Webinar: Lean Six Sigma Certification Courses
Hosted on August 29, 2018
- Tressa Bidelman, Program Advisor, Purdue University, Lean Six Sigma Courses
- Rick Ring, SME Certified Lean Instructor, Six Sigma Black Belt
LSS Webinar Transcript
|Tressa Bidelman, Program Advisor||Rick, welcome. I’m so sorry about the audio issues everyone. Rick, why don’t you take some time to introduce yourself and then I will get back into what Lean Six Sigma is.|
|Rick Ring, SME Certified Lean Instructor||Good day everyone. My name is Rick Ring, and I am an instructor for Purdue University’s online classes and it’s my pleasure to be here this morning or this afternoon, wherever your time zone is. I just finished up a Green Belt class last week and I’ll be starting another Green Belt class in October. My career consisted of 20 years with the Pillsbury Company, in which I moved all over the United States in various positions and I worked for 10 years with Purdue University Technical Assistance Program, which is an affiliate of a nest. And I delivered training and implementation and auditing assistance for Six Sigma, Lean, and the automotive standard. And I’ve led or facilitated multiple Six Sigma projects and events, and I’m an air force veteran. I have experience in a lot of different organizations and sectors, manufacturing, government, utilities, healthcare, logistics, various other service organizations. I have two Black Belts, one from the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and the other one from the American Society for quality. Turn it back over to you Tressa.|
|Tressa Bidelman||Thank you so much Rick. I really appreciate you sharing your experience and your knowledge in the field. Anyone who takes a course with him, we’ll get a lot out of it. So let’s continue on and thank you everyone for your patience and letting us get our audio sorted out here. So what is Lean Six Sigma? Really at the end of it, both of them do seek to eliminate waste in a process. Six Sigma by itself is really all about eliminating the defects in the process while Lean looks at eliminating the unnecessary steps in the process. So the two of them working together really provides the most efficient and process improvement as well as continuous improvement. So why do professionals get certified? It absolutely brings value to you, your organization will learn more about the courses and how the courses themselves can even help provide value to your organizations directly. These skills that you’re learning actually do help your businesses save money. Why you professionals get certified; as you can see there by our payscale.com from a survey conducted in August 2018, there are some significant salary increases once you get the certifications. These are really based on employees who get their Six Sigma Black Belt certification.
It’s also for your job flexibility, these types of skills can really be applied to many different industries. Even our certificate graduates have come from healthcare to construction, finance, automotive, military, you can see the entire list there.
So we do offer the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Principles, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and the Green Belt Refresher. So the first option is, you can take a couple of courses by themselves individually, which is the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt or the Lean Principles course. Neither of those have prerequisites and you could take those at any time based on our start dates. The other option is, if your ultimate goal is to get a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, then you would have to complete both of those courses prior to the Black Belt, but they can certainly be taken in any order. The other option is, we know a lot of people out there may have already gotten a Green Belt, so we’d be happy to review your current Green Belts and in that case you may have to take the Green Belt Refresher, Lean Principles, and then you could pursue the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. So what is it like to take an online course at Purdue? The really nice thing about it is it is 100 percent online, meaning you won’t have to log in for anything live. There will be weekly due dates and deadlines to give you some structure and most importantly it is instructor led. And Rick, we’ll get more into that later, but you’ll be talking about with the Lean Six Sigma experts and all of them put together, have decades of industry and consulting experience.
So what types of things will you be doing in the course? You’ll be looking at video lectures, there will be, like I said, quizzes, self-tests, some assignments based on the course work and then there will be some discussion boards available to make sure everyone is understanding the concepts. Alright, so let’s get into the real meat and potatoes about the courses and I’ll pass it over to Rick Ring.
