Six sigma has been around for several decades now, and it's popularity has grown rapidly over the last few years. Prior to beginning a six sigma endeavor within a corporation, employees must be trained to utilize the improvement methodology.
When a company or individual decides to train their employees, they often search for the best courses, either taught live or online.
The most important aspect of a six sigma course is often overlooked, which is how to use the information learned to actually improve the organization. Six sigma includes many concepts, most of which are taught in schools through courses such as industrial engineering, statistics, or business classes. Examples are regression analysis and cause and effects diagrams (Ishikawa diagram). So it is not that the concepts of six sigma are unique, but a collection of concepts that can be utilized for continuous improvement within the organization.
The uniqueness of six sigma comes from the approach of the methodology, which is generally the DMAIC model. The acronym stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. It is this model that is followed from start to finish, from determining which projects should be tackled all the way through sustaining the improvements with the C, control.
The best courses are those delivered by individuals that have actually utilized the six sigma concepts to obtain real world improvements within the business. Courses delivered by individuals that only know the concepts, is like learning calculus without any understanding of how it is used in the real world.
In order to be successful with six sigma, the six sigma black belt must understand which tools should be used during each phase of DMAIC. The black belt also needs to remain focused on the end result. It is also critical to be honest and not force the data to prove what you think. If the data does not support your initial thoughts, remain objective, and continue through the process to arrive at the solution even if it's far removed from your gut feel.
The best six sigma courses explore examples of using the tools for organizational improvement. An example would be using a regression analysis that may show correlation, then setting up a standardized operation for the independent variable to force improvement in the dependent one. Then continued monitoring with a control chart will ensure lasting improvement.
Some six sigma courses include lean manufacturing tools and are often called Lean Six Sigma courses. The lean tools strengthen six sigma with an additional set of improvement concepts to help the practitioner anchie the best results.