http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/six-sigma-newbie.asp The History of Six Sigma The roots of Six Sigma as a measurement standard can be traced back to Carl Frederick Gauss (1777-1855) who introduced the concept of the normal curve. Six Sigma as a measurement standard in product variation can be traced back to the 1920's when Walter Shewhart showed that three sigma from the mean is the point where a process requires correction. Many measurement standards (Cpk, Zero Defects, etc.) later came on the scene but credit for coining the term "Six Sigma" goes to a Motorola engineer named Bill Smith. (Incidentally, "Six Sigma" is a federally registered trademark of Motorola). In the early and mid-1980s with Chairman Bob Galvin at the helm, Motorola engineers decided that the traditional quality levels -- measuring defects in thousands of opportunities -- didn't provide enough granularity. Instead, they wanted to measure the defects per million opportunities. Motorola developed this new standard and created the methodology and needed cultural change associated with it. Six Sigma helped Motorola realize powerful bottom-line results in their organization - in fact, they documented more than $16 Billion in savings as a result of our Six Sigma efforts. Since then, hundreds of companies around the world have adopted Six Sigma as a way of doing business. This is a direct result of many of America's leaders openly praising the benefits of Six Sigma. Leaders such as Larry Bossidy of Allied Signal (now Honeywell), and Jack Welch of General Electric Company. Rumor has it that Larry and Jack were playing golf one day and Jack bet Larry that he could implement Six Sigma faster and with greater results at GE than Larry did at Allied Signal. The results speak for themselves. Six Sigma has evolved over time. It's more than just a quality system like TQM or ISO. It's a way of doing business. As Geoff Tennant describes in his book Six Sigma: SPC and TQM in Manufacturing and Services: "Six Sigma is many things, and it would perhaps be easier to list all the things that Six Sigma quality is not. Six Sigma can be seen as: a vision; a philosophy; a symbol; a metric; a goal; a methodology." We couldn't agree more. Where did the name "Six Sigma" come from? In my recollection, two recurring questions have dominated the field of six sigma. The first inquiry can be described by the global question: “Why 6s and not some other level of capability?” The second inquiry is more molecular. It can be summarized by the question: “Where does the 1.5s shift factor come from – and why 1.5 versus some other magnitude?” For details on this subject, reference: “Harry, M. J. “Resolving the Mysteries of Six Sigma: Statistical Constructs and Engineering Rationale.” First Edition 2003. Palladyne Publishing. Phoenix, Arizona. (Note: this particular publication will be available by October 2003). But until then, we will consider the following thumbnail sketch. At the onset of six sigma in 1985, this writer was working as an engineer for the Government Electronics Group of Motorola. By chance connection, I linked up with another engineer by the name of Bill Smith (originator of the six sigma concept in 1984). At that time, he suggested Motorola should require 50 percent design margins for all of its key product performance specifications. Statistically speaking, such a "safety margin" is equivalent to a 6 sigma level of capability. When considering the performance tolerance of a critical design feature, he believed a 25 percent “cushion” was not sufficient for absorbing a sudden shift in process centering. Bill believed the typical shift was on the order of 1.5s (relative to the target value). In other words, a four sigma level of capability would normally be considered sufficient, if centered. However, if the process center was somehow knocked off its central location (on the order of 1.5s), the initial capability of 4s would be degraded to 4.0s – 1.5s = 2.5s. Of course, this would have a consequential impact on defects. In turn, a sudden increase in defects would have an adverse effect on reliability. As should be apparent, such a domino effect would continue straight up the value chain. Regardless of the shift magnitude, those of us working this issue fully recognized that the initial estimate of capability will often erode over time in a “very natural way” – thereby increasing the expected rate of product defects (when considering a protracted period of production). Extending beyond this, we concluded that the product defect rate was highly correlated to the long-term process capability, not the short-term capability. Of course, such conclusions were predicated on the statistical analysis of empirical data gathered on a wide array of electronic devices. Thus, we come to understand three things. First, we recognized that the instantaneous reproducibility of a critical-to-quality characteristic is fully dependent on the “goodness of fit” between the operating bandwidth of the process and the corresponding bandwidth of the performance specification. Second, the quality of that interface can be substantively and consequentially disturbed by process centering error. Of course, both of these factors profoundly impact long-term capability. Third, we must seek to qualify our critical processes at a 6s level of short-term capability if we are to enjoy a long-term capbility of 4s. By further developing these insights through applied research, we were able to greatly extend our understanding of the many statistical connections between such things as design margin, process capability, defects, field reliability, customer satisfaction, and economic success. Six Sigma Evolution Clarified - Letter To The Editor By Daniel T. Laux On behalf of Six Sigma Academy, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the evolution of six sigma since this seems to be a lively topic of conversation among many practitioners (even cartoonists!) these days. The roots of six sigma as a measurement standard can be traced back to Carl Frederick Gauss (1777-1855) who introduced the concept of the normal curve. Six sigma as a measurement standard in product variation can be traced back to the 1920's when Walter Shewhart showed that three sigma from the mean is the point where a process requires correction. Many measurement standards (Cpk, Zero Defects, and so on) later came on the scene but credit for coining the term "six sigma" goes to a Motorola engineer named Bill Smith (six sigma is a federally registered trademark of Motorola). In the late 1970's, Dr. Mikel Harry, a senior staff engineer at Motorola's Government Electronics Group (GEG), began to experiment with problem solving through statistical analysis. Using his methodology, GEG began to show dramatic results – GEG's products were being designed and produced faster and more cheaply. Subsequently, Dr. Harry began to formulate a method for applying six sigma throughout Motorola. His work culminated in a paper titled "The Strategic Vision for Accelerating Six Sigma Within Motorola." He was later appointed head of the Motorola Six Sigma Research Institute and became the driving force behind six sigma. Dr. Mikel Harry and Richard Schroeder, an ex-Motorola executive, were responsible for creating the unique combination of change management and data-driven methodologies that transformed