|Rick Ring||Okay. Let’s talk about the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt format first. The class goes for 10 weeks, average around 45 hours of study, four to five hours per week. We have video lectures and coursework. There is weekly assignments and quizzes that must be completed on schedule. Again, like Tressa and said, there are no set times that you must log in to the website. That’s up to you and your own schedule. However, there is a schedule for you to be met as far as getting quizzes and assignments in on time. We have a really good case study that is signed during this class and one of the good things about it is it is divided into three tracks you can choose from. You can choose from the manufacturing track, you can choose from the IT track or you can choose from the healthcare general track depending upon your experience and your particular workplace. We want you, during the Green Belt class to start thinking about your Black Belt class and your Black Belt project as we get into the Black Belt class, we do require a project for that class. And you can earn 4.5 CEUs from this class. Outcomes; identify key metrics for measuring success, detect waste in the value stream, effectively analyze and present data, apply team leadership tools and learn the DMAIC s framework or as I like to call it, it’s a process for improving processes, your work area and making money for your organization. Lean Principles, time commitment is comparable to a weeklong short course on campus. Study time is around four hours a week. Again, we have weekly assignments and quizzes that must be completed on schedule, and the remainder of the work is up to you when you went to get online and complete it if it doesn’t have a date to it. We offer 3.5 CEUs for the Lean Principles. The outcome; build a comprehensive understanding of the Toyota way and Lean Toyota production system. The Toyota four p model, 14 principles of the Toyota way, the Toyota production system house model. Now with that course the book that comes with it is called “The Toyota way: 14 management principles from the world’s greatest manufacturer”. That’s the book, that’s the course. Black Belt, Black Belt format for experienced Lean Six Sigma professionals. Now we go from 10 weeks in the Green Belt to 16 weeks in the Black Belt. That includes pre-work, weekly learning modules and breaks. Ninety five hours of total study anywhere from six to 10 hours a week. If you will, you must submit a project. The class is built around your project. And so, we highly suggest that you have in mind a really good sound project before you start the class.
Again, weekly assignments and quizzes to be completed on schedule. We have online discussion for classmates. Now we have that also in the other classes. There’s something called a discussion board and we provide the topics and then the students chime in on their takes on particular topics we have. We get a lot of good stories on that. Then the instructors again chime in with their takes on certain things. Real-time coaching, emails, phone, text, we also have webinars that are very effective. And again, since we want you to do this on your own schedule. We record the webinars if you can’t make that particular time so that they’re available at your leisure to go on the site and see them.
What makes Purdue different? Well, for the Black Belt, and I’ll talk about Black Belt first and then I’ll include the other classes, but for the Black Belt, other courses we found reteach some of the Green Belt content in prep for the Black Belt. We’re able do that, we get right into the Black Belt material. Other classes or courses may not include a project. We feel very strongly that the completion of a project is essential in order to earn a Black Belt certificate and other classes and courses may not be instructor guided.
So, on the Black Belts, I must say on the Green Belt class and in our other classes, students do work closely with instructors throughout the class. Our classes are indeed, instructor led, we emphasize interaction that the instructors interact with the students. We emphasize webinar usage, again, they’re recorded. And I think very importantly we emphasize flexibility, in that we understand that our students may have other things pop up and I’ve certainly seen a lot of that in my classes and I’ve taken a lot of online classes. So I understand it from the other angle also; we’ll work with you to get the job done and so that you can finish the class, and receive your certificate. Green Belt Refresher or [inaudible] those who want to refresh knowledge, this is for them. This ensures that students are prepared to succeed in other Purdue courses. Again, they’re instructor led and we evaluate the student’s current level where they’re at, and then we’ll provide assignments, up to 12 to strengthen any deficiencies. And in this particular class there’s six months access to course materials.
Okay. So we reviewed a little bit about the courses. If I may, let me give you a brief review of how Lean Six Sigma works. Lean Six Sigma principles. Just take a minute and review these. Very important. And that’s what Lean Six Sigma is all about. Check out some of the key terms; Team based, Documented, Projects, Targets waste, flow, defects, or errors.
We will follow the domain process, a problem solving process, and use database decisions to solve problems.
We will use improvement tools to gather data and analyze data. Very important. The last bullet, customer focused and integrated with the goals of your organization.
