Finding the best Lean Six Sigma Certification program can be quite a daunting task at first but it is not as complex as it might seem.
In this article, we will show that the actual certification format is actually more important than the certificate – especially if you are looking to use the Lean Six Sigma Certification to enhance your career and develop professionally.
So if you are just looking for a fast way to get your name on a piece of paper to add to your CV it’s best you jump on Google as our recommended approach may not be for you.
“Training is useful but there is no substitute for experience.” Lotte Lenya
Lean Six Sigma is a problem-focused meta-skill focused on finding ways to improve the way we do things. Yes, it has toolkits which need to be understood, but above all its a practical skill which enables change to physically take place. And therefore, the best Lean Six Sigma training combines both theory and practise.
Getting a Lean Six Sigma Certification without the practical experience is like saying you can drive when you have passed the theory exam or claiming to be as good as a Michelin star chef because you have watched the Gordon Ramsey videos without ever stepping inside a kitchen.
And here lies the issue with online certifications which do not require any practical experience:
You might know how to use the tools in theory, but the actual experience of implementing anything is completely missing.
As any decent change agent and business professional knows, the implementation of all projects is the hard part.
There is no easy formula and step by step guide to making change happen. But by testing, learning and ultimately experience in change management, we can all become successful change agents.
So if you turn up for an interview with just a certificate without any practical experience, then do not be surprised when the quick and simple rejection email is sent through or more likely, you simply hear nothing.
The best Lean Six Sigma certification program needs to more than just theory and companies need to invest in helping to build the change agents and business leaders of tomorrow.
“You repeat what you don’t repair.” – Christine Langley-Obaugh
For a Lean Six Sigma Certification to be of high quality that both challenges and stretches candidates, a number of key features should be found in the course.
The Lean Six Sigma Book of Knowledge
Every certification should have a strong Book of Knowledge where they share the key concepts, ideas and principles that the course will cover. Today, most, if not all providers have a downloadable Book of Knowledge that you should get your hands on to compare.
When you compare these, look for ones which suit your current role, the future role you would like, your interest and your overall passion. Some will be more weighted towards statistics whereas others will be more Lean focused.
So if you like data and statistics, focus on a provider who offers more in-depth training on the statistical side. If you are more into change management, perhaps a more lean focused course would be better. However, generally, they should all cover the same material, but some may go into more details on certain areas than others.
Also, we would always recommend that you find courses that offer a mixture of learning methods and experiences. The best courses combine a great mixture of online learning, video’s, quizzes, tests and live webinars to keep candidates engaged. Having the choice to engage with other students is also a key factor.
Lean Six Sigma Courses & Exams
While many of us would love to avoid any exams or tests, we feel that all good Lean Six Sigma Programs have some form of knowledge check within their programs. This could be regular tests and quizzes to ensure the knowledge has been learned or perhaps an end of module test or a single exam at the end of the training.
We do not feel that exams are the best way to evaluate capabilities but they are great ways to test if the concepts have been understood and absorbed. So do not shy away from programs with exams at the end as this will help you learn and recall the main concepts.
Coaching & Mentoring – Lean Six Sigma training
We can not emphasize this enough. The theory behind the Lean and Six Sigma can be learnt by a wide variety of high performers and lower performers but rarely is coaching, 1-2-1 mentoring and guidance offered as part of the Lean Six Sigma Certification course. The reason is that it is time-consuming, costly and that many trainers are not sufficiently experienced outside of the training environment to offer real-world support and help.
But the best Lean Six Sigma Certification programs offer the 1-2-1 and group sessions to support candidates in real-world project environments. In fact, we would even go one stage further and say that your actual certification should only be given when the real-world project has actually be delivered.
What really makes a candidate stand out from others, is not that they know the distributions of the various hypothesis tests or that they know that a process is classed as 6 Sigma when Cpk and Cp are both > 1.5. It is when they can make change happen. When they can manage complex stakeholders and make difficult teams change to new ways of doing things. It takes time and it takes experience.
This is what you are ultimately looking for from the best lean six sigma certification programs. A program which will help you learn the theory, but will spend just as much time helping you learn how to practically apply it. Like this, you will have learnt to create value and companies want employees who can create value.