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There isn't one word answer to this and a call is required basis the job expectation and organizational structure. 

 

I am voting Against this considering a scenario where there is a Master black belt in the organization and Black belt is in individual contributor role and expected to devote 80% and more time into project delivery.  The important aspect in such a role is the knowledge of the framework and application of various tools in differing scenarios. As long as candidate is able to proof himself on these criteria, he can be hired as there would ample resources and people around him to coach while he takes up his first project to closure (if he is stuck somewhere). Rather than only completion of a DMAIC project, more valuable assets to look for would be curiosity, questioning abilities, thinking-out-of-box and project management skills which are mandate to be successful in such roles.

 

However when organizational structure is flat and there is only one Black belt (or company is trying to establish the process improvement function with hiring the black belt) , it's definitely vital to look for people who would have completed one or many projects using DMAIC/DMADV otherwise there could be impact on how organization reaps the value in CI journey on the wheel of Six Sigma as he would be whole sole owner of the function and there's definitely a larger responsibility.

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No. Not at all. Completing DMAIC Or DMADV project undoubtedly will give great confidence for any professional in this field. The "Hands on experience to say". Such an experience is definitely required

No.  As per the previous question, if the organisation does not allow the BB/ GB to do a DMAIC project, the opportunity is not given to him to prove his skill set.    But in such cases,

Valid point Santosh, but    Given that in some industries (eg: Consulting)   where LSS is not encouraged but there are enough high quality profiles, would we want to be limited by this requ

No.

The awareness or the training should be an essential criterion. This ensures that the person is eligible to do any project as and when he/she gets the opportunity. Once employed, he can get opportunities of working in such projects and add to his experience value.

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NO - For an improvement manager role, completion of a full-fledged DMAIC or DMADV project should not be an essential hiring criterion.

 

Any professional with rich quality background and good understanding of lean six sigma concepts combined with sound project handling experience should be able to successfully deliver projects impacting the QCD parameters critical to the business.

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Appreciate Mohan PB's effort in analysing most of the answers and sharing the comments. Valuable comments from Venugopal and many others!!

 

I still do stand by my opinion that it should not be "essential criterion" but should be a "good to have".

 

Let me give a hypothetical example to explain my thought process.

 

I understand the BB certification process consists of 2 steps:

Step 1. Passing an Examination to prove technical and conceptual Six Sigma knowledge
Step 2. Project to exhibit practical knowledge.

 

Most people, complete step 1 and are stuck looking for opportunities to complete Step 2. What can these people be called - If not "Certified BB" then may be "Trained BB"?


Consider two candidates A and B with following background profiles applying for a improvement Manager position in your company:

 

A - Trained BB (Step 1) - understands Six sigma concepts and techniques, questions existing processes and  enthusiastic with a keen eye for process improvement opportunities. He has been a project manager for various technical projects - handled teams, interacted with management /customers , resolved conflicts, but  has not been involved in Six Sigma projects.

 

B - Certified BB - Due to unavoidable circumstances, he had to move to the  the Quality department in his company. He has completed certification and has completed projects to save and sustain his "Job". Now due to some reasons he has to change companies, but Six sigma is the field he has been working in most recently and is experienced certified in, so he has to apply for similar positions.

 

Now, my argument is based on the fact, that if project execution is "essential criterion" then Candidate A becomes ineligible and the company is left with no choice , but only candidate B. This is not favourable, because candidate A with some mentoring (learning gap) could have been a better option than B.

 

On the other hand, if project execution experience is a "good-to have" criterion, then the company would have had both candidates and can evaluate between them.
 
I am not suggesting that a newbie who has just academic knowledge on six sigma should be considered.
 
I am only suggesting that a experienced professional who understands and is experienced in project management/execution  ( team building, conflict resolution, communication with management) and technically clear on six sigma methodology/concepts should not be left out from consideration, only due to the fact that he may not have executed six sigma projects.
 
If a company gets two candidates with similar skill set and same enthusiasm for improvement projects, then preference can definitely be given to the candidate with project experience, but it should not be made an eligibility/essential criterion.
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Guest Vrinda

No 

Itty might not be required to have completed a full fledged project but the person shud have a good understanding of the basics and shud have used some of the learning at least in some improvements for the organization.. It's currently difficult to assess the validity of the projects claimed.. 

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Obviously yes, because project execution experience gives more clear picture of the fruits what we are enjoying from a good project. As some of the people are debating that six sigma is a set of tools where we can use them for solving problems in bits and pieces. But a whole Some project gives idea how to use those tools combining each other and coming to a fruitful conclusion.

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Guest Inderjot Ahuja

No.

