Six Sigma Green/Black Belt - Information Technology

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Brain_Power, Nov 16, 2011.

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  1. Brain_Power

    Brain_Power New Member

  2. dl_mba

    dl_mba Member

    I have been in IT for last 16 years working for medium to large IT companies. I have yet to come across with somebody with these certifications. We have a lot of PMP's at the company i work for. Again its just me. Others might have a different experience.
     
  3. Gau555

    Gau555 New Member

    I've seen a few folks in Linkedin with this certificate. I would just go straight to ASQ.org and certify with them. It'll be much cheaper and will require self study. If you are looking for some nice study materials, check this out:

    Quality Council of Indiana
     
  4. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I too have been curious about these programs. Specifically I'm interested in the Greenbelt. But I do know that Arizona State University has a similar program with a comparable price range. Plus they have additional certs in Lean, which is an area I am very interested in...even more than 6 Sigma.
     
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I am currently reading the 4 books resommended by SME for their Bronze Lean Certification. I will probably go for it after the New Year. Personally, I would not do just a "Lean Six Sigma Black Belt | Black Belt Certification | Villanova" without taking the ASQ exam. I looked at a few Black Belt jobs and they require a Black Belt from a "recognized organization such as ASQ" Besides there is no such thing as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Lean and Six Sigma are really different concepts and different approaches.

    Six Sigma eliminates deviation in a process with stats which improves quality. Lean eliminates waste in a process (waste of movement and/or time). No stats are involved.

    Society of Manufacturing Engineers
     
  6. UnixGuy

    UnixGuy New Member

    I would echo "dl_mba", PMP and ITIL are more popular and in more demand. MBA is good option too for IT managers...
     
  7. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I've already earned an MBA, ITIL v3 and PMP. Currently working on Security+ as an intro into the CISSP stuff. In the mean time I am sizing up a Six Sigma and Lean certifications. Honestly I do not see where ASQ is really all that much better than Villanova or Arizona State or even Rutgers/Lockheed or any other regionally accredited college offering certifications in Lean and or Six Sigma. I say that because it's not as if there is a central governing authority or testing organization like the PMI for the PMP, etc. Although ASQ is the standard I would consider a Villanova certification to be on par with them. I spoke with Villanova today and their certification is a blend of Lean and Six Sigma since they see the two methodologies as mutually beneficial. That said their "Master Certificate" is three certifications (six sigma green belt, lean six sigma, six sigma black belt). Personally I like their IT emphasis in Six Sigma certification...I just wish they would break out Lean a little more.

    Rutgers University does their program as a joint venture with Lockheed Martin and is the cheapest of all the offerings I've seen but requires a project. Arizona State is the same cost wise as Villanova but also requires a project. I think SME and ASQ are doing themselves a disservice (just my opinion mind you) by increasing the rigor of the Six Sigma and Lean certifications to beyond what I would guesstimate market demand would be but I could be wrong. Even still the bronze, silver, gold, stair step to some higher status is somewhat confusing and to me overly rigorous for a non-standardized credential. Maybe I just don't get it?
     
  8. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Oh...I forgot to add, the Villanova program has simulated projects, 4 of them and they are standardized no matter the emphasis track.
     
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I have heard that the Lean/Six Sigma star is setting. That may not be universally true but it's something I heard. The greenbelt is easy to get and not expensive. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have it as a basic cert.
     
  10. UnixGuy

    UnixGuy New Member

    I have near to zero knowledge about Six Sigma. I didn't dig into it because I think It's not really in demand for IT managers. Good luck with the CISSP, good choice!
     
  11. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Kizmet, in software development and regarding just Six Sigma I believe you are right and I'm not seeing a lot of value in spending a ton of time and money in it (personally)...however Lean is making a strong push and would be worthwhile. According to Forrester (a bigtime IT research firm tracking industry trends) Lean and Agile is the "new" future. Six Sigma is fine and dandy as well but truthfully would be more at home in a manufacturing environment. Most IT companies would instead be leaning towards ITIL for process improvements rather than Six Sigma. That said, I still think Six Sigma would have a place in dealing with outside customers for development of their systems or in supporting their processes. Though ITIL may be more industry appropriate for IT it is my opinion that Six Sigma would still need to be addressed from a "systems" perspective when communicating and supporting non-IT entities. (Jeez, I think my brain just blew up).
     
  12. Gau555

    Gau555 New Member

    I work for a company with over 80,000 employees. Our IT department uses 6sigma for process improvement and we use little ITIL for process improvement. In a green belt project I did for our company, it saved our group $17k annually. That's chump change compared to the savings our black belts save the company. Some projects save the company millions per year. 6sigma has wonderful tools that help various people make decisions and reducing waste. 6sigma folks are data orientated and make decisions based on data. I would highly recommend learning 6sigma to everyone for improving quality.
     
  13. Brain_Power

    Brain_Power New Member

    Sounds like possessing both Six Sigma Black Belt and ITIL Master certification would benefit for competition purposes in the job market.

    Which one would you pursue first? I have plans on entering the IT industry next year and current research shows ITIL might be a better choice first, but really depends upon what company you work for.
     
  14. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Honestly if I were pursuing one I would choose ITIL. If you are looking for "which first" I would also choose ITIL since it helps to define "services" and processes which then can go on to put any 6 sigma training into context. Just my opinion mind you... I'm not knocking 6 sigma at all, I just think that some organization such as SME have level set 6 sigma credentials so high and one has to jump through so many hoops that it just isn't worth it. Villanova, Arizona State, Rutgers, etc. may be different. But you have so many other legitimate service management and process improvement methodologies that sometimes 6 sigma seems a little...I don't know...more like a marketing schtick than a workable business model. (For example you have ITIL, CMMI, COBIT, Lean, etc.) Note that several of these other methodologies can work hand in hand with 6 sigma, they are not mutually exclusive. For example ITIL can help you define and map your services and processes, 6 sigma can help you raise your quality standards, CMMI can help you standardize how you document everything and Lean can help you reduce waste and work towards a reuse model. Of course to intelligently do something like this you'll need an army of very, very smart people and a clear vision of where you want to be. Otherwise you could end up with a useless pile of methodologies and nobody using any one to any effect.
     
  15. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

  16. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I disagree, for the IT industry there are Six Sigma projects, especially in the realm of software development and specificly within government defensive contractors (like Lockheed Martin). Also Lean (which is integrated into the credential) is increasing in popularity. Is it the best credential for IT? Certainly no. Is it potentially useful? Absolutely and as you pointed out, in operations (even in IT) it would be good to have.
     
  17. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Feel free to disagree, but if you need a LSS credential and you are leading an IT project, you are a PM, not an IT person. If you are in operations or logistics, you are not an IT person.

    Of course I know that real world job descriptions often mix nomenclature and many PMs think of themselves as tech professionals, but I personally, don't. Other than in the best firms I've been associated with, PMs tend to get in the way of sprints, or at the least, bog them down, not work in them. In the best firms, they plow the road for people who are technical, who then get stuff done well.
     
  18. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Sprinting in the wrong direction doesn't necassarily accomplish a lot. Also putting PM, logistics, operations, etc. in a seperate silo from "real" IT is so 1990's thinking. ;)
     
  19. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Completely understood and agreed on that point. Depends on the company. Very few are in a position to really align with thought leadership and still be effective.
     

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