What's the Cost to Develop Six Sigma Training for Your Company?
written by: Jean Scheid
• edited by: Michele McDonough
• updated: 2/28/2011
No matter what industry you’re in, what are the costs to develop Six Sigma training for your organization? Some say, it’s not the costs you should consider, but the benefits. Jean Scheid offers up some realities.
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To Six Sigma or Not to Six Sigma
If you want to really utilize Six Sigma, the question may not be how much does it cost to develop Six Sigma training, but how much will it cost your company if you don’t acquire the needed training? Winston-Salem University offers up entire company training for both Green and Black Belt certification at a cost of $3,000 per Green Belt, $5,000 per Black Belt, and 90 hours and 120 hours of training, respectively.
If you have 20 employees and want 15 Green Belts and 5 Black Belts, that would cost you 1,950 hours of training time and $70,000 in training costs—all according to Winston-Salem University through training offered by 6SigmaTech, LLC. If your company is larger, you can do the math.
On the other side of the coin, what if you want to implement Six Sigma and decide to receive fly-by-night certifications? Is the cost of these types of Six Sigma training worth it? Or, do they lack in some of the important tools, specialized software, and phases of Six Sigma?
One must also consider company or project gains or losses when it comes to being realistic about the cost to develop Six Sigma training and certifications. Take Ford Motor Company for example. First they utilized Total Quality Management (TQM) and then switched to Six Sigma and the amount of warranty claims, defects, and production all changed for the better—even though the cost to Ford was massive and took around two years to see results, it was indeed worth it.
If companies such as Ford didn’t implement the proper training and certification levels, streamlined quality processes would not exist—in fact, they might have experienced chaos with employees not knowing what to do or how to do it.
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Is Six Sigma Right for Your Company?
I have always argued that the Six Sigma Methodology can be used for almost anything—even choosing team members. However, denying your company or project team the proper training won’t help you really achieve the goals of Six Sigma.
First, a company or project leader must be committed to the methodology, explore what it can do, and be open to the costs of both training hours and certification costs. There are many quality management consultants that claim they can turn your business or projects around—but can they really?
While the innovator of Six Sigma, Motorola, no longer offers Six Sigma training or certification of any kind these days, there are other respectable organizations that do and most will offer discounts on company-wide or group training.
Six Sigma experts promises the methodology will improve things like quality, happy customers, a happy work environment, lower to non-existent defects, and great product or project outcomes. With results like these, how can you miss?