Six Sigma Consulting

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Since the mid-1980s, Six Sigma consulting has emerged as a successful way to revamp business organization and provide employees with the skills that they need to bring modern ideas to all business practices. Motorola began the trend in their GEG (Government Electronics Group) division in the late 1970s, by using the Six Sigma methodology to bring about vast improvements in product design. One of the architects of the program was Dr. Mikel Harry.

Soon after successfully applying Six Sigma ideas to product development, Harry worked with teams to adapt Six Sigma to many different aspects of Motorola's production line. When Harry began to work with Richard Schroeder, the two were able to begin altering Six Sigma to turn it into a comprehensive business strategy. Because of the results that the two achieved at Motorola, other business leaders began to investigate Six Sigma as a business methodology.

As more and more businesses began to practice Six Sigma, and build upon its core ideas and methods, a need arose for Six Sigma consulting and training firms. The systems that Harry and Schroeder had begun to develop--including the levels of Six Sigma and the Black Belts, Green Belts, and Champion structure--became a full-fledged business revolution. Training firms and schools have since produced hundreds of expert practitioners of Six Sigma, who have in turn helped hundreds of businesses worldwide to implement Six Sigma-based programs.

Contemporary Six Sigma Consulting Firms

Currently, Six Sigma consulting firms offer a variety of services. Most offer some options for training Black Belt and Green Belt candidates, as well as consultations and software. Some training companies, especially schools for Six Sigma, offer dedicated learning environments where students can be fully immersed in the ideas of Six Sigma.

Among the training options available are onsite training and open enrollment, and many firms offer Internet-based learning as well. Onsite training and Six Sigma consulting has the unique advantage of being able to instruct students within their own professional working environment, simultaneously teaching Six Sigma concepts and applying them to the workplace. Trainees usually have access to Black Belts and occasionally even Master Black Belts to aid them in their learning, discovery, and project applications.

Internet-based Six Sigma training has the advantage of being able to familiarize many people with the basics of Six Sigma without taking Black Belts and other program coordinators away from their other tasks. There are also many options available for complete Black Belt and Green Belt training via the Internet, which can fit with many people's schedules and is great for those in remote locations. One other strength of "eLearning" is that it can easily be used as a quick refresher for someone who has been away from Six Sigma for a while or for someone who wishes to update themselves on any current ideas in Six Sigma.

Experts in Six Sigma Consulting

Six Sigma consulting and training is available for those wishing to pursue certification as a Black Belt, Green Belt, or Six Sigma Champion. Black Belts must undertake the most rigorous training, which usually consists of months of study and practical application. By the end of the program, Black Belts are able to tackle all kinds of problematic business organization, offering systematic, data-driven solutions that are at once innovative and elegant.

Green Belts work alongside Black Belts during Six Sigma consulting sessions. They have the abilities to speed process improvements through rapid analysis, and often have instrumental roles in developing successful Six Sigma programs. Champions also help Black Belts by allocating business resources to the Six Sigma program effort, and by defining project scope and other such management duties.

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