six sigma from a simple quality measurement tool to the breakthrough business excellence philosophy it is today. They had the charisma and the ability to educate and engage business leaders such as Bob Galvin of Motorola, Larry Bossidy of AlliedSignal (now Honeywell), and Jack Welch of GE. Together, Harry and Schroeder elevated six sigma from the shop floor to the boardroom with their drive and innovative ideas regarding entitlement, breakthrough strategy, sigma levels, and the roles for deployment of Black Belts, Master Black Belts, and Champions. In effect, they created a business revolution that continues to challenge the thinking of executives, managers and employees alike. Their strategies and tools have been perfected through the years by Six Sigma Academy. In brief, we believe our contribution was the unique combination of business leadership plus quality and process improvement tools and techniques which made it possible for leaders to recognize the value of six sigma, not just as a tool for operational efficiency, but as an enterprisewide business strategy with direct bottom line impact. Having said all that, I believe every six sigma practitioner, consulting firm, and black belt has contributed to the evolution of six sigma. We should therefore focus our time and resources, not on diatribes about who can claim credit for six sigma, but rather on continuously improving upon the strategies and tactics to achieve breakthrough results in business excellence. For example, six sigma has been indisputably successful in eliminating waste, reducing variance and increasing productivity and profits. But its potential to create new business models for growth and innovation is barely tapped. I urge all of us to take six sigma to the next level by being thought leaders inspiring creativity and originality in our successors, instead of simply regurgitating what others have said before us. Doing so will ensure six sigma will become the global standard for conducting business, not just another management trend doomed to fall by the wayside. There is a hill to scale ahead of us, and enough oxygen for everyone. It is incumbent upon all of us to blaze a trail toward the next frontier of six sigma and demonstrate the leadership businesses are clamoring for. Sincerely, Daniel T. Laux President Six Sigma Academy About The Author Mr. Laux is president of Six Sigma Academy. Prior to being named president in June 2000, Mr. Laux served as Sigma Consultants' Chief Operating Officer, and served as Six Sigma Academy's financial advisor since 1994. Preceding his tenure at the Academy, Mr. Laux spent 11 years with Merrill Lynch's Private Client Group, serving in numerous advisory positions. Mr. Laux is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. Remembering Bill Smith, Father Of Six Sigma By Gail C. Chadwick, iSixSigma Staff Writer Bill Smith spent years convincing higher-ups that he really had invented a better mousetrap. Then he spent the rest of his life spreading the word to business professionals, government leaders and educators. Smith's mousetrap? It was Six Sigma, the TQM spin off that has generated billions of dollars for Motorola, the company where Smith introduced his statistical approach aimed at increasing profitability by reducing defects. Smith, who earned the appellation, Father of Six Sigma, would probably be tickled to know Six Sigma has become so mainstream that it even appears periodically in the widely syndicated comic strip, Dilbert. As a Motorola employee, Smith did not share directly in the profits generated by the company's Six Sigma applications. However, over the years, he and Motorola garnered numerous awards and recognition for his vital work to improve profitability in America's manufacturing sector. He was especially proud of his role in Motorola's winning the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award came in 1988, two years after Motorola implemented Smith's Six Sigma principles. Smith's death, only five years later, caught everyone by surprise. He died of a heart attack at work. Daughter Marjorie Hook, now 37 and president of Clarksville Consulting Group in Austin, Texas, developed an affinity for Six Sigma and occasionally collaborated with her father for a few years after college. Hook said winning the Baldrige Award stands out as a career high point in her father's life. "He was thrilled that a good thing was happening to Motorola and that Six Sigma had made such a difference," she said. "He drafted Six Sigma long before [Motorola Executive Committee Chairman] Bob Galvin ever took it on board. So, for him, it was the culmination of so many years of work and trying to change the way people think about things. He finally had some phenomenal success at Motorola and he was getting great recognition for it." Baldrige Award winners agree to share their quality programs with anyone who is interested. Hook said that since Motorola was the first company to win, others were eager to learn more about Six Sigma. "That's one of the primary reasons Six Sigma became so widely known," she said. "He got to spend the last few years of his life traveling around, teaching and introducing Six Sigma to people," Hook said. "He was so appreciated wherever he went and people were really interested in it. When others started using Six Sigma and seeing results just like Motorola had, he was thrilled." Not surprisingly, the man behind the methodology was a passionate visionary and a great communicator. Bill Smith was also a perfectionist. Even at home. "But not in an annoying way," Hook said. "He just did everything the right way because that was the way to do it. "I think that was just a natural part of his character," she said. "It came through when he was repairing a watch or helping us with a science project or fixing a car or learning to play a musical instrument - he was incredibly talented. He knew how to do absolutely everything." Hook said he always approached projects methodically and drafted a plan, either on paper or in his mind. "He planned things out, making sure we had the skills and the tools, doing it, and then following through with the cleaning up," Hook said. "Everything had to be done in a complete way. Nothing was ever done sort of off-hand. The standard was always so high." Bill Smith also made the most of leisure time. He and his wife, Betty, shared a love of music, especially when they were the musicians, she on the piano and he on the organ at their Barrington, Illinois home. However, she suspects he bought her a new baby grand piano to keep her occupied while he devoted spare time to working out statistical programs on his computer. "One time when he was home in the evening, he had an idea of trading stock options," Betty Smith recalled. "So he would do it on paper and then on the computer for awhile to see how it would work. And it worked very well. Imagine that!" Bill Smith also used his computer to develop a program that would help him predict winning racehorses. Betty Smith said he programmed a calculator with data about the horses racing at Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, Illinois. "By golly, I think we won eight of the first nine, and people were following us around," she said. The Smiths soon joined a half-dozen others in a horse-owning partnership, embarking on a lifelong hobby. "We had six horses when he died," Betty Smith said. "They were ours, not part of a partnership. In the beginning, it was lucrative. I think one horse won most of the money. After Bill died, I got rid of all the horses except one. Her grandfather was Seattle Slew, the famous 1977 Triple Crown winner." Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1929, Bill Smith graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 and studied at the University of Minnesota School of Business. In 1987, after working for nearly 35 years in engineering and quality assurance, he joined Motorola, serving as vice president and senior quality assurance manager for the Land Mobile Products Sector. In honor of Smith's talents and dedication, Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management established an endowed scholarship in Smith's name. Dean Donald P. Jacobs of the Kellogg School notified Motorola's Robert Galvin of the school's intention less than a month after Smith died. "Bill was an extremely effective and inspiring communicator," Jacobs wrote in his July 27, 1993, letter. "He never failed to impress his audience by the depth of his knowledge, the extent of his personal commitment, and the level of his intellectual powers." The school created the scholarship fund in recognition of Smith's "contributions to Kellogg and his dedication to the teaching and practice of quality." It was a fitting tribute to a man who influenced business students and corporate leaders worldwide with his innovative Six Sigma strategy. As the one who followed most closely in his footsteps, Marjorie Hook is well-positioned to speculate about Bill Smith's take on the 2003 version of Six Sigma. "Today I think people sometimes try to make Six Sigma seem complicated and overly technical," she said. "His approach was, 'If you want to improve something, involve the people who are doing the job.' He always wanted to make it simple so people would use it." And would he approve of Six Sigma's evolution? "He'd be thrilled," Hook said. Six Sigma Costs And Savings The financial benefits of implementing Six Sigma at your company can be significant. By Charles Waxer Many people say that it takes money to make money. In the world of Six Sigma quality, the saying also holds true: it takes money to save money using the Six Sigma quality methodology. You can't expect to significantly reduce costs and increase sales using Six Sigma without investing in training, organizational infrastructure and culture evolution. Sure you can reduce costs and increase sales in a localized area of a business using the Six Sigma quality methodology -- and you can probably do it inexpensively by hiring an ex-Motorola or GE Black Belt. I like to think of that scenario as a "get rich quick" application of Six Sigma. But is it going to last when a manager is promoted to a different area or leaves the company? Probably not. If you want to produce a culture shift within your organization, a shift that causes every employee to think about how their actions impact the customer and to communicate within the business using a consistent language, it's going to require a resource commitment. It takes money to save money. How much financial commitment does Six Sigma require and what magnitude of financial benefit can you expect to receive? We all have people that we must answer to -- and rhetoric doesn't pay the bills or keep the stockholders happy (anymore). I was tired of reading web pages or hearing people say: "Companies of all types and sizes are in the midst of a quality revolution. GE saved $12 billion over five years and added $1 to its earnings per share. Honeywell (AlliedSignal) recorded more than $800 million in savings." "GE produces annual benefits of over $2.5 billion across the organization from Six Sigma." "Motorola reduced manufacturing costs by $1.4 billion from 1987-1994." "Six Sigma reportedly saved Motorola $15 billion over the last 11 years." The above quotations may in fact be true, but pulling the numbers out of the context of the organization's revenues does nothing to help a company figure out if Six Sigma is right for them. For example, how much can a $10 million or $100 million company expect to save? I investigated what the companies themselves had to say about their Six Sigma costs and savings -- I didn't believe anything that was written on third party websites, was estimated by "experts," or was written in books on the topic. I reviewed literature and only captured facts found in annual reports, website pages and presentations found on company websites. While recent corporate events like the Enron and WorldCom scandals might lead us to believe that not everything we read in a company's annual report is valid, I am going to provide the following information based on the assumption that these Six Sigma companies operate with integrity until proven otherwise. I investigated Motorola, Allied Signal, GE and Honeywell. I choose these four companies because they are the companies that invented and refined Six Sigma -- they are the most mature in their deployments and culture changes. As the Motorola website says, they invented it in 1986. Allied Signal deployed Six Sigma in 1994, GE in 1995. Honeywell was included because Allied Signal merged with Honeywell in 1999 (they launched their own initiative in 1998). Many companies have deployed Six Sigma between the years of GE and Honeywell -- we'll leave those companies for another article. Table 1: Companies And The Year They Implemented Six Sigma Company Name Year Began Six Sigma Motorola (NYSE:MOT) 1986 Allied Signal (Merged With Honeywell in 1999) 1994 GE (NYSE:GE) 1995 Honeywell (NYSE:HON) 1998 Ford (NYSE:F) 2000 Table 2 identifies by company, the yearly revenues, the Six Sigma costs (investment) per year, where available, and the financial benefits (savings). There are many blanks, especially where the investment is concerned. I've presented as much information as the companies have publicly disclosed. Table 2: Six Sigma Cost And Savings By Company % Revenue % Revenue Year Revenue ($B) Invested ($B) Savings ($B) Invested Savings Motorola 1 1986-2001 356.9(e) ND - 16 4.5 Allied Signal 2 1998 15.1 ND - 0.5 3.3 GE 1996 79.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 1997 90.8 0.4 0.4 1 1.1 1998 100.5 0.5 0.4 1.3 1.2 1999 111.6 0.6 0.5 2 1.8 3 1996-1999 382.1 1.6 0.4 4.4 1.2 Honeywell 1998 23.6 ND - 0.5 2.2 1999 23.7 ND - 0.6 2.5 2000 25.0 ND - 0.7 2.6 4 1998-2000 72.3 ND - 1.8 2.4 Ford 2000- 6 43.9 ND - 1 2.3 2002 Key: $B = $ Billions, United States (e) = Estimated, Yearly Revenue 1986-1992 Could Not Be Found ND = Not Disclosed Note: Numbers Are Rounded To The Nearest Tenth Although the complete picture of investment and savings by year is not present, Six Sigma savings can clearly be significant to a company. The savings as a percentage of revenue vary from 1.2% to 4.5%. And what we can see from the GE deployment is that a company shouldn't expect more than a breakeven the first year of implementation. Six Sigma is not a "get rich quick" methodology. I like to think of it like my retirement savings plan -- Six Sigma is a get rich slow methodology -- the take-away point being that you will get rich if you plan properly and execute consistently. As GE's 1996 annual report states, "It has been estimated that less than Six Sigma quality, i.e., the three-to-four Sigma levels that are average for most U.S. companies, can cost a company as much as 10-15% of its revenues. For GE, that would mean $8-12 billion." With GE's 2001 revenue of $111.6 billion, this would translate into $11.2-16.7 billion of savings. Although $2 billion worth of savings in 1999 is impressive, it appears that even GE hasn't been able to yet capture the losses due to poor quality -- or maybe they're above the three-to-four Sigma levels that are the average for most U.S. companies? In either case, 1.2-4.5% of revenue is significant and should catch the eye of any CEO or CFO. For a $30 million a year company, that can translate into between $360,000 and $1,350,000 in bottom-line-impacting savings per year. It takes money to make money. Is investing in Six Sigma quality, your employees and your organization's culture worth the money? Only you and your executive leadership team can decide the answer to that question. References: 1. Motorola Six Sigma Services. Motorola University. 