Well, here’s an example. I think I might’ve had about a third of the folks in my last class that were tied into to the healthcare sector and they took the healthcare track as far as the case studies and we’ve got a lot of good feedback from our case study work by the way. Well, here’s an example. Many times our patient’s wait up to 60 minutes after the scheduled appointment time to see the doctor. We understand ideally there is no great time, however, given the things that we cannot control, we feel that no wait time is just not achievable. We do think a reduction from 60 minutes to 15 minutes is achievable and sustainable. So what we’re looking at here, this project will be all about reducing time, other projects, can be reduced errors, reduced cycle time, reduce defects. This particular one, reducing time, we form a team, we’re going to use it to make method and Lean Six Sigma to improve the tools to get this done. So the first stage is defined, select the team, initiate a project charter. Remember a couple of overheads back, I said that a Lean Six Sigma projects must be documented, so the project charter, you see the pathway or the plan and then as you fill it in, it becomes a documentation.
We’ll define the process output to be improved. Okay. It’s waiting time. You define waiting time, waiting time starts when and so in this case we might say waiting starts when the patient checks in with the clerk or the receptionist and waiting time will end when the patient is face to face with the doctor. Really important. However, we have to document how it was going to define a way you have to document the output, how we’re going to define the output. In this case, its 15 minutes max, past scheduled appointment time. We’ll go ahead and study and document the process that needs improving. There’s several tools that we can use for this. We can use the value stream map, we can use process flow, we can use [inaudible]. Many tools that we can use and that we discuss in class. The major phase. Well, we better do a couple of things here. We need to establish the baseline. Well, one of the nurses thinks that patients are waiting on the average of 60 minutes, but she has no data to back that up. We’re going to get data to document the actual waiting time, so we’ll take our samples and we’ll calculate among other things the average waiting time, and we’ll look at the variability and we can use tools like control charts and capability studies to do this. This information will give us our baseline.
Now we’re into the analyze phase. Now, some of you may have experienced in the past on any problem solving a venture that you happen to go on. We might jump right into this phase. Forget defining what the project is all about. We forget trying to measure it. We think we already know what the baseline is. We want to get right in there and solve the problem, Lean Six Sigma is in. We’re going to define and measure first. Now we get into root cause analysis. We cover lots of tools to do this. Can we talk here in terms of brainstorming to identify and list all potential causes that we think may add to the problem? Then we come up with lists, I like 54 lists. I like 50 potential causes for a problem, when I was teaching live, that is on site, we would actually go out and brainstorm, we wouldn’t stop until we had 50, take just a few seconds and think about some of the things that could be affecting the long wait time.
Maybe the patient didn’t bring in life insurance forms or cards. Maybe it’s a certain time of the day. Maybe it’s a certain day of the week. What about the number of rooms that are available? How about walk-ins? Do the doctors arrive on time? Do we have the correct paperwork? From time to time do we forget about the patient? How about patient load, number of doctors, number of clerks. How about seasonal illnesses? Like the flu? How about unnecessary visits, how about disasters? Many times on problem solving exercises. We stopped at two, three or four and fail to capture everything accurately captured. Well, once we figure out what the one, two, or maybe three root causes are because there’s a lot of times there could be more than one it will cause. We’ll brainstorm, use other tools to identify and implement solutions to correct the main causes. You do that and then we let that run a little bit and we collect new data after the corrective actions are taken to see how much are we improved and how we met the original goal. This is a very important phase of the process, because if you do not do this, all of your work may have been for naught, if we don’t identify an income control methods to maintain the improvements, it could all go down the drain and we end up with nothing but where we started from. Methods that we talk about in the class or control plans, control charts, training and other things. We not only sustain the improvements but we see if we can spread the improvements to other processes in our organization.
Okay. Well, take a minute and take a look at these tools. Here is a partial list of Lean Six Sigma tools that we talk about in our classes, you probably have used some of these already. What we find out is most Lean Six Sigma improvement tools have been around for some time. I used a lot of these tools back at Pillsbury back before Lean Six Sigma was even thought about. Some of these you may know, some of these, you may not. Some of these can be used a lot. Others, maybe not so much. What I put down here in red are some of my favorite tools and that’s a personal decision on the student in the belts. Which tools do they like? Which tools do they want to use just about on any project. I like brainstorming. I like control charts. I liked the, five S, the histogram, process capability, like standard work and value stream map. That’s not to say the others are very, very important, but those are the ones that I’ve used almost on every project. The good thing about the class is that we will expose you to many tools and then you can choose the tools that you like or the tool or tools that will best fit your Lean Six Sigma project.
