Although I know a Six Sigma certification would increase my earning potential, and offer me a competitive advantage in the workplace I’m not undertaking this education for the projected $38,000 salary increase over my counterparts.
Instead I’m interested in the knowledge.
As such I’m watching videos along with my fiancé through Villanova University to learn more about Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. He’s getting the credit; I’m getting the knowledge.
To give you a little background Six Sigma is set of techniques and tools for process improvement that was first used at Motorola, and then under Jack Welch’s leadership at General Electric. The ultimate goal of Six Sigma is to create defect-free products.
This process of learning and viewing the business world aims to achieve stable and predictable results, come up with ways to measure, analyze, control and improve previously existing processes and create an entire organization where quality is becomes top-notch.
It takes the guesswork out of decision-making because it gives verifiable data and statistical methods.
All this sounds fancy but when I look at it, I think about the practical ways that I can apply it to my business and more importantly to my thinking.
The first project methodology I am studying and applying to my business is called “DMAIC.” It stands for define, measure, analyze, improve and control.
It’s where you define the system, the voice of the customer and develop goals. From there you collect and measure the current process and relevant data, and then analyze and find the root cause of the problem. From there you brainstorm ways to improve it and then control the process so that it works more fluidly the subsequent times around. It’s creating within me the volition to embrace kaizen, which is Japanese for “continuous improvement.” It’s helping me to see that my first crack at an idea isn’t always right but that it was be tweaked and measured along the way to become more efficient. It’s helping me to see my company not just as my baby but rather an experiment where I can try out new ideas, measure them and monitor their progress.
As I am listening to the videos on my iPad, I’m taking the ideas and applying them in my mind to my business. This helps me to do things: it helps me understand what they’re saying devoid of fancy business terms and it also helps me to apply the concept in a tangible way so that my business can become more streamlined.
It’s causing me to think about new ways to drive in business. It makes me wonder how I could apply these ideas to marketing, accounts receivable, customer service and more and it’s making me excited to try these new ideas once the class is over so that I’m not just educated on this, and so that I’m not just more marketable in the workplace but so that I have taken a concept and made it come alive.
Maybe it’ll net me $38,000 in business. Maybe it’ll lend itself the opportunity for me to take the test and become certified. I don’t know but I do know one thing for certain: it’s changing the way I learn about business and it’s giving me knowledge that I can apply in any endeavor.
About the Author
Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.
Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.
She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.
She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.
For more information visit her Google + Page.