Interview with Subject Matter Expert Ed Hayes: Discussing the Value of Lean Six Sigma Certification

Interview with Subject Matter Expert Ed Hayes: Discussing the Value of Lean Six Sigma Certification

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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You’ve probably seen advertisements for Lean Six Sigma certification. Maybe you’ve thought about enrolling. You might’ve even clicked on a few ads. But you haven’t moved forward. You haven’t registered for any classes, because really…

What is a Lean Six Sigma certification worth?

For that matter, what is the value of any certification?

It depends, of course. What type of certification is it? Who was the instructor? Was it being delivered by a university? How invested were you in the curriculum?

All of those questions are important, but the actual value of a certification is a lot simpler to discern. You need to ask only one question…

What will I do with the certification once I’ve acquired it?

Value of Lean Six Sigma

A useful certification taught by a world-class expert isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t change the way you approach your work. But when it does, the results can be transformative.

That was the case for Ed Hayes, CLSSBB, MBA – a legal staff professional with more than 35 years of experience working at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Back in 2008, when the financial crisis rocked the United States, Hayes had a stark realization: despite nearly three decades of legal industry experience, he was vulnerable. He needed to acquire knowledge and new skills.

“I was looking to improve my skills in the area of Business Process Management,” he said. “Those BPM studies led me to Lean Six Sigma, which I found so very interesting and fascinating.”

Lean Six Sigma might sound like a peculiar pursuit for a legal staff professional. After all, Hayes doesn’t work in manufacturing, and – according to critics – the Six Sigma heyday ended a decade ago. So why pursue something that was so inherently ‘worthless?’

“Having worked in a non-manufacturing industry my entire career,” he said, “I clearly see how the application of Lean Six Sigma tools would foster efficiency and process improvement. The critics either don’t understand Lean Six Sigma or are not looking hard enough for opportunities outside of manufacturing.”

How did he respond to those critics?

“I find this criticism as missing the overarching value of Lean Six Sigma. I invite the critics to spend a day with me and I can show them how Lean Six Sigma tools and concepts would foster efficiency and process improvement.”

Let’s say a critic did spend a day with Hayes. What would they see? What change has he helped create at his law firm?

Lean Six Sigma and Law Firms

“We have been able to apply Lean Six Sigma tools and concepts in the realm of process mapping,” Hayes said. “It is quite exciting to see how others recognize the value and embrace process maps, SIPOC diagrams and other tools and concepts. We can accomplish so much and make things more streamlined by using these tools.”

Process mapping is a tried and true tool for any organization that is Lean Six Sigma friendly and seeking process improvement. If you’re unfamiliar with the technique, process mapping is exactly what it sounds like – you literally draw a map of a process onto a sheet of paper or a whiteboard. Identify every single step of a process, put the steps in the proper order, review the steps and remove anything that’s unnecessary.

It’s a simple, but staggeringly powerful visual management tool. And it’s just one piece of a much larger, much more effective process improvement puzzle.

Enjoying this article? You may also like: Interview with a Six Sigma Black Belt

Certifications Worthy of Your Time

“I truly believe that Lean Six Sigma, project management and business process management comprise a powerful triad of knowledge,” Hayes continued. “That triad, coupled with change management tools and concepts, are [good] bodies of knowledge for organizations to have in these highly competitive and ever-changing times.”

Which of these ‘bodies of knowledge’ does Hayes prefer – Lean, Six Sigma, project management, change management, BPM or something else entirely?

“[They all] really fall under the much larger umbrella of continuous process improvement. I find myself getting frustrated with social discussions involving the debate among Lean, Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma. I maintain that it does not matter; actually, we should use them all. They all work in the efforts toward continuous process improvement.”

The key phrase is, ‘we should use them all.’ Get results. Create change.

And a good certification – a useful certification – will inspire you to action. Just look at Ed Hayes. He earned a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification as well as a Certified Change Management Practitioner credential, and immediately put them into action. His knowledge and experience with Lean Six Sigma and process improvement has absolutely transformed the way that he works and views everyday problems.

“Lean Six Sigma will open up your mind to a new way of solving problems and bringing about improvement,” he said. “It has opened up opportunities to me that I had never considered… [and I] wish I had studied it years sooner.”

The post Interview with Subject Matter Expert Ed Hayes: Discussing the Value of Lean Six Sigma Certification appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

By: James LoPresti
Posted: July 3, 2018, 11:00 am

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