About the tools – we do not have to be professional statisticians. We have software for that, back in the day when we didn’t have the software, at Pillsbury, we had a statistics department up in Minneapolis and they were manned by very able statisticians and really not a lot of people could understand what they were talking about, we would stand around and nod our heads and do what they told us to do. We don’t have to do that anymore, we have software for that. Now we have to understand the software and a team member must be able to use this statistical software correctly. I’ve seen a lot of projects in go south because the software was not used correctly, so we have to have someone that can do that for us. We must be able to choose the right tool for the job, talked about that already. Remember the last two bullets, we as folks as people, generate improvements, not the tools, we use the tools, the tools don’t use us, and the tools are combined with subject matter knowledge. Subject matter experts’ knowledge needs to be supported by data.
Key thoughts – follow the yellow brick road. That is key. The define, measure, analyze, improve, control process. That’s key. I’m not saying you have to use that on all of your projects, but if you skip a step the team better document and decide that we don’t need to do that step and this is why, normally you’re going to do all the steps. You will be judged by your projects.
It must be customer focused, fully documented and tied into business objectives and there must be a place in your organization to store these projects. You’re going to do on a fairly large project, a lot of work and generate a lot of knowledge and that knowledge, if properly documented can be used for other projects. Remember that you will be leaders, you’ll be coaches and you’ll be teachers. It’s very important therefore, that you understand and use properly, the Lean Six Sigma terms.
Improvement is a team effort. This is not about one person sitting in the corner throwing out data. A little story I tell about the last bullet is the ham and eggs breakfast and you’ve made well for this one. Uh, so we sit down, we eat ham and eggs and we have two main suppliers and of course that’s the chicken and we have the pig and the chicken makes a lot of noise, runs around, and lays the egg. It’s good for us. And then rushes off for a further, fun and an adventure in other places. So the chicken is involved and then takes off, what about the ham? The Ham and the pig’s a different story. The pig is fully committed, he gives everything there is to give for the breakfast and that’s what we want our top management support and involvement to be. It’s essential and that they have to lead, they have to support and they have to be involved. With that, I will turn it over to you Tressa. Thank you.
|Tressa Bidelman||Thanks so much Rick. That was really helpful and informative. Let’s go over the materials and fees and in just a few slides, we would like to hear from you and any questions that you have. So at the top of the list is our Green Belts, the fee for that is $2,195. As you can see there, there are no additional fees in that course because all of the texts and software are included. We do want you to use the statistical software called QY Macros, but you can sign up for a six month free trial version of that, and if you would like the to purchase it will be $99. Lean Principles, the course fee itself is $2,100. And as Rick mentioned, we do want you to get the Toyota way, you can purchase that however you would like. I think the last time I checked on it was around $20 to $25.
Once you get to the Black Belt, again, you do have to complete the Green Belt and Lean Principles prior to starting that course. But again, those can be taken in any order. The course fee alone is $3,750. The Six Sigma handbook will cost about $60 and then by the time you get to that Black Belt, you will have to purchase the QY macros for $99. Typically speaking, it takes our students about 10 to 12 months to do all three courses based on our start dates, so that six months trial period will run out. The Green Belt Refresher, the course fee alone is $395 and there are no additional fees in that. So for all three courses, if the Black Belt is your ultimate goal, will end up being $8,045. We do offer a bundle package, if you pay for all three courses in full upfront, it would be $7,195 for the courses.
We do offer discounts for groups, as few as three people. So three to four people is a five percent discount, and five or more people is a 10 percent discount, if any of you have large corporate groups, we’re happy to discuss those discount options as well. So reach out to myself or the other program advisors, we’d be happy to discuss that with you. These courses are eligible for the GI bill. It’s a little bit different process, but real simple, we just ask you to fill out a brief application form for us and provide us with your certificate of eligibility. Last but not least, these are the fees, nothing hidden, we don’t charge exam fees or recertification fees. What you see here is the cost.
So what are we looking at in terms of our next offerings? The Green Belt is something that we do offer every single month, typically on the first Wednesday of every month. September actually is now closed, so we’re looking more at October 3rd would be the next start date to get enrolled and after that it would be October 31st. The next Lean Principles is October 17th and that date will actually be the last one for the year. And then for those who have already completed the Green Belt and Lean Principles, the next Lean Six Sigma Black Belt starts October 15th.