22 July 2002 <http://mu.motorola.com/sigmasplash.htm>. 2. AlliedSignal Inc. 1998 Annual Report. Honeywell Inc. 22 July 2002 <http://www.honeywell.com/investor/otherpdfs/ALD98.pdf>. 3. GE Investor Relations Annual Reports. General Electric Company. 22 July 2002 <http://www.ge.com/company/investor/annreports.htm>. 4. Honeywell Annual Reports. Honeywell Inc. 22 July 2002 <http://investor.honeywell.com/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=HON&script=700>. 5. Better Understand Six Sigma Plus With Honeywell's Special PowerPoint Presentation. Honeywell Inc. 22 July 2002 <http://www.honeywell.com/sixsigma/page4_1.html>. 6. Quality Digest, "Six Sigma at Ford Revisited", June 2003, p. 30. <http://www.qualitydigest.com/june03/articles/02_article.shtml>. Six Sigma Organizational Architecture By Charles Waxer Six Sigma is a quality methodology that can produce significant benefit to businesses and organizations. Not much text, however, has been written about the structure needed to successfully implement Six Sigma quality within your business or organization. This article will focus on roles and responsibilities, as well as required rewards and recognition for a successful Six Sigma quality program. Roles and Responsibilities Quality Leader/Manager (QL/QM) - The quality leader's responsibility is to represent the needs of the customer and to improve the operational effectiveness of the organization. The Quality function is typically separated from the manufacturing or transactional processing functions in order to maintain impartiality. The quality manager sits on the CEO/President's staff, and has equal authority to all other direct reports. Master Black Belt (MBB) - Master Black Belts are typically assigned to a specific area or function of a business or organization. It may be a functional area such as human resources or legal, or process specific area such as billing or tube rolling. MBBs work with the owners of the process to ensure that quality objectives and targets are set, plans are determined, progress is tracked, and education is provided. In the best Six Sigma organizations, process owners and MBBs work very closely and share information daily. Process Owner (PO) - Process owners are exactly as the name sounds – they are the responsible individuals for a specific process. For instance, in the legal department there is usually one person in charge -- maybe the VP of Legal -- that's the process owner. There may be a chief marketing officer for your business -- that's the process owner for marketing. Depending on the size of your business and core activities, you may have process owners at lower levels of your organizational structure. If you are a credit card company with processes around billing, accounts receivable, audit, billing fraud, etc., you wouldn't just have the process owner be the chief financial officer, you would want to go much deeper into the organization where the work is being accomplished and you can make a big difference. Black Belt (BB) - Black Belts are the heart and soul of the Six Sigma quality initiative. Their main purpose is to lead quality projects and work full time until they are complete. Black Belts can typically complete four to six projects per year with savings of approximately $230,000 per project (see earlier reference). Black Belts also coach Green Belts on their projects, and while coaching may seem innocuous, it can require a significant amount of time and energy. Green Belt (GB) - Green Belts are employees trained in Six Sigma who spend a portion of their time completing projects, but maintain their regular work role and responsibilities. Depending on their workload, they can spend anywhere from 10% to 50% of their time on their project(s). As your Six Sigma quality program evolves, employees will begin to include the Six Sigma methodology in their daily activities and it will no longer become a percentage of their time -- it will be the way their work is accomplished 100% of the time. Now we know how some companies have organizationally structured their Six Sigma quality program. But how do you ensure that everyone's doing their job? How do you keep your employees motivated when fires are burning all over the corporate landscape? Six Sigma Organizational Architecture - Rewards and Recognition By Charles Waxer Six Sigma is a quality methodology that can produce significant benefit to businesses and organizations. Not much text, however, has been written about the structure needed to successfully implement Six Sigma quality within your business or organization. Page 1 > Six Sigma Architecture focused on roles and responsibilities of a successful Six Sigma quality program. This page focuses on the rewards and recognition associated with a successsful Six Sigma quality program. Rewards and Recognition We all know that roles assignment is not enough to start and maintain a successful Six Sigma quality program. Rewards and recognition must be part of the equation. So how do we reward the different roles within the organization? Let's start with the Green Belts and work our way back up the organization. Green Belts - Depending on the size of the project and the resulting benefits, gift certificates, cash and stock options are all motivating factors. But don't underestimate the motivating power of a public congratulations in front of peers -- it is many times even more effective than a monetary amount. Depending on the progress of your program, you may want to tie their salary action to the results of the project(s) they completed during the past year. Black Belts and Master Black Belts - Their salary and bonus structure should be tied to the number of projects and benefit of those projects to the business bottom line. Metrics including productivity, loss reduction, improved quality, reduced overhead, etc. should all be factors in determining the proper payout for performance. For under performing BBs and MBBs, the performance appraisal meeting should serve as a fulcrum in modifying their behaviors and actions. Process Owners - Here's one of the key roles that needs to be defined properly. The Process Owner's compensation (salary and bonus) must be tied directly to quality efforts within their organization. It's not enough to allow Quality to 'work with us,' but their metrics and efforts need to be utilizing all of the quality tools appropriately. Why not make 25% of their