Top Certifications in Quality Management
Quality management is a term relevant to almost all the industries, business setups, and functional areas. In layman terms, quality management is the act or process to maintain the desired level of excellence. Even a rough look at the business setups of today will express the need for structured quality management. Modern Quality management does not only focus on the quality of the final product or service but also on the means and process to produce and deliver the product or service.
Over the years several quality standards have been developed, some local to certain sector or organization and some that are accepted globally. With the drive for quality, professionals have started finding ways to become acclaimed quality experts and the most common means to do so is through certifications. In this article, we will discuss the most prominent and sort after certifications. For the scope of discussion, we will exclude the quality standard certifications that have been developed by individual organizations and focus only on the ones that find utility on a more generalized scale.
1. Lean Six Sigma suit of Certifications
The most popular brand of quality management certification is the Lean Six Sigma certification suit which is comprised of LSS White Belt, LSS Yellow Belt, LSS Green Belt, LSS Black Belt, and LSS Master Blackbelt.
Lean Six Sigma is a combination of Lean methodologies and Six Sigma principles. While both individually provide substantial strides in the quality spectrum, the best result is delivered by mixing the two methodologies. Lean is a set of practices that aim at improving efficiency and effectiveness by systematic eliminations of waste. Six Sigma, on the other hand, is a statistic based, data-driven approach to continuous improvement methodology.
The Lean Six Sigma levels are represented as various belts signifying the level of expertise derived.
Lean Six Sigma White belt: LSSWB is an entry-level certification that provides an insight into the need for quality management and means to achieve it.
Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt: LSS Yellow Belt certified professional knows the basics of Lean six sigma methodologies and can work on parts of the improvement program.
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt: LSS Green Belt is the first substantial learning level in the LSS suit. It is at this level that the participant is inducted to the tools and principles essential to participate in the DMAIC improvement projects. The course elaborates on the DMAIC and its application.
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt: LSS Black belt holders are qualified experts who have the capability of explaining Six Sigma principles and handling quality projects.
Master Black Belt: A Master Blackbelt is responsible to implement Lean Six Sigma strategies on an organizational level.
Minitab is another popular certification in quality management spectrum and is for LSS certified professionals. Minitab is a software package that can assist in analyzing critical data. The importance of Minitab is derived from its use for the LSS certified professionals. Lean Six Sigma requires dependence of hard data. Minitab makes analysis easier. Professionals can enter data, manipulate it and understand the trends based on this data.
The use of Minitab becomes excessive in the Measure and Analysis phase, providing additional tools for better and more appropriate results.