September 9, 2011 – Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification course in Marlborough commencing October 4.
Six Sigma is the business management strategy originally developed by Motorola in the 1980s to identify and improve problem areas in a manufacturing or business process. It has been adopted by many Fortune 500 companies.
Green Belt is a level or title conferred upon a professional who has been trained in Six Sigma methodology and may either work as part of a team on large-scale projects or act as lead on smaller projects. Other levels within Six Sigma ranking include Sponsor, Black Belt and Champion. Those who successfully complete Green Belt training can increase their salary 4.5% to 1o% depending on their industry.
People are often very surprised to learn that something as popular and highly regarded as Six Sigma Green Belt training has virtually no standards and can vary widely from one training provider to the next.
A training program can run several months – or several days – and award the same title of Green Belt. While students in WPI’s program can count on training that is comprehensive, project based and widely respected, others may have very different experiences. Professor Jim Leonard, who provides the training for WPI, suggested that the reason there is no standardized Green Belt training is that there is simply no standard approach to Six Sigma.
“In some organizations, the Six Sigma initiative is under the direction of a certified Black Belt or Master Black Belt, with little or no direct involvement from top management,” he said. “Other organizations have direct involvement and support of senior corporate managers. With all of these many versions of Six Sigma initiatives, it is not surprising to find little consistency (across) Green Belt and Black Belt training.”
Susan Hicks, Senior Business Development Manager for Corporate and Professional Education (CPE), added that Six Sigma initiatives were developed within individual companies, with each, such as Motorola, GE and Allied Signal, setting its own standard. “When national (governing) bodies finally stepped into the arena, there were already multiple standards based on the companies and no national body was able to drive all the companies to one standard,” she said.
Hicks said that as a result, employers and professionals find major differences among training providers. WPI’s program spans a full six months, she noted. In addition, study takes place in person in a classroom environment with other students.
What makes WPI’s approach different – and superior – according to Leonard, is that the program goes beyond the emphasis on Lean Six Sigma “tools” that is so common with other Green Belt offerings. Considerable time is spent on the theory at the foundation of those tools, he said. “WPI’s program also addresses the critical component of leadership and weaves process-improvement projects throughout the curriculum.”
The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation has provided outreach assistance to WPI for this training course.
Learn more : http://cpe.wpi.edu/greenbelt.html or call 508 831 6164