bonus tied to meeting their quality initiative goals and objectives? Then have them report on how they did before you determine the bonus payout. Quality Leader - Performance based compensation (salary and bonus). Leadership capabilities are critical to this position, so not only should the quantitative aspects (savings, projects, training, etc.) be measured, but so should the qualitative. The difficulty arises in defining and clearly identifying the required behaviors. CEO - The buck stops here. If the CEO is fully on board with the Quality initiative, s/he will have no problem tying the compensation of her/his direct reports to Quality deliverables. Don't be shy about asking to tie compensation to your Six Sigma Quality initiative. It's the only way you'll truly have your entire organization focused around the customer and the quality of your processes and deliverables. Have a thought about this article? Post in on the Discussion Forum First Page > Six Sigma Organizational Architecture Six Sigma Curriculum and Body of Knowledge By Charles Waxer iSixSigma receives many questions regarding the Six Sigma methodology and, more specifically, what each business change agent (Champion, Master Black Belt, Black Belt, Green Belt) should know in order to be effective. To help meet this need, I have created a reference document detailing what should be contained in a Six Sigma curriculum. Below is iSixSigma's recommendation for a body of knowledge for Six Sigma. You may find it useful when selecting a Six Sigma provider or completing training to ensure you are learning all appropriate topics. It is the belief of this author and iSixSigma that Master Black Belts and Black Belts should possess the same detailed knowledge of process improvement and statistical analysis, although the two roles vary significantly in other ways (see Organizational Architecture). For this reason, all of the key understanding areas listed under the DMAIC sections for the Master Black Belt and the Black Belt are identical. Champion / Process Owner Curriculum and Body of Knowledge Master Black Belt (MBB) Curriculum and Body of Knowledge Black Belt (BB) Curriculum and Body of Knowledge Green Belt (GB) Curriculum and Body of Knowledge If you feel that some relevant topic is missing from the curriculum or body of knowledge of any of the areas listed above, please send an email to iSixSigma. Additional Resources Six Sigma Organizational Architecture - Successful Six Sigma Quality programs are built on a solid organizational foundation. The organizational structure and rewards/recognition system needs to be clearly identified and communicated to successfully implement Six Sigma Quality. Master Black Belt and Black Belt - Resources for Six Sigma Master Black Belts and Black Belts. Six Sigma Training By Charles Waxer Implementing Six Sigma within your organization is similar to implementing any other company- wide initiative. Determining the content and framework, developing the materials, and rolling it out to the company is only half of the necessary work. The other half is changing the culture. Six Sigma Training is one of the most important factors that contributes to and helps modify and shape an organization's culture. This article will help identify who in your organization is required to be Six Sigma trained and what type of Six Sigma training they should receive. Who and What Type of Training? Senior Management Senior Management, also known as 'C-Level Management' (CEO, CIO, CFO and peers), are the individuals that set, communicate and drive the overall business objectives. They are also the individuals that are required to incorporate Six Sigma objectives into their operational plans. Examples of objectives might include: X% of employees through Six Sigma training by a certain date Y% reduction in defects for all customer visible processes by quarter end $Z in back-office projects savings by year end Six Sigma training for Senior Management should include a program overview, business and financial benefits of implementation, real-world examples of successful deployments, specific application to business/industry, and the required Six Sigma training and tools to ensure successful implementation. Depending on Senior Management time availability and their desire to learn the details, Black Belt training is also recommended. Functional / Process Managers Functional and Process Managers are the level of management directly reporting to the Senior Management. Depending on the size of the organization, they might include functional managers from areas such as human resources, finance and training, and process managers from areas such as assembly, production and call center. These managers are sometimes referred to as 'sponsors' and 'champions' because they are known to champion the cause within their business organization. These champions translate Senior Management's strategic directions into tactical objectives and actions with the help of their Quality Leader and Project Leaders. Six Sigma training for Functional and Process Managers is more detailed than that provided to Senior Management. Topics would include the Six Sigma concept, methodology, tools and requirements to ensure successful implementation within their organization. Depending on Functional / Process Manager time availability and their desire to learn the details, Black Belt training is also recommended. Quality Leaders Quality Leaders, also known as Quality Managers and Master Black Belts, help Functional and Process Managers set and lead the Six Sigma vision within their specific areas. They maintain rolled up budgets, track business cost savings, ensure training goals are met, coach Functional and Process Managers, Project Leaders and Employees, review projects at milestones, share best practices, and ensure appropriate use of tools and methodologies. Six Sigma training for Quality Leaders includes detailed information about the concept, methodology and tools, as well as detailed statistics training and computer analysis tool use. Depending on the instructor, the duration is usually between three and four weeks. Project Leaders Project Leaders, also known as Black Belts, implement the Six Sigma methodology and tools within the business. They lead the intra- and inter-function projects, maintain time lines and budget, determine appropriate tool use, perform analyses, and act as the central point of contact for specific process improvement projects. Six Sigma training for Project Leaders includes detailed information about the concept, methodology and tools. Depending on the instructor, the duration is usually between two and four weeks, and may include one of more weeks in between sections. Statistics is included in the agenda, but typically does not include as much detail as that provided to Quality Leaders. Employees Employees, also known as Green Belts, may also take Six Sigma training courses developed specifically for part time Project Leaders. Six Sigma training for Green Belts is similar to Black Belt training, but shorter in duration because less detail on complex tools and statistics is provided. Employees are instead told to ask their Black Belt for help in specific areas. Six Sigma Training Information iSixSigma's intent over the upcoming weeks is to gather all available training information for your use -- by training course, geographic