Is Lean Six Sigma different from Six Sigma itself?

“Is Lean Six Sigma different from Six Sigma itself?”

There is some confusion in the minds of the many whenever they hear Lean Six Sigma after they have just finished taking up Six Sigma in their recent training.

Know more about its similarities and differences in the next update.

Please come back soon!  Thanks



Can we send candidates to the Six Sigma training without a project?


“Can we send candidates to the Six Sigma Green Belt training without assigned projects OR do we assign projects first before sending the candidates to the training?”  

I was once asked by a friend working in a company who is about to roll out their own Six Sigma program starting first with the first batch of Green Belt Training.

My recommendation was:  Assign first a viable project to a candidate before sending him/her to the Six Sigma training.

CONS: Project planning will have to be done with top executives which could take time before deciding what project to assign to the Green Belt Candidate.

Workaround is to ensure there is a pool of planned projects at the start of every year from which projects can be chosen and assigned to the Belt Candidate.

PRO:  First, the candidates go to the training with something to work on after every lecture.  It is likely that they will apply what they learned on the assigned projects they bring in to the training class.

Without an assigned project to work on during the Six Sigma trainings, usually ends in a scenario where the candidate completes the training and passes the exam with all knowledge based on theoretical understanding of the lessons.  Secondly, it becomes likely that the Belt candidate will forget everything without actual application thus defeating the purpose of sending him/her to the training.

So, if you’re company is currently planning to send candidates to the Six Sigma training it is recommended that a carefully selected Six Sigma project be assigned first before they attend the sessions.


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37 Ways to Innovate – Innovation Tip #13 Create Brand or Product Line Extensions





This idea suggests that we build on the success of the success of the original branded product.
Here are some interesting notes from how product extension strategies are being done.
from Wikipedia

product line extension is the use of an established product’s brand name for a new item in the same product category.

Product Line Extensions occur when a company introduces additional items in the same product category under the same brand name such as new flavors, forms, colors, added ingredients, package sizes. This is as opposed to brand extension which is a new product in a totally different product category.  Line extension occurs when the company lengthens its product line beyond its current range. The company can extend its product line down-market stretch, up-market stretch, or both ways.

Down-Market Stretch describes a company positioned in the middle market wanting to introduce a lower-priced product line while the Up-Market Stretch describes a company who may wish to enter the high end of the market for more growth, higher margins, or simply to position themselves as full-line manufacturers.  Also possible is Two-Way Stretch where a company serving the middle market might decide to stretch their line in both directions.
Down-Market Stretch example is the netbook which was introduced and aggressively priced at below 20k. Up-Market Stretch example is the introduction of the Macbook Pro laptops which carried all the best features for the best computing experience.  We can also say that Apple employed this strategy when they introduced the affordable tablet computer called iPad and then the high-end Macbook Pro with Retina display which is priced around 80 thousand pesos.  Now that Apple has down-market products and Up-Market products, then they are able to fulfill the 2-Way Market Stretch.

How Agile is your Business?


How Agile is your Business?

What is Organizational Agility? Is your organization, company or business agile enough to adapt to ever changing needs, changing market conditions requiring changes in the process fast?
Here is a snapshot from the survey results of Project Management Institute (PMI) on Organizational Agility.

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 10: Miniaturization


37 Ways to Innovate - Idea 10: Miniaturization

Innovation Tip of the Day:
37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 10: Miniaturization

This idea suggests creating value-adding products by making it “light-weight” or by making a “stripped-down” version.
Similar to a bulky LCD projector, the lightweight portable projector was invented for mobile professionals who always find the need to present something to a small audience anytime and anywhere.
For a small audience, they don’t need an intricate projector with all the high-end features. They would only need a basic projector that can show their presentation even at a lower resolution of 640 X 480 instead of the high-definition 1024 X 680. Mobile professionals and mobile salesmen only need a portable projector with stripped-down basic projector features.

Do you think of any other product or service from which you can create new value-adding product by stripping down to the bare and necessary features?

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 12: Make it Multifunctional or All-in-One (AIO)



This idea suggests increasing the value of the product by making it useful for other things while selling the product at the same price.  Customer saves money in the long run instead of buying the tools or parts separately which sums up to a higher price.
One popular example is the swiss knife. It may be sold at a premium price but if you would think about the cost of buying the tools separately, it actually costs more having individual tools.
In the office, you may also see another multi-functional device, that is the multi-purpose printer / fax / scanner.  In the earlier times, we had to spend a significant amount to buy each unit separately but now we can save more by having a multi-purpose unit or what we call now as a All-in-One (AIO) Printer.
Another example is the photocopy machine which use to have a sole functionality of photocopying but as time passed it evolved into a multi-functional office equipment.  Some photocopiers would now even have functionality of a fax machine, document storage, saving of image into electronic files (pdf or jpeg).

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 11: Tell The Story of Your Product



This idea suggests we highlight the product’s authenticity and value by sharing how it came to be or by sharing it all started.  Examples are KFC, Facebook and Starbucks.  KFC proudly shares that the original chicken was introduced by Colonel Harland Sanders during the Great Depression Period in America around 1930s in North Corbin, Kentucky USA .   Facebook started as a social media site in a college dorm room.  Starbucks started as seller of coffee and evolved into a coffee shop.
Why do people love to know the story of the product’s origin?
With a historical background that can enrich the customer’s experience by putting a story behind how the product was made, how it came to be or how it evolved through the years from its conception to creation.  Some customers find comfort knowing what goes into the product.

Some customers also put value to a product which has been existing and being patronized for some time even across generations. Such that the historical background of the product reminds of their parents buying the product when they were kids. It may even remind them of their childhood when they use to buy the said product and was able to have an enjoyable experience that time. That historical knowledge gives comfort to the customers that the product is proven reliable and has been patronized over ages.