Learning the methology and concepts are more important. Some organisations dont do Six Sigma full fledged projects due to no budget and resources. This leads to very less exposure for the Six Sigma tools that could be used for process improvement. Only less expensive process tools are used, like brainstorming, process mapping, etc.

 

Learning the concepts take a lot of effort and brain shift to understand, which should be given more importance. 

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16 hours ago, Arunesh Ramalingam said:

Appreciate Mohan PB's effort in analysing most of the answers and sharing the comments. Valuable comments from Venugopal and many others!!

 

I still do stand by my opinion that it should not be "essential criterion" but should be a "good to have".

 

Let me give a hypothetical example to explain my thought process.

 

I understand the BB certification process consists of 2 steps:

Step 1. Passing an Examination to prove technical and conceptual Six Sigma knowledge
Step 2. Project to exhibit practical knowledge.

 

Most people, complete step 1 and are stuck looking for opportunities to complete Step 2. What can these people be called - If not "Certified BB" then may be "Trained BB"?


Consider two candidates A and B with following background profiles applying for a improvement Manager position in your company:

 

A - Trained BB (Step 1) - understands Six sigma concepts and techniques, questions existing processes and  enthusiastic with a keen eye for process improvement opportunities. He has been a project manager for various technical projects - handled teams, interacted with management /customers , resolved conflicts, but  has not been involved in Six Sigma projects.

 

B - Certified BB - Due to unavoidable circumstances, he had to move to the  the Quality department in his company. He has completed certification and has completed projects to save and sustain his "Job". Now due to some reasons he has to change companies, but Six sigma is the field he has been working in most recently and is experienced certified in, so he has to apply for similar positions.

 

Now, my argument is based on the fact, that if project execution is "essential criterion" then Candidate A becomes ineligible and the company is left with no choice , but only candidate B. This is not favourable, because candidate A with some mentoring (learning gap) could have been a better option than B.

 

On the other hand, if project execution experience is a "good-to have" criterion, then the company would have had both candidates and can evaluate between them.
 
I am not suggesting that a newbie who has just academic knowledge on six sigma should be considered.
 
I am only suggesting that a experienced professional who understands and is experienced in project management/execution  ( team building, conflict resolution, communication with management) and technically clear on six sigma methodology/concepts should not be left out from consideration, only due to the fact that he may not have executed six sigma projects.
 
If a company gets two candidates with similar skill set and same enthusiasm for improvement projects, then preference can definitely be given to the candidate with project experience, but it should not be made an eligibility/essential criterion.

YES

 

Arunesh,

 

By reading your interesting response, I have a feeling that we are treading on similar thoughts, but with varied expressions. In your examples,, you have mentioned that the candidate A "with some mentoring" will become a better option. We are discussing the main criterion for the hiring, where the job profile should mention the expectations from the candidate. Organizations have the option of making the requirement as "Must have" or "Desirable", depending upon their situation, time and resources available for mentoring the candidate. To give an example from my own experience, I had once come across a candidate who was a 'trained' BB, and was very promising with respect to the subject knowledge and other aptitudes, but did not possess the experience of having formally run a six sigma project. As you pointed out, this candidate did stand out compared to some others who were 'certified' BBs with proof of project completion. Since we felt that this candidate had the potential to lead and complete a project , we deliberated and took a decision to hire him provisionally with a condition that he has to demonstrate his project leadership capability within a few months time only after which we will give him a confirmed order. The candidate too was very confident and took up this offer and soon proved himself.  These are exceptional situations and could not justify to alter the original hiring criteria. Thus we need to have the criterion very clear and firm, and that doesn't prevent us from taking exceptional decisions with appropriate deliberations and calculated risk.

 

I am concluding my debate with these words, but willing to discuss individually with anyone on more experiences on both sides.

 

Best wishes!!

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No.

 

The person don't need to have a certificate in Lean Six Sigma. It is only a practice and strategy used to bring in an additional value to the business and to showcase to the clients. Generally, it is hard for companies to follow the commandments of Six Sigma; however, they they try to follow whatever they can as many businesses are now from outside India. Further Six Sigma is the collection of those good practices and blended with some statistical theoretical knowledge. If followed, it will enhance the work and the pressure of an individual to more and it attrition can become a great negative. Many foreign so called bigger group of great companies don't even have the minimum quality standards to follow which I understand by experience in different transitions, but expect us to follow rigorous practices. But Still, it is a useful certification and the knowledge may be used in cracking interviews.

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Guest Vijaya Baptista
On 05/01/2018 at 10:30 AM, Rajesh Chakrabarty said:

YES!! 

As the experience and the transferable knowledge gained from the project counts. The more the projects completed, the better. 

Yes, it is essential. Knowledge without practical implementation doesn't add much value. Most hiring managers look for types of projects handled and accomplished before they shortlist the candidates. 