location (city, state, country), cost per individual, and much more. Be sure to sign up for the iSixSigma Insights newsletter to be notified of its availability. Visit the iSixSigma Six Sigma Training Calendar for the latest information on available training. Visit the online Six Sigma training section for details about courses that may be taken over the Internet. What Is Six Sigma Certification? By Charles Waxer Many people have written to me and iSixSigma asking various questions about Six Sigma certification. How can I get Six Sigma certified? Where can I get Six Sigma certified? Is Six Sigma certification transferable if I leave a company for another? The list goes on and on. This article will help answer these questions regarding the ubiquitous and confusing 'Six Sigma certification' topic. If you find a question missing or would like clarification on a specific topic, please submit it along with any thoughts you have. Jump To The Following Answers: What is Six Sigma Certification? What Is Involved In Six Sigma Certification? How Can I Get Six Sigma Certified? Why Isn't ASQ The Sole Six Sigma Certification Body As It Is For CQM? Should I Get Six Sigma Certified? Can I Transfer Six Sigma Certification Between Organizations? More Certification Questions and Answers » What is Six Sigma Certification? Six Sigma certification is a confirmation of an individual's capabilities with respect to specific competencies. Just like any other quality certification, it does not indicate that an individual is capable of unlimited process improvement, just that s/he has completed the necessary requirements from the company granting the certification. For instance, millions of people have applied for, tested and been granted a driver's license in the United States. It certifies that a person has passed the minimum guidelines and requirements for driving. The individual must pass both a written and hands-on driving test in order to 'certify'. Not all individuals in the United States, however, have the same proficiency in driving - even though they may have passed the tests and been granted a driver's license. The same is true for Six Sigma certification. Certification alone does not summarize the worth of a true quality professional. What Is Six Sigma Certification? By Charles Waxer Many people have written to me and iSixSigma asking various questions about Six Sigma certification. How can I get Six Sigma certified? Where can I get Six Sigma certified? Is Six Sigma certification transferable if I leave a company for another? The list goes on and on. This article will help answer these questions regarding the ubiquitous and confusing 'Six Sigma certification' topic. If you find a question missing or would like clarification on a specific topic, please submit it along with any thoughts you have. Jump To The Following Answers: What is Six Sigma Certification? What Is Involved In Six Sigma Certification? How Can I Get Six Sigma Certified? Why Isn't ASQ The Sole Six Sigma Certification Body As It Is For CQM? Should I Get Six Sigma Certified? Can I Transfer Six Sigma Certification Between Organizations? More Certification Questions and Answers » What Is Involved In Six Sigma Certification? As with attaining a driver's license in the United States, Six Sigma certification entails learning the appropriate subject matter, passing a written proficiency test, and displaying competency in a hands-on environment. The materials can be purchased from almost any Six Sigma training and consulting company, but almost always comes bundled with classroom training. Usually you or your company will purchase a training session, which has different bodies of knowledge and durations for each Six Sigma level (green belt, black belt, master black belt, sponsor, etc.). The written proficiency test may be given by the training company or the business hiring the training company. Typically, companies new to Six Sigma will defer to the training company's proficiency test. Companies that have been performing in-house training for years (such as Motorola or GE) have created and administer their own written proficiency tests. After a quality professional has completed training, s/he must complete one or two quality projects and display competency in applying the concepts learned in the classroom training. This is where certification companies diverge, as this part of the certification is the most fuzzy and undefined. Some organizations require a certification candidate to complete one project if a green belt or sponsor, and two projects if a black belt or master black belt; others require less or more. In addition, there is no standard for what passes and what fails to display an individual's competency. So, what's the takeaway from certification? Any worthwhile certification involves training, a written proficiency exam, and a hands-on competency display of the methodology to real world problems. The specifics around each of these three requirements vary from company to company. Will it ever become standardized? Probably, but not in the next six to twelve months in the opinion of this author. What Is Six Sigma Certification? By Charles Waxer Many people have written to me and iSixSigma asking various questions about Six Sigma certification. How can I get Six Sigma certified? Where can I get Six Sigma certified? Is Six Sigma certification transferable if I leave a company for another? The list goes on and on. This article will help answer these questions regarding the ubiquitous and confusing 'Six Sigma certification' topic. If you find a question missing or would like clarification on a specific topic, please submit it along with any thoughts you have. Jump To The Following Answers: What is Six Sigma Certification? What Is Involved In Six Sigma Certification? How Can I Get Six Sigma Certified? Why Isn't ASQ The Sole Six Sigma Certification Body As It Is For CQM? Should I Get Six Sigma Certified? Can I Transfer Six Sigma Certification Between Organizations? More Certification Questions and Answers » How Can I Get Six Sigma Certified? There is no single body designated to provide Six Sigma certification to the quality profession. Almost every one of the tens of companies providing Six Sigma training and consulting also provide certification. Why is this? Because individuals and companies are spending a great deal of money, sometimes in excess of $30,000 per individual, to become trained, and they feel like they should have something to show for it. Hence, certification became a popular add-on service for consulting companies because it allowed them to differentiate between skills levels, as well as charge additional fees. The Global Salary Survey for Six Sigma Professionals By Matthew LeVeque, iSixSigma Senior Contributing Writer During the past 10 years Six Sigma has become one of the most widely practiced process improvement methodologies in both service and manufacturing industries. In an effort to gauge how this is affecting salaries of quality professionals, iSixSigma has analyzed information in its own Job Shop database to produce a Six Sigma-specific salary survey. iSixSigma's 2004 Salary Survey for Six Sigma Professionals, the first of what will become an annual report, has two unique perspectives. First, with respondents from 68 countries on six continents, the survey provides a global view. Second, unlike other