• What is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification?

    October 20th, 2021 | by

    Lean Six Sigma Green Belt is the intermediate level of Lean Six Sigma certification. Green Belts are able to lead projects and assist Black Belts with their roles in managing data and analysis. Green Belt certification will teach you how to reduce waste, guarantee quality and eliminate defects in your organisational processes.

    Efficiency has a direct link to employee morale which means an increase in efficiency can improve organisational culture. The easier it is for people to see results in their work, the higher the motivation to continue to succeed. There are numerous other benefits for your organisation, staff and customers that we explore in this article.

    What Are The Differences In Lean Six Sigma Levels?

    There are various levels of Lean Six Sigma certification. At Thornley Group, we teach three levels. These are Yellow, Green and Black Belts. Green Belt certification is the intermediate level of certification in Lean Six Sigma. With Yellow Belt certification being your initial certification and Black Belt certification being your advanced level of certification.

    The type of Lean Six Sigma certification that you wish to undertake will depend on variables such as the level to which you currently work with processes in your current role. Black Belt certification is intended to provide you with the training and tools to undertake project leadership. Whereas Yellow Belt certification provides an excellent knowledge base for understanding how to support project teams in problem-solving tasks.

    What Does Being Green Belt Certified Entail?

    Once you’ve completed your Green Belt certification you will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to operate across a range of roles. Lean Six Sigma can be implemented across a broad range of industries and at many different levels of project management. These roles include Business Analysis, Quality Assurance, Manufacturing, Process Design and many more. You will be trained in project setup and you will develop a different approach to project management. Through the use of DMAIC you will increase process effectiveness and efficiency by eliminating unnecessary waste.

    D-M-A-I-C is an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. Through DMAIC and associated statistical tools and techniques, you will be empowered to make significant improvements across cost, quality and delivery. In turn, this will improve competitive advantage and increase customer satisfaction.

    This Certification is advisable for:

    • Delivery Leaders
    • Analysts
    • Project Managers
    • Process Improvement Experts
    • Program Managers
    • Operation Team Leaders

    Do I Need Previous Belts To Become Green Belt Certified?

    You do not need to have prior knowledge or training in Lean Six Sigma to undertake a Green Belt course. You may bypass the Yellow Belt training certification and directly undertake a Green Belt certification.

    A Green Belt course will cover everything that is discussed in the Yellow Belt course while taking your knowledge of Lean Six Sigma to a higher level. If you have already undertaken a Yellow Belt certification then we also offer a bridging course that recognises your prior learning.

    Please note: If you wish to undertake the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course, you must be Green Belt certified as a pre-requisite.

    Want To Become Green Belt Certified? Contact Thornley Group Today!

    If you have experience working with processes in service organisations or manufacturing then Lean Six Sigma is vital in improving your workflow. At Thornley Group we have worked with major organisations such as Arnott’s, Westpac Bank, and the BMW Group to streamline their processes. Our experience as a Lean Six Sigma training organisation means we have the knowledge to train you to the highest standard. Contact Thornley Group on 1300 310 079 for more information or to learn more about our courses.

  • Why Is Lean Six Sigma So Important?

    October 19th, 2021 | by

    Business process improvement methodologies have been around for many decades and some of these survive the test of time while others don’t. Deming’s Plan Do Study Act will be around for eternity as will the ideas behind the Toyota Production System (Lean). Total Quality Management was one of the highlights of 20th Century business process improvement but sadly fell out of fashion, not because it was flawed, but because senior management teams didn’t readily engage. One of the reasons for this is that management couldn’t directly see the link between process performance and the bottom line.

    Six Sigma and Lean have managed to continue to influence and deliver huge benefits for the organisations that apply them and in New Zealand, there is a growing Lean Six Sigma community edging towards higher performance in services, government, healthcare and business.

    The reason that these methodologies, combined as Lean Six Sigma, continue to be successful is that they both focus on business performance metrics, i.e. the bottom line, and they are grounded in long-established best practices.

    Why should I attend a Lean Six Sigma training course?

    In many organisations, there is an expectation that employees have some awareness or even expertise in Lean and Six Sigma thinking. This is often customer-driven or because an organisation want to compete more effectively. Attending a Lean Six Sigma training course, and becoming certified, provides employers with the confidence that an acceptable level of competence has been achieved. Depending on whether you need to have an overview as a senior manager or you need to mentor other people in your organisation there is a ‘belt’ that fits.

    Applying Lean Six Sigma will enable you to:

    • Improve productivity
    • Compete effectively
    • Create a safe working environment
    • Increase customer and stakeholder satisfaction
    • Engage with your staff and colleagues
    • Reduce waste
    • Operate quicker and smarter
    • Improve the bottom line

    What is the difference between the Lean Six Sigma Belts?

    Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt

    This is a start point for many people wanting to know how these great methodologies are applied. The Yellow Belt has enough detail to get started on improving things straight away and attendees gain a good insight into what makes an improvement effort successful. This course has been attended by all levels and industry types from shop-floor to board room and from primary healthcare to bakeries.

