The Lean Enterprise Solutions Program (LEAP) is a program of training for those already certified in Lean Six Sigma and who wish to move their skills to a higher level within the organization. Currently, there are over 900 trained Lean Six Sigma personnel in the United States. This training program is provided by the Lean Enterprise Solutions (LED) consortium. LED is a joint venture between Pricewaterhouse Coopers and IBM.
A Green Belt Six Sigma member is someone who has completed all the requirements for certification and is now being employed by an organization. A Green Belt is not a member of a formal management organization, although some may become a member of an organization as an informal consultant. A six sigma green belt is not certified in anything other than computer-based software development. This means that they are not trained in advanced methodology such as lean manufacturing or Six Sigma. Some people become green belts without completing any of the basic courses, while others complete the basic courses but choose not to pursue them further because they believe that they do not require such training.
A six sigma green belt is able to contribute to an organization in many ways, but none more than as a leader. They are usually used to work as the de facto leader of the project and have the ability to make important decisions without involving upper management from other departments. Their role is crucial in implementing Lean Six Sigma, eliminating waste, analyzing data, and coming up with a better solution. Their contribution can greatly reduce costs, which makes the certification worth its weight in gold.
The Six Sigma green belt certification is a separate entity from the lean Six Sigma itself. It is not a separate venture from the original Six Sigma. Many companies take the lean Six Sigma approach and use the green belt certification as their official certification, even if they are using the lean methodology only part-way throughout their organization. Some Six Sigma experts advocate that a company should have both the lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification and the actual Six Sigma Green Belt certification, since the two certifications complement each other and provide a clear path for future career development.
There are some companies that do not require formal training of employees, since such companies are small and have limited staff. However, even for these companies, having the Six Sigma Green Belt on hand can be a great asset, since it provides an extra level of training and guidance to new members who sign on. In addition, having a Six Sigma Green Belt on hand will also provide an extra incentive to those who already possess the certification, since members who already have a green Belt certification are more likely to continue with the training and to apply the knowledge they already have to their work.
Even for large companies, the benefits of training are still worth the investment. Most employees prefer to see and participate in real-world problems instead of in dry, virtual classrooms. Real-world training also helps keep employees motivated, and this is another of the many advantages of a lean six sigma project. Employees get to experience and relate to the problems they will be solving in the field, and this helps build their confidence. If employees know that they will actually be solving problems on the job instead of sitting in a lab doing lab work, they are much more likely to stay committed and work hard.
Lean Six Sigma certification has the potential to benefit everyone, both those currently in the industry and those who may want to go into the industry. There are numerous levels of certification, from a simple Green Belt to a Black Belt which requires a lot more training and additional examinations. Choosing to become a Six Sigma Green Belt is the most basic step toward one’s career path, as it provides one with the greatest benefits at the beginning. Once a person has become certified, they will find that the many opportunities for advancement and variety of career paths are endless.