So any questions, we’ll give you a few minutes to chat those in while we take a look at some of what our prior graduates have had to say. And as you’re reading through those, you know, I’ve worked with several people throughout the program, in the finance industry to healthcare to IT. So these courses really are applicable to any industry. One of my favorite stories was from a gentleman in the finance industry and he really wanted his Black Belt. He wasn’t sure how the other two courses would help him because he was told that’s ultimately what he needed. And he started off with our Lean Principles course and I know people really associate Lean with manufacturing, he got back to me after the course and said he has already started to apply the concepts that he learned from Lean Principles into his current role. So it really does show that you can apply these concepts to any sort of role or industry that you’re in.
So I’m going to start answering some of these questions here. Does the bundle discount, meaning Green Belt Lean Principles into Black Belt, does it apply to GI bill? Yes, that package is eligible for GI. You’ll see on the application form that we can email you, that you can select that as an option including all of the materials.
And no, there is no re-certification required and these certifications do not expire. Thank you for that.
There’s not a required timeframe to complete all three [programs]. The average student will do all three in about 10 to 12 months.
That’s a great question — if we have certification pass rates. It’s not something we’re tracking at the moment. We rarely have a student who doesn’t pass. If you’re working with the instructor, if you’re submitting the assignments, we really do give you all of the opportunities to get as many points as you can. If you ever do feel like, you’re not understanding a concept or your feeling behind, or maybe there’s something going on at work that week, please get in touch with your instructor right away. They do want to work with you and again, set you up for success. Maybe Rick, you can chime in on that as well.
|Rick Ring||Really nothing there, you’ve said it all, Tressa. One of the things that Purdue is really good at is being flexible, and we know that things pop up. We know that other things come up and you may fall behind and I just ask my students, let me know and we’ll work with you and we’ll get this thing done.|
|Tressa Bidelman||Corporate reimbursement; in terms of tuition reimbursement, typically students have paid with a credit card upfront and then they get reimbursed by their employers. Now we do accept a letter of credit or vouchers and then we can invoice your company directly. So if that’s the case, please get in touch with us and we could go through that process with you as well.
We actually do have some 2019 dates scheduled, so if you could, actually I’m going to write your name down and I can email you those links.
That’s a great question – is the length of the Black Belt and additional six weeks to the Green Belt of 10 weeks or is it 10 weeks for the green and a separate 16 weeks for the Black? It is the latter. So these are three separate courses. Lean Principles is an eight week course. The Green Belt is a 10 week course and the Black Belt is a 16 week course and they all do have specific start and end dates.
Unfortunately we don’t have any direct discounts for nonprofit organizations. Again, we do offer those group discounts, if you have as few as three people who are interested, we do offer that five percent discount, so hopefully we can connect later, then discuss if you have some additional employees who are interested.
Can the course lecture can be downloaded, so you don’t have to be logged in to the course site in order to watch that. Rick, can you respond to that?
