Absolutely not!

This is like asking “can you create a surgeon in a five day class?” I don’t know about you, but I do not want to have surgery performed by someone with only five days of experience in a classroom.

“Do we get our Green Belt Certification after the Course?”

My team and I get calls on a weekly basis asking us to teach our 5-day Lean Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt Courses. A question I am asked in most of these conversations is “Do we get our Green Belt Certification after the Course?” This question leads to me having to explain what it takes to truly transform into an effective Six Sigma Green Belt…

What does it take to become a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt?

Short answer is; education and experience!

Education

Let’s focus on “education.” This gets us back to the question “Can you create a Six Sigma Green Belt in five days.” My answer earlier was “No” and I stick by that answer. You can, however, effectively teach the body of knowledge of a Six Sigma Green Belt in five days.

I can read a book or take a short course on plumbing but that does not make me a plumber. A Six Sigma Green Belt, like a Plumber, needs experience in their discipline to become effective. After the Six Sigma Green Belt has had effective training, they should be able to practice their trade on less significant processes so that when they make mistakes (and they will), the mistakes will not be devastating to the process.

The Green Belt will be enamored during the five day class with all the powerful tools they learn. Once they leave the class however, they will retain 5%-20% of what was taught. When that person gets back to their workplace, they will return to their reactive modes. This is where projects die if not properly mentored. In our courses, our Master Black Belt mentors are assigned to each Green Belt to coach them until they effectively complete their projects.

Experience

Now let’s talk about “experience.” Our 5-day Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course includes mentorship (or coaching) before and after the course. Most Green Belts that we teach in our open-to-the-public and our private on-site courses do not have an experienced Six Sigma Black Belt or Master Black Belt mentor in their organization.

Before the course, the Six Sigma Green Belt needs help choosing a certification project that has the proper scope. Without this help from an experienced mentor, the Green Belts often end up choosing a project that is too complex. They also need help choosing a project that will allow them to use the statistical tools that are part of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge.

Our Six Sigma Black Belt or Master Black Belt Mentors are there to help the Green Belt choose the right project and to help them stay on the path to project completion, while bringing all of their experience to the table as well.

About three hours

You may think that our Mentors would spend a lot of time with each student. We actually spend on average, three hours mentoring. We have a rule that we leave with each one of our students, “We (the MBB’s) are your last resort.” We teach our Green Belts to be critical thinkers and to solve problems. We provide the foundation to do so through articles, videos, websites, and more… and we show them that they can go to find their answers. Once they have exhausted every avenue, then we are there to help.

The keys to creating a successful Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

In our experience, the keys to creating a successful Six Sigma Green Belt are:

  • Mentoring the Green Belt before their training with the project selection fase to help them pick the right project.
  • Teaching them the tools and methodology that they need to know to be successful.
  • Providing an infrastructure through relevant articles, videos, websites, etc. where they can find the answers.
  • Post course mentoring to provide guidance, knowledge, experience and direction.
  • A well-developed DMAIC tollgate solution to keep the Green Belts on track.
  • Time! (Usually three to six months)

We see Green Belts and Black Belts every week in different organizations that only took a test after a course and received their Certification. I’ve seen people who got their certification immediately after taking a short online course. Often, they get hired into unsuspecting organizations and eventually, they “operate” on a key process and the results are devastating!

What is your opinion?

What is your opinion? Can you effectively create a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in just 5 days?