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What Is Six Sigma Certification?

Six Sigma is a protocol method for improving the efficiency of project management. It was created by an engineer at Motorola in the 1980s and was rapidly adopted as a standard by other companies. By the 1990s, some 66% of Fortune 500 companies had adopted Six Sigma methods into their workflow at some point.

Six Sigma is an efficiency methodology, by which a medium-sized project may be nearly guaranteed to succeed. This is accomplished primarily through strict and rigid planning and a multi-tiered quality control process. It is not suited to large-scale expensive or long-term projects, and certainly not to projects which require a dynamic, agile approach. Rather, it’s ideally suited to the manufacturing floor or the rank and file employees.

The structure of Six Sigma

There are two methods contained in Six Sigma: DMADV is for creating a new project, and DMAIC is for improving an existing project. The project can be anything pertaining to the design, manufacture, transport, or sale of goods or services. The two methods each have five steps:

DMADV (new project):

• define – specify the goals of the project
• measure – assess capabilities and risks
• analyze – research and develop
• design – create the actual work that is the goal of the project
• verify – peer-review for accomplishment

DMAIC (existing project improvement):

• define – specify the goals of the project
• measure – assess capabilities and risks
• analyze – research and develop
• improve – implement the change that is the desired result of the goal
• control – ensure that the project stays within the newly specified boundaries.

Certification

There are levels of certification which come with their own grades modeled after martial arts.

• Yellow belt: Entry-level, paying only a fee.
• Green belt: Requires three years of project management experience and fee.
• Black belt: Requires three years of project management experience plus two signed affidavits of successful completed projects and fee.

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