The Six Sigma method, now taught together with Lean Management, is a technique prized by many professional sectors. It provides many tools that are useful for solving problems in a unique and collaborative process.
First implemented by Motorola in 1986 as a structured management method that aimed at improving process quality and efficiency, the Six Sigma method was subsequently extended not only to the industrial sector but also to the administrative and manufacturing domain.
Six Sigma is based on both customer satisfaction and measurable quantitative data analysis. “It really is an approach that addresses problem-solving for each situation by giving people tools to make the job easier,” explains Richard Sefler, Chief Operating Officer for the Galderma pharmaceutical laboratory.
The Lean Six Sigma expert is also a trainer in the Department of Continuing Education at the Université de Montréal. The training is generally separated into “belts”: yellow, green and black. The black belt provides Lean Six Sigma certification, recognized in several professional fields. The gradation of the belts offers the opportunity first of all to become familiar with the Lean Six Sigma world by contributing to the success of a continuous improvement project, then applying Lean concepts for operational performance and the overall performance of your company. Finally, at the black belt level, you will learn to maximize your resources with agility to become a master in project management and improvement.
A still relevant method
In addition to the industrial, manufacturing and administrative sectors, where the Lean Six Sigma method is most commonly applied, it is also used in service companies, banks, in the pharmaceutical field and in certain government bodies such as town halls. “It is a technique that really works well in both extremes,” says Richard Sefler. That is to say that this approach is useful both in companies that are doing very poorly, so need solutions to problems, or those that are doing very well and need to be structured to manage their growth well.
“I really have all kinds of profiles in my classes,” says the black belt trainer. “Some people are employers and managers who are looking to acquire Lean Six Sigma certification, but I also have analysts, pharmacists, doctors, and people who want to be change agents.”