New to Lean Six Sigma? Me too, but I have just joined a company that makes training and developing people in Lean Six Sigma their business, quite literally. This means that I am now one of the rare and fortunate few who will never have to explain to my employer why I’m worth investing in. Within my first week at 100% Effective Ltd, I have already become a certified Yellow Belt and want to share my experience whilst I can still recall working-life before the world of Lean Six Sigma.

Becoming a student again

For my introduction to Lean Six Sigma, my chosen method was eLearning, an online training course that teaches each module of Yellow Belt in bitesize interactive tutorials. Beginning the process of learning can be daunting as an adult because we’re often out of practice. Have you ever tried to learn a new sport as an adult? Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a group skiing lesson; your first day may have been both tiring and frustrating, spent watching the children in your class saunter ahead of you.

The Yellow Belt online training course is like taking you out of the group lesson and giving you a personal ski instructor. Your new instructor is readily available and will have you moving down the slope at a speed you feel comfortable with. Your learning experience is under your control, at your own pace and you no longer have the pressure of keeping up with Jeremy, who claimed to be a beginner but arrived with his own skis and a membership to the indoor slope back home.

What to expect

Like anyone venturing into a new training course, I had some basic ideas of what I was about to learn. I knew that Lean Six Sigma was a business development methodology that was made up of an amalgamation of two separate approaches, Lean and Six Sigma. With only this knowledge under my belt, there was an urge to hectically research them both before starting the course.

A few slides into my first module I realised that this would have been as unhelpful as googling your symptoms before visiting the Doctor’s surgery; the 100% Effective course began by introducing me to both Lean and Six Sigma separately and so any Wikipedia reading would have been easily identifiable as one of the eight Wastes. After completing the first few modules I had a sound knowledge of both methodologies, their separate histories, individual tools, and why the two are combined.

Lean Six Sigma toolboxRefreshing my toolbox

Amongst all the new information and terminology, I was surprised to meet some familiar friends along the way, such as frequency plotting and brainstorming. The modules reintroduced me to the tools and techniques, explained why they had failed me in past projects and meetings, and taught me when and how to use them effectively.

Some reunions were less friendly, such as revisiting standard deviation, a formula I was confident I’d safely left behind in my sixth form maths room. However, this time I was armed with the controlled pace of eLearning. Also, the nature of the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt course ensures you understand why the formula would be used, how to do it effectively and what to do with the information it provides.

My Lift Speech

I think it’s appropriate to conclude my experience training as a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt with a Lift Speech. For those yet to begin their training, a lift speech summarises a topic in a short space of time, simulating the experience of explaining something to a person you are stood in a lift with. So here is my first ever lift speech as a Yellow Belt:

“Training as a Yellow Belt has afforded me a thorough understanding of both business development methodologies, Lean and Six Sigma. I can identify their similarities and how they combine to form Lean Six Sigma. I am equipped with the tools necessary to follow the five phases of the methodology, define, measure, analyse, improve and control, and can use them to eliminate waste and variation processes from a business.”

Leave a comment below if you would like to know more about my experience with eLearning, have any questions about Lean Six Sigma training, or simply want to share your experience training as a Yellow belt.

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