Six Sigma is a well defined methodology that uses data and statistical analysis to measure and improve  the operational performance of any repetitive business process.  It does this by identifying and eliminating "defects" in manufacturing and service-related processes.

There are three different views of Six Sigma, metric, methodology and philosophy.  Companies can adopt some or all of these.

Philosophy

Adopting the Six Sigma approach to reduce variation in a business and take customer-focused, data driven decisions.

Methods

The processes by which a person or team approaches the analysis and solution of an improvement process.  Six Sigma has two commonly used methods, DMAIC and DFSS.  Both are structured problem solving approaches.  DMAIC is by far the most common because it applies to existing processes.  DFSS applies to the design of new processes.

Metrics

Measuring the Critical to Quality (CTQ) characteristics, as defined by customers, and evaluating how well the process is doing in terms of generating defects. "Six Sigma" is a level of quality equal to a process which generates 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

Why Become Six Sigma Certified?

The reasons for certification are the same for any other certification:  Be a more attractive hire candidate to potential employers, Be more a attractive promotion candidate to your boss, Display proficiency in the subject matter.

Ultimately, certification is a professional decision that can only be made by you. In some cases, it will be required for you to advance within an organization.  Six Sigma certification will display your energy and intent to be a leader within the quality profession.  If you are a job seeker, we advise that you look at job descriptions that interest you.  If you regularly see references to Six Sigma or the Belts that are associated with it, or even ‘quality methods’ or other such terminology, then displaying proficiency in this topic may help you.   Talk with others who have taken it for that reason and see what they say.  Be sure to talk with more than one.  I often get calls from people asking me to advise them on this.  I’m always happy to have the conversation but I’ll always send them back into their own hearts.  We don’t want to ‘sell’ people on taking our courses.  We do want to be the most attractive alternative for them once they have made the decision.

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