 

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Guest Vivekanand Anandhan

Yes, DMAIC or DMADV project experience is very essential for any improvement engineer or a manager who takes care of an entire process. Any process in any industry serves the client i.e meet the customer requirements. For the effective results the DMAIC or DMADV is of paramount important as this is the step by step process from inception till the product or idea goes live. Thus, experience and training in DMAIC and DMADV is very important for a professional black belt candidates.

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No, the reason being each project is unique in its own way. If you are aware of six sigma tools & methodoligies you will be able to apply all of them in any given project. Adding to this, six sigma black belt plays a role of a facilitator in complex business environment and champions in bringing a radical change at the leadership level. If he/she has a psychology background then he/she can understand the human dynamics in far better way.  It is all about changing the mindset first. If that happens, any re-engineering or business improvement can be done. 

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Guest Sudarshan
13 minutes ago, Guest Sudarshan said:

No

No...The fulfillment of core objective of lean is totally dependent on effective usage of various quality tools...On the other side I would say, completed project merely portray the achievement of collaborative efforts from various department/person but it fails to illustrate avtual ability of a person 

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Yes.                                                        

When some company planning to do a Project through DMAIC or DMADV,i t is essential to have a BB in the team who is familiar with the methodology.Full understanding of methodology help to drive the projects.If other problem solving tools or  practical knowledge being used for a Project,it can be a normal Project.It make sense when it use a Professional BB also in the team,if need to credit as a pure DMAIC Project.

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Guest Neeraj Gupta
On 05/01/2018 at 7:24 AM, Vishwadeep Khatri said:

Q63. Should completion of a full-fledged DMAIC or DMADV project be an essential criterion for the hiring of a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt professional in an improvement manager job role? 

 

Please start your answer with a clear YES or NO in the beginning of your first response. As this is a debate question, one needs to continue to support his/her response by replying to others.  

 

The question carries 2500 points and is open for a week. This is part of Excellence Ambassador initiative. There will be one winner for "YES" responses and one for "NO" responses in the debate. All rewards are mentioned here - https://www.benchmarksixsigma.com/forum/excellence-ambassador-rewards/

 

All Questions can be seen here - https://www.benchmarksixsigma.com/forum/lean-six-sigma-business-excellence-questions/

 

YES

Completion of a full project is necessary as a project gives a Six Sigma professional an opportunity to implement his acquired Six Sigma skill set and gives him practical roadmap to implement future projects in his new or current organization. Conceptual knowledge without practical implementation experience is useless. 

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No......

 

Just imagine if the person is conceptually very sound with Six sigma methodology and there are no opportunity for him/her to do any project in the organization, or may be the management is not supporting, then it will be very difficult for him/her to prove potential skills.

 

Also, there is no guarantee that the project submitted by someone is really unique, and is not actually copied from some friend who has submitted the same project somewhere else. If the person has smartly copied, then the examiner would not be able to judge the authenticity of the project.

 

Even if you do Six Sigma project, no one can guarantee the successful completion of the project, but at the end of project there will be lot of learnings, which I believe will definitely help that person to do much better in future projects. Also, as we know that if our project is not successfully completed, our organization will not give any signoff.

 

Irrespective of the fact that person has submitted the project or not, interviewer will have to ask logical questions in order to validate his/her knowledge and skills.

 

Lastly, I would like to say that we should not compare the experience of Six Sigma projects with human operations done by experienced medical surgeons. Human life is always precious than any Six Sigma project because we cannot afford the loss of human lives.

 

Hence, I believe submission of project is not really important, but the sound knowledge is more important, and the basis of his/her knowledge one can definitely does a better job in terms of working on projects as well.

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No

The solution proposed for the current problem / project is more relevant than past track record.

As long as the proposed solution is focussed on business success, based on data and is innovative in its approach, it should be given a chance to be implemented. 

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On 1/9/2018 at 4:36 PM, Venugopal R said:

YES

 

Arunesh,

 

By reading your interesting response, I have a feeling that we are treading on similar thoughts, but with varied expressions. In your examples,, you have mentioned that the candidate A "with some mentoring" will become a better option. We are discussing the main criterion for the hiring, where the job profile should mention the expectations from the candidate. Organizations have the option of making the requirement as "Must have" or "Desirable", depending upon their situation, time and resources available for mentoring the candidate. To give an example from my own experience, I had once come across a candidate who was a 'trained' BB, and was very promising with respect to the subject knowledge and other aptitudes, but did not possess the experience of having formally run a six sigma project. As you pointed out, this candidate did stand out compared to some others who were 'certified' BBs with proof of project completion. Since we felt that this candidate had the potential to lead and complete a project , we deliberated and took a decision to hire him provisionally with a condition that he has to demonstrate his project leadership capability within a few months time only after which we will give him a confirmed order. The candidate too was very confident and took up this offer and soon proved himself.  These are exceptional situations and could not justify to alter the original hiring criteria. Thus we need to have the criterion very clear and firm, and that doesn't prevent us from taking exceptional decisions with appropriate deliberations and calculated risk.

