Six Sigma Training

By Robyn Undieme | February 1, 2016

Have you heard? The MAAP Office is offering LEAN/Six Sigma training to City employees. If you haven't heard of LEAN/Six Sigma before, then let me share with you why you should be excited by this news.

LEAN/Six Sigma was started in the 1980s by Motorola and later used and adapted by Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric. LEAN/Six Sigma is a set of tools that help companies identify areas of waste and inefficiencies and provides instruments that can be used to support solutions. It started in the manufacturing industry, but now the concepts have been adapted to any and every industry you can imagine. Many cities around the country are beginning to adapt LEAN/Six Sigma concepts into their city organization just like Tulsa.

Penny and I just completed the Black Belt level of certification which took us almost an entire year to complete. The greatest takeaway for me thus far is the program's focus on collecting data to determine if a problem really does exists. Too often, we as human beings, think our subjective experiences are enough to determine that a problem exists AND we simultaneously identify solutions without having a full grasp of what the problem really is. We focus more on the symptoms of a problem than addressing the root causes. LEAN/Six Sigma has helped me to slow down and assess potential problems more scientifically.

Being in the public sector we see a lot of change. We have a massive customer base with varying demands being placed on us. Change can be good when the proper vetting has been conducted and we take the time to understand what the customer (internal or external) is expecting at the end of the process, product, or service. It's in this way that I see LEAN/Six Sigma having the potential to impact our organization in a positive way by reducing mismanaged change; in other words, not changing for the sake of change, but instead, making thoughtful, meaningful changes where they're really needed.

There are different levels of LEAN/Six Sigma certification. Here at the City, we're currently offering a basic level called a White Belt that just takes three hours. Then we take our MAAP Champions through a Green Belt certification, which is the next highest level. That takes several weeks of training, plus a project requirement and an exam.

If you're curious about the MAAP Champion program, I suggest you attend a White Belt training session. It's open to everyone and is offered once a month at the Safety Training Center.  We've limited the class size to 20 people and the classes have been filling up quickly. To register, just contact your department administrator and he or she can register you for the class through Training Partner.

Here are the following dates and times available for you to register for the next White Belt LEAN/Sigma trainings located at the Safety Training Center, 10926 E. Cameron: Feb. 17, March 16 and April 13. These classes will all take place from 8 - 11 a.m.

We will also be offering a class this spring to become a MAAP Champion. Applications will be going out in March 2016. Be sure to keep your eyes open for that email.

I hope to see you in a future training!