|Rick Ring||And the question is, can it be downloaded so you don’t have to go to the website? Is that the question?|
|Tressa Bidelman||Yes. Basically so that they don’t have to be online in order to watch the videos.|
|Rick Ring||I think no, I don’t think so, maybe I’d never had never been approached by a student to do that, so I’m not for sure on that.|
|Tressa Bidelman||Something we can certainly follow up and double check for you on that as well. This is a great question that Rick maybe you could help out with, what stage in your career should you obtain a certificate or when does the average student obtain it?|
|Rick Ring||Okay. So, I’m going to offer an opinion and there was no data to support this opinion. How does that grab you right now? My take is this, is that early on in your career you need to get involved in this, as early as you can. I wish they would teach some of this stuff in colleges, in Universities as part of a curriculum. But I would say, as soon as you can, as soon as you can get into your career, it helps you in your job. It helps your marketability, is just a tremendous, tremendous help there. Now average, I’ll give you a range because I don’t know what the average is. I don’t have the data, but I’ve had students right out of vo-tech school saying, okay, two years maybe they’re 18, 19, 20 years old, stuff like that. And I’ve had veterans as students that had spent 20, 30 years in the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, whatever it is. And so the range is just tremendous. So it’s applicable across the board.|
|Tressa Bidelman||Perfect. Thank you. Wanted to go ahead and another question. A current Grad student at Purdue wants to know if the courses can be added to the plan of study. That’s a great question because these courses are professional development courses and not worth college credit, so you would not be able to add those to your plan of study. That being said, as Rick said, we do have a wide range of experience and people in the courses, so we get students in even Undergrad who take the courses during their summer break, and again, all the way up to experienced professionals who are now understanding that having a certification on their resume is really boosting their careers. We do have a question. Rick, I think maybe you might be able to help with this, wanting to know is there an advantage to Six Sigma certification after completing Lean Six Sigma?|
|Rick Ring||So we’re talking about doing Lean first and then Green Belt. Is that the question?|
|Tressa Bidelman||I think the question is do they need a Lean Six Sigma certification as well as just solely a Six Sigma certification?|
|Rick Ring||Well, the trend over the last few years has been to merge the best of Lean and the best of Six Sigma into Lean Six Sigma. So my take is take a Lean Six Sigma course, our Green Belt class, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt class, has elements, several chapters of Lean in it and you will get the best of both worlds.|
|Tressa Bidelman||Okay, perfect. Thank you. That’s a great question – someone in healthcare wants to know what the recommendation is, whether it’ll be taking Lean Six Sigma Green Belt or the Lean Principles. My opinion is and my advisement is typically to do the Lean Six Sigma Green Belts, gives you the tools and understanding how Lean and Six Sigma work together and also has the healthcare focus case study that Rick mentioned earlier, so then you’re really learning how to apply the concepts in that sort of environment. Do you have anything else to add, Rick?|
|Rick Ring||Lean Six Sigma Green Belt of all the Lean Principles and The Toyota Way and the 14 management principles. Probably about 20 percent of that. I’ll go with the 80/20 rule of the Lean manufacturing or Lean class will have the rest of it. A huge advantage of taking Lean Six Sigma Green Belt is learning to see, to make way the process, define, measure, analyze, improve and control. You don’t get that in Lean, you get that in Lean Six Sigma and that’s huge.|
|Tressa Bidelman||Perfect. Is there a specific day of the week that quizzes, discussions, work will be due – I can’t speak to the discussions. Maybe Rick can comment on that. I do know that, like I said, typically the courses will start on a Wednesday and then your homework and your quizzes will be due the following Tuesday. Can you expand on that, Rick?|
|Rick Ring||And that is true on the quizzes and the homework. Very true. On the discussion boards, one can go onto the discussion boards anytime they want, 2 o’clock in the morning, they can go out on a Sunday, whatever it is. And we really don’t have a time line on that as far as it has to be in by a certain time.|
|Tressa Bidelman||Okay, great. One question for you, Rick. Someone has gone through some articles about the use of Lean Six Sigma methodology for the legal profession. So wanting to know, again, if it should be Lean Principles or the Green Belt that would benefit this person the best?|
|Rick Ring||Well, I wish I recorded my first answer. I will go with the previous answer. I’ll go with a Green Belt Six Sigma because of the DMAIC process and again it does, give you about 20 percent of Lean that talks in terms of the eight wastes and talks in terms of Lean tools like value stream mapping to Kanban, a visual controls five S and then it just merges the two processes really well for you. So I would go with Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.|
|Tressa Bidelman||Perfect. Thanks so much. We did see a couple more of your responses come in who want that 2019 schedule, so we’ll get those out to you. I will let you know, won’t be for the full year, but I think it’s through. In some cases it is through May, so we’ll get that out to you with what we have and I think we’ll wrap things up here. Feel free to follow up again with myself, Sammy, Virginia Leonard. There is our email address right there. That’s our general box that many of us are checking for you. You can call us at (888) 390-0499 and visit our site, has a lot of great information on there as well. We really appreciate you joining us today and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you Rick. My pleasure. Bye now.|
To learn more about Purdue University’s online Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification program and download a free brochure, fill out the fields below. You can also call (888) 390-0499 to speak to one of our Program Advisors.
Purdue University respects your right to privacy. By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails and calls from a representative of Purdue University, which may include the use of automated technology. Consent is needed to contact you, but is not a requirement to register or enroll.