The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification is a crucial milestone in becoming an expert in the lean six sigma methodology and driving change within an organization.
Green Belts are responsible for pinpointing areas for improvement and play a vital role in implementing necessary changes, drawing from the knowledge and skills acquired during Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training.
Before exploring real-life examples of Green Belt projects, let’s delve into some of the fundamental elements of the Six Sigma Green Belt program.
As a Green Belt, you’ll have the opportunity to lead smaller improvement initiatives that can bring a sense of satisfaction and achievement if successful.
Green Belts play a crucial role throughout the improvement project and their involvement can drive an increase in the company’s productivity and profitability.
They are the ones who put the plans into action, under the guidance of a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt or Master Black Belt.
An Overview of Six Sigma Green Belt Projects
The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project aims to tackle business issues through aligning with a company’s KPIs. The objective is to improve customer satisfaction by addressing internal and external customer problems.
A successful Six Sigma Green Belt project should result in cost reductions, improved quality, and increased capacity.
To begin a Six Sigma Green Belt project, start by identifying a business problem to solve and aligning with company KPIs.
Steps to Launch a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Project
Here are the steps you can follow:
1. Identify a Project Sponsor
Before you begin your Lean Six Sigma Green Belt journey, it is crucial to connect with a project sponsor, who could be your manager or any other supportive leader.
This step is vital as it helps ensure that you have the necessary support and resources to successfully complete your project.
2. Define Project Scope
Once you have a project sponsor in place, the next step is to determine the processes that require improvement.
When selecting a project, ensure that it is not too small or too big, as either scenario could limit your ability to learn and grow. A broad scope that focuses on a stable, disorganized process in need of improvement can be a good starting point.
3. Measure the Current State
Before you jump into the analysis and improvement phase, it is crucial to complete a thorough assessment of your current process in the Measure phase. Understanding the current situation is essential before considering or making any changes.
4. Document the Before State
In the Measure phase, it is recommended to take as many pictures as possible of the current state, especially if it’s feasible and appropriate. These images can accurately depict the changes and progress made after the improvements are implemented.
5. Utilize the Appropriate Tools
During the Analyze and Improve phases, it’s important to use only the core Lean Six Sigma tools that are most suitable for your project.
Avoid the temptation to use all the tools in the toolbox, as it’s not necessary. Instead, select the tool(s) that will have the greatest impact on your measures.
Six Sigma Green Belt Project Example
Andrew Slaney, a Principal Consultant, Coach, and Trainer at BSI with 15 years of experience in business improvement methodologies and Lean Six Sigma, suggests a checklist of crucial topics for Champions, Sponsors, and Belts to consider before starting a DMAIC improvement project.
The checklist includes benefits, strategic alignment, scope, measurements, and the ability to establish ongoing process control to ensure all key considerations are addressed from the outset.
Possible green belt project ideas out of this scenario can be:
- Reduction of time taken to complete a task or a project
- Reduction of time taken to hire a new employee
- Reduction of errors in orders
- Product delivered on time
- Reduction of error while manufacturing or designing the project
You can find a good project that is stable but not organised. It should not need help. Let us see the real- time examples.
Accounting – Focus areas are Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cost Accounting, etc. A cost accounting project is crucial. Aim to improve monthly costs or reduce cost changes and expand project scope.
Manufacturing – Focus on final assembly to enhance quality checks and reduce packing cycle, driving improvement. With time and support, utilize Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques to succeed.
Education – Streamline the hiring process of instructors and coaches in schools through Green Belt certification.
Characteristics of Six Sigma Green Belt Projects
There are many characteristics of a green belt project. These include support from the top management, well-defined and potentially scoped project, project teamwork, and candidate’s quality. People will make a continuous effort to make it successful.
Key Characteristics of a Green Belt Project:
- Top management support
- Clearly defined and appropriately scoped project
- Effective project teamwork
- High-quality project candidate
- Sustained commitment to project success
Building an Effective Green Belt Project Tips
- Focus on simplicity: Choose a straightforward project that can be completed within 2-3 months.
- Secure sponsorship: Look for a supportive sponsor who understands the benefits and features of your project.
- Understand problems and risks: Familiarize yourself with potential issues and have a plan to address them.
- Assemble a team: Gather 3-4 team members for your first project.
- Limit scope: Avoid involving other departments or outside team members.
- Choose appropriate tools: Select tools such as a project charter, process map, or Pareto analysis. Keep it simple, avoid complex statistics.
- Allocate adequate time: Ensure you have enough time available for the project.
Green Belt Candidate Characteristics
Green belt candidates must have the determination to persist even when faced with obstacles.
Changes to team processes and techniques may require the green belt to adjust, which can be challenging, but the candidate must remain focused on the goal of continuous improvement.
They must overcome resistance to change with their perseverance and determination.
2. Analytical Mind
Successful green belt candidates possess a logical and analytical mind, which is critical to understanding complex problems and applying mathematical concepts to solve them. They must use their skills to analyze the problem, identify root causes, and implement controls.
3. Passion for Improvement
Green belt candidates must have a passion for improvement and a drive to continuously improve processes and techniques. They must question current practices, identify areas of inefficiency, and work together with the team to find solutions.