Six Sigma certifications are widely available. There are different requirements depending on the type of certification. And within these types there are differences in the lengths of time invested, deliverables, and exams.
Six-Sigma-Material.com is an informational site designed to assist project managers and prepare for certification exams. This site doesn't offer certifications nor promote any specific programs although there are several reputable sources...as well as the contrary.
Certifications are available at many levels. Others not shown below are White Belts, Yellow Belts, and variants that include Lean Manufacturing. The most common Six Sigma certifications in increasing order of difficulty are:
Green Belts will require an understanding of the Lean principles and a basic understanding of statistical analysis. The goals of a Green Belt are shifting the performance to a desired target and reducing the variation of a process. They usually support Black Belts and are not normally employed as full-time Green Belts. They may also mentor Yellow Belts and lead teams with other Green Belts.
Green Belt projects are usually smaller in scope than Black Belt projects. However, they are often expected to be completed within a shorter time span.
These certifications programs are less rigorous than Black Belt program. Certification programs typically vary from 80 hrs – 160 hrs of coursework. Some may require project completion and examination.
Black Belts will require a thorough understanding of the Lean principles and statistical analysis. Their goal are to shift the performance to a desired target and reduce the variation of process. They usually work as full-time Black Belts and mentor Green Belts and other lower level Belts.
Black Belts often provide training and may be involved in creating new material for instructing new Black Belts and Green Belts. These certifications programs are more rigorous than Green Belt program but less than Master Black Belt programs.
Their projects tend to be of higher value and complexity than a Green Belt project. Certification programs typically very from 160 hrs – 360 hrs of coursework. May require proof of project completion, examination, and references.
Master Black Belts are subject matter experts of the Lean principles and have a solid understanding of statistical analysis and advanced statistical concepts.
They usually work as full-time Master Black Belts and devote a significant amount of time mentoring Black Belts and Green Belts. These certifications programs are the most rigorous and involve advanced statistical knowledge.
Their projects tend to focus on fundamental change and direction for a company. Master Black Belts also develop materials, certification programs, and conduct training and provide overall direction for the Six Sigma program.
With a growing number of companies and institutions offering certifications and hybrids programs it can be challenging to filter out the most valuable programs for the investment. Please share your story, good and bad reviews are welcome, of your certification experience.
Arguably, half of the job of the Six Sigma project manager has to do with effective Project Management skills. Change is constant and change is difficult...or someone else would have already done it. Creating a true fundamental shift in the performance of a process INVOLVES people and the culture they work within.
Staying on task, being organized, understanding critical path elements are not taught in most Six Sigma courses. Becoming an effective change agent can be very difficult for some highly technical people to learn. Knowledge builds confidence and this builds trust. From the onset of a project, the moment you begin to lead your team they are developing a sense of trust and credibility in you and this can create strong synergy to complement your technical Six Sigma skills. Or it can work against all the hard work and knowledge you have on the Six Sigma principles, statistics, tools, etc.
The team does not care how much you know, until the know how much you care.
Click on the link below to a recommended certification site:
CPL PMP Certification
Six Sigma Modules
The following presentations are available to download
Green Belt Program 1,000+ Slides
Cause & Effect Matrix
Central Limit Theorem
1-Way Anova Test
Correlation and Regression
Six Sigma & Lean Courses