes, you will find those that are able to provide training and consulting services to assist you in any possible way you need it. However, LSS certifications require companies to meet specific requirements and regulations that tend to limit them from issuing any belt certification. As a result, not many companies in Virginia and around the country are able to offer the certification along with the training.
When this happens, what is the best solution? Find experts who are able to provide both? Or maybe consider the option of getting trained with a company and then start searching for the certification? At Lean Six Sigma Experts of Virginia, we are able to offer you both services without any issues. Therefore, if you are trying to get trained but need the certification as you should, we can offer both solutions. The only thing we request from anyone needing the certification is to either complete the belt training with us or prove he or she has completed another one with different trainers and experts.
Now, we want you to consider the best option when it comes to the certification since the three belts we offer have specific benefits in common but they also have unique ones:
- The yellow belt will allow you to apply for small roles, add value to your curriculum, and work with LSS teams in different industries, but you will be limited to specific tasks and responsibilities due to your knowledge and level of expertise.
- A green belt certification goes further and allows you to fulfill some leadership roles within a company, but has certain limitations. However, you can have more involvement with projects and objectives within the company.
- Finally, a black belt certification opens most doors when it comes to working with Six Sigma since it requires full-time dedication. You will lead, supervise, teach, mentor, and coach an entire team if you decide to get certified in it.
In our experience, we suggest you get a certification that aligns with your needs and personal goals, not only for the company you work with or plan to do so since the skills developed during trained and other benefits obtained from the certification are great for different purposes
How to Rely on Us for Lean 6 Sigma
Either if you are a company, individual, professional, organization, or any party interested in Six Sigma, you can rely on us for your needs. We have been around this industry for over a decade and we know how capable we are when it comes to providing training, certifications, and consulting services. Keep in mind that Lean 6 Sigma involves many needs and objectives and you might need several solutions in order to address them. Also, you have to rely on those that are qualified and experienced, not only random or unknown experts in the methodology.
With this in mind, it is simple to access our services since you only need to call, email, or visit us in the nearest offices to your location. Lean Six Sigma Experts of Virginia has several offices and experts spread through the state and you can expect us to be available for you anytime and all year round. The services we offer focus on consulting to ensure you implement the methodology properly or rely on our LSS consultants for the entire project. Training to ensure you go over the topics and skills you need to work with the methodology and certification to prove yourself and your understanding to a certain level. We know all companies and people have different needs and we have even taken the time to include special services such as Lean Six Sigma for high school students in Virginia that will learn how to work with Sigma but also develop new skills that are valuable for their futures.
Is Lean 6 Sigma Worth Your Time?
Absolutely. When it comes to improving processes, LSS has proven to be efficient and effective, leading to be a success in competing with the Kaizen methodology that placed Japanese companies at the top for a while and continue to do it. Also, LSS is much cheaper to implement compared to going over Lean and Six Sigma individually but simultaneously as well. Therefore, you can bet it is worth your time but also resources as long as you have the right experts for the implementation, or you get to access amazing trainers with qualifications to prepare you for the future roles and responsibilities you will have.
Our company will always have its doors open for you and we are more than excited to answer all your questions about the methodology, help you understand how it works and why you need it, and provide every solution to whatever is in your mind with it. Make sure to contact us and access the most reliable experts and services that will make you understand even more why Six Sigma is worth every single element you decide to invest in it.
There are so many areas or regions where we offer these services with most of them being cities.
However, if you need any of these services, you need to contact us. The list below comprises the areas where we offer these services.