how hard is six sigma? It is a question that people often ask. It depends on many elements. Which belt do you want to get and what kind of background and experience do you have. If you want to go for a Six Sigma Black Belt certification you have to pass a hard and difficult exam. Don't be discourages I have seen people pass which started without any background in statistics and project/quality management. Those people came from different backgrounds such as logistics, construction, and medical. They had all one thing in common: a solid preparation and disciplined study. you can study on your own using some books or follow a course.
I can recommend the certified six sigma black belt handbook if you want to go for the ASQ black belt exam. You can use it as your sole resource since it contains the complete body of knowledge for the ASQ exam or you can use it additionally to a course or other books. The later is recommended.
Six sigma hard to explain... or not
I love this funny movie of a father, who could be a lean six sigma black belt, taking his son into the office on career day. He tries to describe what he does but is not very successful. It is a fragment of the popular 'That 70's show'. I show it always at the end of my introduction on lean six sigma on the first training day. Why? Because six sigma can be overwhelming if you hear about it for the first time. It is not just one tool but a complete toolbox that can not be explained in just one day, or in one article for that matter.
After the trainees have seen the video I reassure them that maybe it is not clear for them right now what six sigma really is, just like it is not clear for the son, but that at the end of the course they should be able to understand what the dad is talking about.
Six Sigma is not rocket science. I believe that everyone regardless of their experience and background can be trained in six sigma. You have to be willing to invest time in it. you will need to have also a good coach in contrast to the father which lacks clearly training skills. If you spend enough time and have a good coach/trainer you should be able to make it. just like all the people before you. And before you know you are able to implement the six sigma methodology in your own work area and improve your results.
How long does it take to get a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt?
It all depends of course on your experience and background. A good greenbelt training takes at least 5 days. You will have to study on average 8 to 16 hours to pass the exam. A good black belt training goes from 15 to 25 days of training. You will have to study on average 40 to 80 hours to pass the exam. Consider Obtaining a Green Belt Certification First if you want to get a black belt certificate. It is not mandatory but you first have to learn to walk before you learn to run. And many training institutes have a course "from greenbelt to blackbelt".
Take into account that these numbers presented above are typical values and should not be seen as a specification. If you decide to learn it on your own you will spend probably more hours then just follow training. Did you get your certificate? Let me know how hard it was to get your six sigma certification in the comments. I love to see how much hours you spend.