Six Sigma is gaining more and more popularity and support nowadays, and many people in leadership positions are turning to it as a tool to improve their current capabilities. It’s a long and challenging journey for those who want to climb to the top, but it also comes with many rewards and benefits. Organizations led by people with a deep and thorough understanding of Six Sigma can usually progress faster and in a more stable manner, not to mention being more sustainable in the long run.
Finding the Right Resources
Learning Six Sigma correctly is not as easy as simply getting started and following a predefined path though. The situation is especially challenging nowadays due to the large number of schools that have cropped up, each claiming to have some unique perspective on the way Six Sigma works. It’s important that you follow a good program and know exactly where you want to end up after your journey. Otherwise, you might find yourself running around in circles for a long time before you make any real progress.
Six Sigma is divided into multiple levels, each indicated by a specific belt color. Moving up the hierarchy becomes progressively more difficult with each new belt that you attain, and it’s even more important to follow the right training materials at the higher levels. But for a beginner, the most critical part is that they start on the right path from their very first steps.
Many training facilities will offer you a good deal on your first belt, and it’s a good idea to take them up on those offers, especially if they come with some additional discounts on further training. While you should enter this well-prepared and be ready to invest some money and time into your learning, you should still try to maximize your use of both. After all, proper resource utilization and avoiding waste is one of the fundamental concepts of Six Sigma itself, and you should approach your whole journey with the right attitude from the start.
You should be trying to get your yellow belt as quickly as possible in the beginning. Even though it’s not the lowest level of Six Sigma, it’s where things start to get really interesting for most people, and where you start to apply some more abstract concepts and experiment with deeper ideas. How fast you’ll be able to get to that level depends entirely on you with the way most training organizations work, as there isn’t that much you have to learn to get to that level. You should set aside a few weeks, depending on the institution you’ve chosen to work with.
Keep Moving Forward
Another important thing to remember right from the start is that you should always do your best to avoid stagnation. You must always be trying to make as much progress as possible, even if you currently feel comfortable at the level you’ve reached. Of course, every lean leader should be aiming to maximize their potential and to get even higher in their organization – and the lean hierarchy as a whole – but it’s also important to spend as much time as you find necessary to gain a deep understanding of your current level.
Don’t forget that there is a huge community surrounding Six Sigma as well, and it’s not a solitary experience. Nobody can get too far learning on their own, and it’s important to take as much knowledge as you can from others around you. Chances are, there is a community about Six Sigma in your area as well, so see if you can connect with those people and share some ideas with them.
Of course, this means that you should also be prepared to share some of your own knowledge back, and to give back to the community. This kind of interaction is one of the main reasons Six Sigma has managed to become so successful in the first place, so you should definitely contribute as well.