What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) can be characterized as three performance elements: Project management, Team management, and Information management. LSS evolved from other quality initiatives, such as ISO and Baldrige, to become a business improvement and quality standardization process based on data-driven decisions. Six Sigma is a term based on Motorola’s definition of defects and began as a quality initiative at Motorola in the 1980s, for which Motorola won the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Lean Six Sigma blends the methodology of Six Sigma with the principals of Lean Manufacturing to provide a comprehensive approach to performance improvement. More information is widely available if you do a search on this topic with Google.

What types of companies and processes can benefit from Lean Six Sigma?

Any organization that wants to improve the bottom line and exceed customer expectations needs LSS. Any process that requires standardization and consistent high quality will benefit from LSS.

How does it work?

LSS works by providing the framework for breakthrough performance improvement through the DMAIC method in combination with various graphical, statistical and lean tools.

What does the acronym DMAIC stand for?

  • DEFINE the problem critical to the “customer”—often the hardest part of the project.
  • MEASURE all aspects of the process performance relevant to the project.
  • ANALYZE the factors that truly drive performance through data analysis techniques.
  • IMPROVE by establishing and demonstrating optimum levels for each factor.
  • Establish a CONTROL plan to sustain the gains.

The DMAIC model provides a common language for Lean Six Sigma projects. Company-wide implementation usually results in continual improvement, which leads to big cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.

Will this workshop be a “selling point” on my resume?

Lean Six Sigma saves organizations time and money through continuous improvement. Employers therefore often pay a premium for Lean Six Sigma-trained graduates. This workshop teaches you some of the strategies and tools necessary for business process improvement. Successfully completing the activities and the comprehensive examination will provide you with a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, and it is highly recommended that you specifically identify this on your resume.

What level of technical background is needed for success in this workshop?

You must have completed a business statistics course for you to be eligible to register for this workshop and expect to be successful completing it. In addition, you must supply the following academic information on your application. It will be taken into account in the application evaluation process.

Business Majors

  • Recommended: Junior class standing
  • Recommended: Tier 2 Admission to Professional Business Studies
  • Recommended: Completion of Integrated Core
  • Required: Completion of a statistics course or BUS 503

Business Administration Minors

  • Recommended: Completion of a majority of the 8 business courses required on the minor
  • Required: Completion of a statistics course or BUS 503

Business Graduate Students

  • Required: Completion of a statistics course or BUS 503

Individuals who have passed previous courses in statistics (STA 282/382) and basic business principles generally have suitable background to do well. Completion of BUS 503 is highly recommended, but not required, for participation in this workshop.

What should I be able to accomplish if I complete this workshop successfully?

  • Reduce waste and defects by applying Lean and Six Sigma principles
  • Demonstrate analytical problem-solving abilities for improving business processes
  • Utilize contemporary statistical concepts to make data-driven decisions
  • Carry out project- and team-management concepts with business improvement opportunities
  • Demonstrate the fundamental knowledge and skill expected for obtaining Green Belt certification
  • Formulate project selection criteria to focus Lean Six Sigma initiatives on projects that will have the greatest chance of success
  • Apply the DMAIC improvement process to solve business problems
  • Employ Lean Six Sigma data-driven approaches at the root cause and prevent recurrence of the problem

When will the workshop be available and how much will it cost?

Workshop sessions are offered semiannually with one session after Fall semester ends and several sessions after Spring semester ends. There is a fee of $125 for the workshop, and students must purchase a required textbook separately.

What is the refund policy?

  • Refunds for cancellations are available only if we can place another paying student from the waiting list into the workshop in the cancelling person’s place.
  • Of the total workshop fee, $5.00 is a nonrefundable processing fee.
  • If a flash drive was issued to a student and not returned upon cancellation of enrollment, an additional $10.00 will be withheld from the refund to cover the cost of the flash drive.

Who can I contact for more information?

Additional information may be available from Andrew Paquet (paque1an@cmich.edu) or Kevin McCarron (mccar1kp@cmich.edu).