 

I am concluding my debate with these words, but willing to discuss individually with anyone on more experiences on both sides.

 

Best wishes!!

No.
 
Venugopal,
Good to read the comments.
 
I never challenged the value project execution experience carries. My contention was always on whether it should be a "Must have/Essential criterion" or Not.
 
In spite of having so many  unknown factors such as the quality or Genuinity  of the projects, the benefits realised, the factors that helped in completing the projects, if it is still made an "essential criterion", then the company only restricts the kind of candidates it receives. Also your example validates my thought process that it may not be essential criterion,  as your organization was satisfied hiring a guy without having the project execution experience.
 
I feel that, if it is an essential criterion then potential candidates like A ( "trained BB" from my earlier example)  might not even get shortlisted for the interview. Some potential candidate (like A) may not even apply, if it is very evident that they do not satisfy a "Must have" criterion.
 

I totally agree that there are other variables regarding the company's bandwidth (their situation, time, position criticality and resources availability... ) which come into play. If the position is for, say, the first BB that the company is hiring, then surely an experienced candidate would be good.

 

Given the general nature of the debate topic, I still hold my stand that it should not be "essential criterion" .  A person with general Project management experience/skills and a good command on six sigma  concepts/techniques should be able to do justice to the position. With this I rest my case.

 

Thanks.

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@ Venugopal Sir,

 

I didn't say if the organisation does not provide BB the opportunity of completing a BB project. What i meant is ...

1. I just completed my BB and due for promotion of managerial role

2. My organisation is interested in taking up small projects like Kaizens, Lean or even 8D approach but not DMAIC of BB project.

3. Organization is interested in recruiting a manager with BB certification

 

In this case, if i am in the position of recruiting,

i would see the project knowledge in terms of theory, and application of tools 

If the person is strong in theory and have used some of the approaches in problem solving, able to correlate the concepts but not used DMAIC approach, i would recruit the person for Managerial role.

 

thanks

Kavitha

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@ all (Who supports the view of Yes - project experience is required)

 

Most of you would have got selected as freshers in the company when started their careers. Did the organisation say that you are a fresher and no job for you here? No. They picked you, trained you and utilized you in completing their deliverable.

 

Even in Lean six sigma industry, they pick people, train them, make them to do project and motivate them to do GB. They even expose them in GB projects. the similar way, the people who have completed their GB with project experience would be promoted to next level with criteria of BB completion. 

 

My point here is 

 

For a certified BB, if the BB project is identified before his promotion, he can complete.

if the Promotion is due for him before even he could identify the project, he should deserve it for his historical achievements. 

 

Which ever comes first, it is for the betterment of oneself in his career. Neither should act as a roadblock for his career growth.

 

Thanks

Kavitha

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On 1/9/2018 at 4:36 PM, Venugopal R said:

YES

 

Arunesh,

 

By reading your interesting response, I have a feeling that we are treading on similar thoughts, but with varied expressions. In your examples,, you have mentioned that the candidate A "with some mentoring" will become a better option. We are discussing the main criterion for the hiring, where the job profile should mention the expectations from the candidate. Organizations have the option of making the requirement as "Must have" or "Desirable", depending upon their situation, time and resources available for mentoring the candidate. To give an example from my own experience, I had once come across a candidate who was a 'trained' BB, and was very promising with respect to the subject knowledge and other aptitudes, but did not possess the experience of having formally run a six sigma project. As you pointed out, this candidate did stand out compared to some others who were 'certified' BBs with proof of project completion. Since we felt that this candidate had the potential to lead and complete a project , we deliberated and took a decision to hire him provisionally with a condition that he has to demonstrate his project leadership capability within a few months time only after which we will give him a confirmed order. The candidate too was very confident and took up this offer and soon proved himself.  These are exceptional situations and could not justify to alter the original hiring criteria. Thus we need to have the criterion very clear and firm, and that doesn't prevent us from taking exceptional decisions with appropriate deliberations and calculated risk.

 

I am concluding my debate with these words, but willing to discuss individually with anyone on more experiences on both sides.

 

Best wishes!!

Sir,

 

this is what we are discussing. You took the decision of hiring such candidate without project experience but able to prove. So, the hiring conditions should not so strict that it should be documented, followed diligently with no deviations.

 

If the trained BB has all potentials to prove his LSS knowledge, Completion of BB project should not be a barrier for his next level career growth.

 

thanks

Kavitha

 

 

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