Lean is a methodology for getting waste out of all kinds of business operations. There is hardly a business process that cannot benefit from the application of Lean Thinking. Six Sigma is a methodology for getting harmful variation out of repetitive business processes. The two work together in harmony to make a powerful process improvement hit team.
In Lean thinking, the focus is on eliminating waste from operations. Waste gets in the way of an efficient operation. In most Lean operations, efficiency is measured by how long it takes from the inputs of your process to turn into the outputs. If you are manufacturing bolts, how long it takes for steel rods to turn into a bolt. If you are paying bills, how long from the time you receive the bill until it is paid. If you are seeing atients in a medical clinic, how long from the time the patient walks in the door until they walk out with a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Lean is often adopted as a company culture, a way of doing business,and often training and implementation is widespread, often involving a majority of the employees. Employees are empowered to identify and fix problems. This is done however, with an overall system analyis to be sure that the right problems are being attacked.
There are a series of tools and techniques used to turn an inefficient operation into a 'lean' one. Those tools and techniques are taught as part of a Lean training program.
Why Become Lean 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. Lean 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 Lean, 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.