Why Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification


lean-six-sigma-yellow-beltLean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification training tends to be the first step for people who want to tread into the world of process improvement.

The Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt is a useful certification for developing skills in team leaders and team members who are keen to  be able to solve localised, team based problems/defects/issues.

In a lot of reputed global MNCs it’s also not uncommon to find a group of Yellow Belt trained employees working together to deliver improvement projects. This obviously is as part of a project team lead by Green Belt or Black Belt colleagues.

Yellow Belt certified professionals are trained in basic tools and techniques to enable them to function within an improvement project and add real value to the improvement efforts.

I would put my neck out and say that you need Green Belt and Black Belt trained people but without some Yellow Belts onboard within your projects the basics may not get done. This would in turn harm/delay the project.

Getting a certification at the Yellow Belt level ensures you know exactly what the job entails.  You’ll need to pass a certification exam specifically designed for the Yellow Belt level.  This will ensure you understand how Yellow Belts act as subject matter experts for a specific task within the project.

Yellow belts will not have the statistical abilities that a Green Belt has, so you can not expect them to carry out those tasks.  Yellow Belts do have an understanding of many basic Six Sigma principles like y=f(x), DMADV variation, Process Variances, Needs Analysis and more.

Here are some of the benefits for training yourself to a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt level:

  • Great resumé builder

Having a Six Sigma Yellow Belt shows employers you’ve taken the time to learn about the DMAIC process and gotten certified on your own time.

Employers love employees who understand how to save money and limit waste.  There’s a good reason that people who list certifications on their Linkedin.com profile receive 6X times the number of views that other people receive.

This is because certifications allow employers to search for a specific skill like “Six Sigma” or “Yellow Belt” and find people with the exact traits they need.

I hear you say – I have an MBA degree, I don’t need this!

Good you have an MBA, but you still need to understand the structured approach that Six Sigma follows to solve business problems. Unfortunately, your MBA degree does not teach you that. I am not trying to degrade you, but trying to tell you why you need this certification.

  • Higher potential salary:

There are no guarantees that having a certification will lead to a higher salary, but certifications do make you more valuable to an employer.  With so much competition, employers look for people with diverse skillsets.  Someone who can manage more tasks is always going to be more valuable.  For this reason, having your Yellow Belt certification could be the deciding factor if you’re applying for a job against someone with similar skills, but no Six Sigma certification.

  • Solve Team based problems

We all see lot’s off localised problems that never get resolved because no one has the time but more importantly no one knows what to do with them. These localised problems could be within a team, within a department or it could be very specific to your organisations structure.

Often, we’ll take a jab, take a few actions but when the problem still doesn’t go away we tend to give up and accept it. We shrug it off saying this is how it would have to be. A Yellow Belt will take a structured approach to resolving these by addressing root causes of problems. This leads to improvement for the business and also improved team morale.

  • Improve project success

It goes without saying that if you have Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belts on a project supporting Green belt or Black belt leaders then the chances of a successful delivery increase manyfold.

I agree, this isn’t the only factor but it’s a significant one. A yellow belt understand the basics of the work required for the project and is willing to execute the basics to enable the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, a Green Belt of a Black Belt does not want to get into the basics and thus, a project could suffer.

  • Short time span

The Yellow Belt training takes place over 2 days and so its not a vast amount of time out of the business to learn the basics. The benefit gained easily outweighs the small time given up. It also creates a great stepping stone if you then want to progress onto a Green belt or Black belt qualification.

  • Take control of your own improvements

This benefit is more specifically for an organisation, none-the-less it is a benefit.

The more people within your organisation that understand improvement methods, the closer your culture will move towards one of continuous improvement.

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt is a way of training a larger amount of people in some of the basics due to its shorter time frame and lower cost than the Green Belt and Black Belt courses.

  • Small improvements add up

Let me give you David Brailsford example of Marginal gains. It’s about the British cycling team making hundreds of small improvements that in the end totalled to one big time gain which led to Olympic gold.

Yellow Belts are perfect for working on these small improvements. If they focus in the right places, on the right things and get those small improvements in enough quantity it can be transformational for a business.

There are many more benefits to Yellow Belt training such as:

  • solving the root cause of problems, rather than treating the symptoms
  • managing performance with validated data and eliminating guess-work
  • improve your stakeholder management and communication skills

and many more…

If you’re looking to improve the performance of your organisation and the projects you run – invest in some Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training for you and your colleagues. At the very least, the certification will support delivery of key projects  – guaranteeing your return on investment – even if you or your colleagues never go on to use the skills further.

Focus on developing a continuous – small improvement attitude. Apply this small improvements method in your life and I can guarantee that you will achieve great success.


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