salary surveys of quality professionals, this one is focused as specifically as possible on Six Sigma professionals – those whose salary is tied into performing Six Sigma functions on a daily basis. The salary survey provides a first look at the average annual salaries worldwide, as well as breakouts by five regions of the globe. Each of four Six Sigma job categories are explored – Black Belts (BB), Master Black Belts (MBB), Champions (CH) and Deployment Leaders (DL): Average Salaries BB MBB CH DL Worldwide $ 70,310 $ 93,209 $ 93,317 $105,852 U.S./Canada 78,735 102,943 102,244 115,818 Latin America 51,941 64,451 Europe 62,280 80,392 107,000 101,800 Continental Asia/Africa 50,977 63,161 51,000 70,000 U.S. Salaries Alone In addition to the global report, the iSixSigma survey provides average salaries for the United States alone, with breakouts for four sections of the country. Pacific Nations 54,930 74,800 132,500 90,000 In addition, readers can look at survey details which include average salaries for each of the four job categories by level of education, years of experience and by industry in each of the five regions, plus a global total. Click on the appropriate link to see survey details. Worldwide: Assumptions Are Supported Details of the worldwide survey report support what most readers would consider obvious assumptions. In terms of average salaries, Master Black Belts in general make more than Black Belts and less than Champions. While Champions are not paid significantly more, the difference confirms the assumption. Also, as expected, Deployment Leaders are at the top earning level. When reporting salaries by level of education, the survey shows that more education generally means a higher salary. Salary increases from one step on the education ladder to the next are sizable – most are double-digit percentage increases. Average salaries by years of experience also follow the expected pattern of higher pay for greater experience. Salary improvements also are usually double-digit percentage increases up the experience steps. (In both education and experience salaries, an irregular and unexplained bump exists in the alignment of Champion salaries. The bump also appears in many of the regional reports. Future salary surveys will indicate whether this is an anomaly in this survey or a factor of importance.) Not surprisingly, these same more-is-better patterns are generally repeated in many – but not all – of the regional breakouts for average salaries, level of education and years of experience. The average salaries by industry show that for Black Belts the top pay is in business/consulting services, chemicals, construction, insurance and pharmaceutical/biotechnology. For Master Black Belts the top-paying fields are advertising/marketing, aerospace/defense, diversified and insurance. For Champions the highest average salaries are in automotive, business/consulting services and chemicals. Deployment Leaders are best paid in business/consulting services, construction and financial services. One interesting conclusion that can be made from this salary survey is that there are still a large number of industries worldwide that have yet to employ a full spectrum of Six Sigma professionals. Of the 32 industry categories originally in the survey only 25 percent have respondents from each role. (Industry categories were grouped into 26 somewhat broader categories in this report for statistical purposes.) Black Belts and/or Master Black Belts are prevalent in nearly every industry. But those industries without respondents in one of those two core job categories – construction, environment, hospitality/travel, machinery/heavy equipment, plastics/rubber and telecommunications – may have unmet needs for Six Sigma professionals. United States/Canada: Generally Higher Salaries The number of respondents from the United States/Canada region – 63.8 percent of the total – was by far the largest in iSixSigma's 2004 Salary Survey for Six Sigma Professionals. Since Six Sigma has its roots in the United States, this is not unexpected. Average salaries for Six Sigma professionals are generally higher in the U.S./Canada region than other regions of the world. That is true without qualification for Black Belts and Master Black Belts. For Champions, the top region was the Pacific Nations region. Salaries by level of education: Increases in average salaries for each step within job categories are generally greater than in other regions. Champion salaries provide an interesting exception at the graduate degree level. U.S./Canada, Latin America and Europe are the only regions which had a significant number of respondents whose formal education ended with a high school diploma. Thus, the report includes data for that level of education. (In regions with only a few high school respondents their data is merged with the next higher level of education.) Salaries by years of experience: As in education, experience is well-rewarded in this region – better than in the others. Again, the Champion category provides an interesting exception, this time in the 10 to 15 years level. Salaries by industry: Top industry salaries for Black Belts are in advertising/marketing, agriculture, business/consulting services, chemicals and telecommunications. For Master Black Belts the top-paying industries are computer hardware/software/services, energy/utilities, food/beverages and insurance. For Champions the highest average salaries are in business/consulting services and computer hardware/software/services. Deployment Leaders are best paid in business/consulting services, computer hardware/software/services, diversified and pharmaceutical/biotechnology. One surprising data point is the comparatively low average salaries in all job categories for Six Sigma professionals in manufacturing. Survey respondents in that industry earn less on an average than any of the other 25 industry categories. Latin America: Smallest Number of Survey Respondents Latin America is the region with the smallest number of respondents to this survey. And, in fact, there was no respondent data from Champions and Deployment Leaders. Mexico, a significant world leader in Six Sigma practice, has the largest number of survey respondents from this region. Salaries by level of education: While increases in average salaries for each step within job categories holds true in this region, the increases are small in dollars as well as percentage. As noted, Latin America, along with the U.S./Canada and Europe regions, has a sufficient number of respondents to allow a breakdown for the high school educational level. (In regions with only a few high school respondents, their data is merged with the next higher level of education.) Salaries by years of experience: Unlike every other region in this About iSixSigma's Salary Survey survey, with the exception of the For Six Sigma Professionals . . . Pacific Nations region, additional experience does not seem to The data for this salary survey was gathered through the translate into a higher salary. iSixSigma Job Shop. The global reach of iSixSigma Salaries within the Black Belts and produced 4,072 salary survey responses from quality- Master Black Belt categories show minded business professionals. To make this a Six Sigma- no relationship to experience. The specific survey, responses from professionals other than Pacific