Most potential clients I meet with ask the question, “Where do we start?”.  Truth be told, that’s quite the loaded question.  The reason is there are so many variables to answering this question; the company’s readiness for change, the amount of support for the program, the types of projects identified, just to name a few. However, there is one thing that I believe is the key to Lean Six Sigma success – engagement across every functional area of the business.  That’s where Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification can help.

Traditionally, organizations focus on identifying Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt projects with a high financial impact and alignment to key business drivers.  These projects can take a year or more to complete and tend to focus on only a few key areas within the organization. Other functional areas are left disengaged, champion support is fragmented, efforts siloed, and opportunities for improvements missed. Engaging all agencies, locations, and departments strengthens champion commitment, creates synergy, increases benefits, and allows us to identify project opportunities from top to bottom.

Scaling Lean Six Sigma Across all Functional Areas

What elements are important to make this happen?  First and foremost, it is important to identify a Champion for each functional are. Lean Six Sigma Champions are a critical component to linking improvements to the organization’s strategic objectives, overcoming obstacles and expediting the adoption of Lean Six Sigma.

Another key component is project selection.  Don’t rule out smaller projects.  Smaller doesn’t equal small returns.  Many of these projects can identify significant savings. Smaller projects will also serve to build executive buy-in and create support for those larger-scale projects that may be “Home Runs”.  Selecting projects capable of completion in a few months, with the best potential for early success, foreseeing potential obstacles, and setting realistic expectations will ultimately drive the results.

Training your team is another vital component. Leveraging Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt can reduce the individual cost and time commitment in developing a Lean Six Sigma team across all functional areas of the organization, it can also be more palatable for unfamiliar functional areas.

Acuity Institute’s Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification course teaches the DMAIC methodology and prepares participants to run projects within their functional area that require process analysis and minimal data analytics.

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt candidates, as well as larger-scale projects, can be an outcome of a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt program.

Seeing it in Action

Last week I attended a report out for one of our clients, 2 waves of 25 Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belts had recently completed their training and were presenting their 15 projects.  In these waves, they had achieved a 98% completion rate and participation by all agencies of the organizations.  During breaks, it was exciting to hear champions, sponsors, and team members from multiple agencies discussing the projects and opportunities for replication and future improvements.  Since the program began in 2017, they have certified over 125 Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belts, over 20 have gone on to Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and the savings from the program has now exceeded 6 million dollars.  Synergy and Quick Wins, these are the keys to process optimization and the cultural shift necessary for accelerating the entire corporate mission.

Contact our corporate solutions team today to learn more.

Mention this blog and receive free online Lean Six Sigma Champion training with the purchase of any Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training.