    During the training, you will learn how to identify waste and make value flow whilst reducing error and variation in your processes. Managers will understand what needs to be done to implement Lean Six Sigma and employees will learn how to participate in improvement teams.

    Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

    Green Belt is the most popular of all the Lean Six Sigma courses because it provides the depth of knowledge to manage and implement change on a significant scale. Using competencies taken from change management, process management, data analysis and process design, attendees will be able to lead process improvement and manage change in their organisations with measurable results. This is an excellent option for people wanting to take a lead role in business process improvement or those looking for career enhancement with this sought-after level of certification.

    Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

    Beyond the project leadership and process improvement knowledge gained at Green Belt, the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course takes the learning up to the point where the knowledge gained allows attendees to mentor Green Belts and deliver strategic level business transformation. This is not an easy option and requires that attendees are already verified Green Belts, certified through recognised organisations such as the ASQ, IASSC and the NZOQ. Having met that entry requirement, attendees must have good maths skills as the course makes extensive use of statistical concepts.

    Black Belts are typically management level (or aspiring towards) and process improvement specialists with the skills required to lead change programmes. The change management and strategic skills elements of the Black Belt course are equally as important as the statistics, so a large part of the course is designed to standardise knowledge in these areas. Black Belts are neither ‘nerds’ nor generalists, they are a special type of person that can understand people and maths at the same time.

    Looking To Become Lean Six Sigma Certified? Contact Thornley Group today!

    The team at Thornley Group have decades of experience training people in the ways of Lean Six Sigma and creating a more productive work environment. Contact us today to discuss what options may be available to you.

  • Ways HR Can Help Build A Feedback Culture Amongst Remote Teams

    October 11th, 2021 | by

    Maintaining engagement within a remote team is important in ensuring everyone remains connected to the company, managers and fellow team members during periods of remote working. Ensuring people continue to feel part of a team that values their contribution will keep them engaged and motivated.

    Recent studies during the pandemic have shown that working remotely can have its benefits, such as improving morale and productivity. However, there are also drawbacks and corporate culture is said to be negatively impacted when away from the workplace for extended periods of time. There are steps you can take as a manager to ensure your team remains engaged and connected with their colleagues and the business.

    Make It Part Of The Process From Day One

    Prevention is better than cure and encouraging open communication from the outset will set the scene for the period of remote working. When moving from office work to remote work, people will lose and gain various benefits and they will have unique and individual reactions to the situation. Some may thrive without a long commute and the comfort and convenience of working from home. Others may miss the human connection that comes from working in an office, others may struggle to work in their home environment for any number of reasons.

    Providing an opportunity for employees to voice their concerns, vent, and bounce thoughts and ideas back and forth will give them an opportunity to share their experiences.

    Have Constant One-to-One Meetings With The Team

    Organise consistent and reliable one-to-one meetings with your staff to promote engagement and provide a platform for open communication. Regular one-to-ones will assist motivation and ensure feedback is given and received in a timely manner to ensure any issues are managed early.

    Roadblocks and distractions are prone to happen at any time but especially when adapting to a new work environment. Offer opportunities for employees to reach out to you but also schedule your one-to-one meetings regularly and consistently to promote structure and reliability.

    Teach The Team About Structured Feedback

    Developing and maintaining a high standard of open communication can mean the difference between failure and success. Praise is a valuable tool for rewarding and encouraging people’s efforts at any time. During remote work, it can provide validation to the work people are doing despite what is most likely trying and extenuating circumstances.

    Obviously, not all feedback may be of a positive nature. Educating your staff on “when”, “how” and “why” to provide feedback and also how to receive it can be very powerful. Incorporating this as early as possible into your team’s training will ensure that positive habits are formed from the beginning. A critical part of the feedback process is ensuring that there is an open, safe, non-punitive environment where feedback can be received.

    If Needed, Refine Your Company’s Values

    Simon Sinek defines corporate culture as values plus actions. All companies have positive, well-intentioned values. But values are meaningless if the actions of management and staff do not line up, thus creating a toxic cultural environment. Lofty and unrealistic values may be doing more harm than good if the company is not equipped to live up to them through action.

    Similarly, you may find one or more of your values is not actually in line with the culture of your workplace, this isn’t necessarily a negative thing. Developing or redefining values that are grounded and achievable across all aspects of the business will demonstrate to both your employees and your customers/clients that you are capable of setting realistic expectations and are able to follow through with them. Achieving these and praising and rewarding people for doing so will boost morale through recognition and motivate people to further goal completions.

    Need Help To Refine Your Processes? Contact Thornley Group Today!

    Lean Six Sigma is designed to improve productivity through process improvement while assisting to reduce waste. Thornley Group offers multiple levels of Lean Six Sigma training that will help you take your HR processes to the next level. We help all businesses that struggle with staff retention and communication as well as all industries based in project management and manufacturing. Contact us for more information and start improving your corporate culture today.

  • How Has Coronavirus Impacted The Manufacturing Industry

    October 7th, 2021 | by

    2020 was definitely a challenging year. COVID-19 ran rampant across the globe and a number of industries felt the effects. Tourism, hospitality and retail were some of the hardest-hit industries thanks to the lack of travel and outside interactions. But another industry that was affected was the manufacturing industry. Supply issues, staffing problems and logistic disputes caused a ripple effect that was felt from top to bottom.

