Frequently Asked Questions
What is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma (LSS) evolved from other quality initiatives, such as ISO and Baldrige, to become a quality standardization process based on hard data. Six Sigma is a term based on Motorola’s definition of defects and began as a quality initiative at Motorola in the 1980s, for which Motorola won the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Lean Six Sigma blends the methodology of Six Sigma with the principals of Lean Manufacturing to provide a comprehensive approach to performance improvement. To find out more, take a look at our “About Lean Six Sigma" page.
What is DMAIC?
DMAIC: First, DEFINE the problem critical to quality, often the hardest part of the project. MEASURE all aspects of the process. ANALYZE the factors that truly drive performance. IMPROVE by establishing optimum levels for each factor. And, finally, define a CONTROL plan to hold the gains. The DMAIC model provides a common language for Six Sigma projects. Company-wide implementation usually results in continual improvement , which leads to big cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.
How does it work?
LSS works by providing the framework for breakthrough performance improvement through the DMAIC method, using various graphical, statistical and lean tools.
What can I expect in terms of financial impact with Lean Six Sigma?
Financial impact varies based on the size of the company and the scope of the project. Financial impact includes cost savings, cost avoidance, and increased capability for new business.
What types of companies and processes can benefit from Lean Six Sigma?
Any organization, whether it’s a government agency or manufacturing-, service-, or healthcare-based, that wants to improve the bottom line and exceed customer expectations needs LSS. Any process that requires standardization and consistent high quality will benefit from LSS. Adding LSS to your organization will put you miles ahead of your competition.
What determines a person’s certification at the end of the training? Exam, Project results, committee review?
The certification process occurs in two steps. The first involves a belt candidate completing the coursework and passing the final course examination. After this, the trainee is awarded a “Training and Examination” certificate. The second step involves the trainee completing a LSS project in his or her organization. The project must be submitted for review to the LSS instructor team and the candidate’s management team. Once the review is complete, the candidate becomes an “NCSU Certified” Green Belt or Black Belt.
Where do we offer our training?
Training is offered at the College of Textiles and the McKimmon Center, with additional courses offered in Charlotte and Greensboro, NC and Alexandria, VA. Our Customized Training program allows organizations to host training courses at their own facilities, if desired.
Are there any pre-requisites for the Black Belt training and Certification?
There are no prerequisites for attending Black Belt training and acquiring the certification outside of the certification process. Green Belt certification is not required to obtain a Black Belt.
I’m interested in some of your Master Black Belt Courses, do I have to be enrolled in the Master Black Belt program in order to take these courses?
No, anyone with an interest in the subject matter of those courses can attend.
What are the pre-requisites for the +2 Upgrade to a Black Belt. What are the advantages to taking a +2 course?
You must have a previous Green Belt certification, or have completed NC State University’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course, in order to take the +2 course. By focusing on the advanced skills needed for Black Belts, the +2 course is more time- and cost-effective than traditional Black Belt training for those who have previous Green Belt training.
What are some of the advantages that NC State has to offer?
- Each public class is taught by at least two instructors
- Our program blends Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma
- Belt courses have an enrollment limit of 20 students
- We certify our trainees at their organizations
- We have Yellow, Green, Black and Master Black Belt courses
- Course participants receive an array of LSS and software reference books.
- NCSU’s reputation
- Our Raleigh training facilities are excellent & food is provided each day.
- Our annual Six Sigma Forum keeps us in touch for years beyond the training class.
- We have JMP®, Minitab® & Microsoft® Excel® with SigmaXL® plugin (software based) courses.
How do you manage a Lean Six Sigma deployment?
Managing a Lean Six Sigma deployment requires project management, organizational structure, resources, and statistical skills. We like to cover these details with your executive management team by doing Champion Training at your site.
Do I need to know statistics before coming to class?
No prior statistics knowledge is needed; however, a willingness to learn is required.
How many people in my organization should be trained and who should they be (function)? What ratios?
This can vary greatly depending upon differences in organizations, but (as a rough guideline) many companies doing Lean Six Sigma well target 1% of their employees to be trained as Black Belt and perhaps 8-10% as GB. This does not necessarily occur in the first year –it may take several years to get to these levels.
What training should the production line employees have?
This depends more on how they are going to function within the organization. Some organizations have chosen to use line people as Black Belts (on the high end) – all the way to maybe just some awareness training (perhaps 1-2 hours) on the low end.
Where do I start?
We offer an Executive Overview course to help you understand the Lean Six Sigma philosophy and present case studies of companies that have successfully implemented Lean Six Sigma programs. Champion Training is another option. Champion Training provides tools for effective leadership of a Lean Six Sigma program. You are always welcome to contact us with questions.
Why are courses spread across two months for Green Belt and four months for Black Belt courses?
Each session is taught every four to five weeks in order to provide participants with an opportunity to go back to their respective organizations and apply the Lean Six Sigma concepts to their organizations.
If my company has not formally deployed Lean Six Sigma, can I attend a course?
Yes, you may attend a course if your company has not formally deployed Lean Six Sigma to your organization.
Do I have to have a project to attend a course?
A project is not required, but having a project that you can apply the Lean Six Sigma tools to would be beneficial.
Will I receive academic credit for attending the course?
No academic credit is given for Lean Six Sigma courses; however, Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are awarded, based on the instructional hours of the course taken.