Visualizing Six Sigma concepts is difficult. Here’s the process I and many others have used to gain mastery over what’s required for certification.
Each of the Six Sigma certification exams require mastery of many, many topics. One reader mentioned how difficult it is;
“Just trying to figure out how to “visualize” all the information in order to remember. I am more of a hands on learner.” – Curtis.
I was in the same boat. Studying for the exam and learning the material are 2 different things. But there is hope. I created a pattern that helped me visualize Six Sigma My pattern when learning the material was the following:
Visualizing Six Sigma Concepts Passively
Go to School
Of course I mean this figuratively. Attending the lecture, lesson or class on the material can take many forms; in person, an on-line webinar, pre-recorded video lectures. But the best suggestion is to leverage some kind of guided learning that provides a mentor you can partner with.
Go Through the Bodies of Knowledge
If that’s not possible, go to these compendium pages I’ve created that list each exam’s Body of Knowledge – a list of topics that you are expected to master at each level.
Leverage Outside Resources
The goal of taking a course is to introduce you to the material. We are still a far way from internalizing the material. No matter how great your teacher is, your are still dependent upon their talent and style to relate the material. Read a few other sources so you can get a slightly different perspective on the same topics. I’ve listed a few of the best resources here.
Case Studies for Visualization
Some of the best ways you can visualize Six Sigma concepts is to see how others applied them in the real world. Go to the industry conferences. Search out various organization’s publications. Also, many industry awards publish write ups of the winner’s project. These can be excellent examples of real-world application.
Visualizing Six Sigma Concepts Actively
Apply the Material Immediately
Try to find some place in your immediate environment where you could try each Six Sigma tool you are studying. Work being work, not all tools are immediately relevant to what’s on your plate. In those cases I would think about previous experiences where the tool would have been helpful and create ‘mock’ data or the like to fill what I needed to try it out.
But don’t just sit there and ‘think’ about it. Create deliverables. In order to visualize six sigma concepts, you need to ‘get your hands dirty’, so to speak. Make charts. Write charters. Create the deliverables as you would for a ‘real’ project.
Leverage Mentors and Fellow Students
I had a mentor to run things by, so this was helpful to see if I was on the right course. I think you could do the same thing in the forums and you’d get a lot of help there – I’d certainly offer my $0.02!
Remember, don’t get discouraged. Much of this material is dense and even if you know what an example looks like in the classroom it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to create it on your own in your spare time.
My last step would be to explain the concept to someone else. If I can’t teach it, I don’t know it. Also, something about the pressure of a deadline and interacting with others really makes these topics crystallize for me.
What Six Sigma Topic Do You Need Help Visualizing?
Now it’s your turn. Reply to this email or leave a comment here telling me ‘What is one specific topic (eg Chi Squared instead of statistics) that you need help visualizing.’