    Some companies did see this as an opportunity, however. They saw a chance to improve processes to make them more efficient and cost-effective. They decided to implement Lean Six Sigma to help remove waste and reduce variation.

    The impact of COVID-19

    COVID-19 was definitely not something that was anticipated across the manufacturing industry. When it first spread, the initial response was for people to stay at home, which meant that staff and workers were unable to go to work, causing a major disruption to production and supply chains. This, in turn, created a number of problems across the industry, such as:

    • Increased Costs – Thanks to the lack of raw materials and the steady increase of manufactured products, overall costs have gradually increased. With most manufacturers aiming to continue steady production levels throughout the pandemic, the demand for raw materials has continued to increase. This has caused many to search for alternative suppliers, which has led to higher overheads, which organisations have had to pass on to consumers.
    • Delayed Deliveries – Given the travel restrictions placed on much of the world in terms of international shipping from suppliers, delivery dates are continuously being pushed back for manufacturers. Again, this has led to the issue being felt by the consumer, as the expected delivery date is also pushed back.
    • Precarious Position – With the world still coping with the pandemic crisis, most manufacturing companies are situated in a precarious position. The uncertain future means that it has become difficult to forecast too far in advance, meaning that supply chain disruptions are a continuous issue.
    • Decrease & Increase in Demand – Both of these issues have been raised over the last 18 months. A decrease in demand means that overall profit has dropped, meaning that budget cuts need to be made and that most likely means lost jobs. On the other hand, the increase in demand has caused quite a headache for some companies, as they don’t have the inventory to meet the demand, causing consumer issues.

    How Can Lean Six Sigma Help During These Times?

    Lean Six Sigma is a proven methodology for reducing unnecessary waste and reducing variation with organisations. Within the manufacturing sector, it can help identify any issues that may have arisen thanks to COVID-19, without the need to make significant cuts to the overall budget.

    It can also help put in place processes to safeguard most companies from overproducing and oversupplying, meaning that profit margins can be steadily increased over time.

    Looking to improve your processes? Contact Thornley Group today.

    Thornley Group has decades of experience working with companies in the manufacturing sector to help improve overall processes and procedures. Using the Lean Six Sigma methodology, many organisations have seen significant improvements in both productivity and their bottom line. Contact us today and we can talk you through the next steps.

  • How Lean Six Sigma Can Help Overcome Challenges In Modernising Your Business

    September 7th, 2021 | by

    Streamlining your business with Lean Six Sigma will reduce expenditure, increase productivity and improve customer satisfaction. Whether you’re in manufacturing, development or any other process-driven business, Lean Six Sigma will benefit your organisation. By removing outdated practices and obsolete ways of doing business you can bring your company into a modern way of thinking and acting.

    How Is Lean Six Sigma Used In Today’s Business?

    Regardless of the size of your business, improvements can be made to improve performance and minimise waste. Lean Six Sigma is used to streamline processes and improve customer satisfaction regardless of whether you are a small, medium or large organisation. Lean Six Sigma is designed to bring efficient and effective change within your organisation. This will have an effect throughout your business and will create sustainable positive change for your employees, suppliers and customers. Lean Six Sigma is a top-down approach used to bring about measurable and consistent improvements to streamline processes and increase your profit margin.

    Can It Help Modernise Businesses?

    Lean Six Sigma helps to streamline processes and maximise customer satisfaction. By honing techniques, you remove outdated steps. This “trims the fat” so to speak, which opens up opportunities to introduce new processes and procedures. Evolutionary growth can not develop if an organisation is weighed down by a culture that is too heavily steeped in traditional ways of doing things that no longer serve a purpose. The renewed perspective that is brought about through Lean Six Sigma helps to cleanse traditions. Traditions are important where they serve to enhance value to the customer, employee or shareholder, but maintaining something with the attitude of “that’s how we have always done things” is costly on multiple fronts.

    There is a further risk of only implementing Lean Six Sigma on a superficial level. This may occur for a number of reasons but it is ultimately a symptom of the very culture that needs to be updated with Lean Six Sigma strategies. Lean Six Sigma experts need to be provided full support and resources in order to focus their efforts on core operations as opposed to surface changes. If you are only implementing it to impress shareholders or to maintain the status quo with competitors, then you are inviting negligence and failure.

    How Exactly Does Lean Six Sigma Work?

    Lean is the systematic approach to eliminating waste from processes so that every part of the process adds value to the customer. Six-Sigma is a business management philosophy that works to maximise performance and minimise cost in all that we do. By combining the two systems, you get an all-encompassing review of your business along with strategies to redefine what brings value to your customers. This permeates your corporate culture to act on all fronts and continues to evolve as time progresses, rather than stopping when a milestone is reached.

    Contact Thornley Group for Lean Six Sigma Implementation

    At Thornley Group, we are your national Lean Six Sigma experts. With training programs and consultancy services, we can help bring your business into 2021 through world-renowned methods of development and re-engineering of your corporate processes. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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