Last time we talked about how trying to study everything on the exam all at once leads to the path of frustration.

I showed an analogy of how that is essentially the same problem I have when I work on too many things on the website at the same time.

What I didn’t do was show what this looks like in practice. And I got emails about that. Several.

So let’s go with an example.

Meet John

Meet John.

John is a fictional case based off thousands and thousands of six sigma exam candidates that come to my site every day.

John’s bright, motivated, and ready to take his exam! He already passed all of his training and he’s working through his materials.

He knows that the best way to prepare for a certification exam is to do a lot of practice questions. Hundreds, if possible. And he’s already bought a book (or maybe an awesome on-line study system) to help him prepare.

But things aren’t going well for John.

John is on The Path to Six Sigma Certification Studying Frustration

John is putting in the hours to study. And it shows.

Anytime someone comes to his desk they can see that:

  • There are dozens of tabs open on his browser – each to a different Six Sigma topic.
  • His collection of dozens of notebooks, textbooks, and course guides are littered with hundreds of sticky notes.
  • John’s whiteboard has a To-Do list a mile long! (His to-do lists have to-do lists).

John is certainly very busy. He’s spending every spare minute he can get (and stealing several other minutes besides) trying to prepare for his Six Sigma exam.

But he’s not getting anywhere.

Why John Isn’t Getting Anywhere

And each day he comes to his desk and sees his huge list of to-dos and all the sticky notes, and all of the browser tabs open and he… feels… frustrated and overwhelmed.

But John’s a professional. Just because the path is difficult doesn’t mean he’s going to let it get him down! So he perseveres!

He buckles down, gets right back in to it and does more work! He resolves to work harder, harder, and harder.

And what results does he have at the end of that work?

  • His to-do list is now twice as a long listed with even more things to study!
  • He’s run out of memory on his browser and his computer crashed because he had a hundred tabs open at once!
  • There are so many sticky notes everywhere it looks like an office supply store exploded.

But worse, John is feeling so exhausted and frustrated and overwhelmed that he’s in danger of just giving up and abandoning his goal of getting a Six Sigma certification.

The Sad Parts

There are a few things that are really sad about this situation:

  • Thousands of people fall into this trap every day.
  • Passing a Six Sigma certification doesn’t have to be this hard.
  • John’ doing this to himself. Hard work has always gotten him through before. Why not now?

Up Next

Next time we’ll cover the solution to John’s (and yours?) problem.

In the meantime if this sounds familiar, leave a comment here, or hit reply and let me know how it felt. If you were able to escape the cycle, let me know!

Comments (2)

John is not alone, his case is typical to many students, not only in Six Sigma Certification. You try to cover as much ground in a short space of time by engaging yourself in as many topics and stages at the same time. But, Six Sigma is sequential. You cannot Measure before you Define what it is you want to measure, neither can you Improve before Analysing the data. The best approach would be to study and understand the stages in sequence as they is more value in the whole program when understood that way.

Hi Wilfred,

Thanks for your comment. I agree with you with this correction: it’s best for practitioners to LEARN in sequence.

Once you have learned, studying should be done in the manner of whatever gets you the most points. There’s a subtle difference. But that difference can mean having enough time to pass your exam or not.

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