Nations region has the Black Belts, Master Black Belts, Champions and second smallest number of Deployment Leaders were discarded. respondents and shows a similar static relationship between The remaining 2,412 survey respondents were distributed experience and salaries. This among the four job categories in the following proportion: leads to the concern that there Black Belts, 65 percent; Master Black Belts, 25 percent; may not be sufficient data to track Champions, 3 percent; and Deployment Leaders, 7 an experience trend. percent. This is the data from which the worldwide report Salaries by industry: Top industry and regional breakouts are compiled. salaries for Black Belts are in advertising/marketing, agriculture While acknowledging that any division of the world into and food/beverages. For Master regions is artificial, iSixSigma has attempted to create Black Belts the highest average regional breakouts which make sense but also allow each salaries are in region a sufficient number of respondents to give the advertising/marketing, automotive, survey as much validity as possible. Here are the regions computer with the number and percentage of survey respondents hardware/software/services, and from each: food/beverages. Europe: Experience Really Counts U.S./Canada 1,539 (63.8%) The second largest number of Latin America 99 ( 4.1%) survey respondents is from Europe 427 (11.7%) Europe. In this region, more than half are from the United Kingdom, Continental Asia/Africa 247 (10.2%) slightly more than 12 percent from Pacific Nations* 100 ( 4.1%) Germany and France combined, and the balance from other countries. The average salaries of European Six Sigma professionals are both below and above global averages, depending on the position. For example, the average earnings for European Black Belts are $8,030 less than the global average; yet, Champions in *Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Pacific Islands Europe earn $13,683 more than the global average. It should be noted that the survey requested respondents Salaries by level of education: to record the location where they reside, not where their Average salaries for most job company's corporate office is located. Some consultants categories start on a par with and those who telecommute may have listed their global averages, but end up below company office location instead of their residence. average at higher levels of education. Except for Black Belts, For comparison purposes all salaries are reported in U.S. earning a doctorate degree dollars. Since this is a worldwide salary survey, readers generally yields the largest obviously need to consider that the cost of living can differ increase in salary in this region. As dramatically from one part of the world to another. noted, Europe along with the U.S./Canada and Latin America regions has a sufficient number of respondents to allow a breakdown for the high school educational level. (In regions with only a few high school respondents, their data is merged with the next higher level of education.) Salaries by years of experience: The survey suggests Europe puts a premium on experience. The largest average salaries do not occur until a Six Sigma professional has achieved 3 to 5 years as a Deployment Leader, or 5 to 10 years as a Master Black Belt. Champions see the most sizable increase when they have 15-plus years of experience. The salary range for Black Belts is relatively small compared to global figures. Salaries by industry: Top industry salaries for Black Belts are in agriculture, environment, healthcare, insurance and plastics/rubber. For Master Black Belts the top-paying industries are advertising/marketing, apparel, chemicals and diversified. For Champions the highest average salaries are in aerospace/defense and chemicals. Deployment Leaders are best paid in business/consulting services, construction, financial services and food/beverages. Continental Asia/Africa: Lowest Average Salaries Average salaries in Continental Asia/Africa for all four positions tracked by the survey are the lowest of any region. Also, role responsibilities of different job categories are not clearly reflected in average salaries in this region. In many instances, similar levels of salary are earned by Six Sigma professionals no matter what role they play in implementing the methodology – Black Belt, Master Black Belt, Champion or Deployment Leader. This region also is dominated by a single country. More than 68 percent of the respondents from this region live in India. This undoubtedly is an indication of the growing strength of Six Sigma in India and the nation's leadership in cultivating the methodology. Level of education and years of experience do not seem to have a significant effect on average salaries in this region. Salaries by industry: The automotive industry is the only business group represented by survey respondents from all four job categories; however, half of the 26 industry categories have Black Belt respondents. Top industry salaries for Black Belts are in aerospace/defense, agriculture, business/consulting services and chemicals. For Master Black Belts the top-paying industries are advertising/marketing, business/consulting services and manufacturing. For Champions the highest average salaries are in chemicals. Deployment Leaders are best paid in business/consulting services, chemicals and computer hardware/software/services. Real Time Salary Pacific Nations: Near Mid-Point on List of Averages Survey This region has the second smallest number of survey respondents, yet its average salaries are near the mid-point on the list of region No need to wait until averages. The Pacific Nations region includes Australia, Indonesia, next year for an updated Japan and the other island nations in the Pacific Ocean. As a side salary survey. Anytime note, this region features the highest average salaries for you want, you can go Champions of any region, thanks to a $200,000-per-year Champion online to the iSixSigma being one of only two respondents in that job category. Job Shop. There you Salaries by level of education: As in the Continental Asia/Africa can compare your region, level of education does not seem to have a significant effect salary to other Six on average salaries in this region. Sigma quality Salaries by years of experience: Experience also seems to have professionals and filter little effect on average salaries, until a person reaches the 15-year- by role, education, plus level. experience, location and Salaries by industry: Only seven of the 26 industry categories were industry. All information represented by respondents from this region. Again, this is an is privacy protected. indication that many companies have yet to cash in on Six Sigma Who uses the Job opportunities. Industry salaries for each of the four job categories Shop? This year’s are fairly well homogenized. Only the average for Deployment iSixSigma salary survey Leaders in the computer hardware/software/services industry is was compiled from head and shoulders above other industries. information volunteered All data is property of iSixSigma and may not be redistributed or by thousands of Job published in any form unless prior written consent is provided by Shop users in 68 iSixSigma. different countries and a wide variety of industries. Sign up for a free iSixSigma Job Shop account today.