Productivity Accelerated: Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training Offered at STLCC

By on January 31, 2019
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training

Working as a quality manager in the St. Louis area, Benroy Shimotani aspired to learn more about reducing waste and improving processes after reading The Toyota Way. “I want to do my job very effectively,” he explains, “and I wanted a trained practitioner to teach me how to go about finding the root cause and follow it when we’re trying to better a situation.” Shimotani enrolled in St. Louis Community College’s Lean Six Sigma class to better understand how to accelerate his own productivity as well as those whom he manages.

The Lean Six Sigma class uses problem-solving tools to enable managers and line workers alike to identify problems and successfully solve them, ensuring faster, more accurate production. Lean Six Sigma is a worldwide practice that enables a collaborative effort to improve workplace flow and systematically reduce waste. For example, processes such as DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) can help a group identify ways to run improvement projects.

Shimotani sought a set curriculum that could foster his growth. The STLCC program provides in-person, small group training that encourages open conversation between students. “You could read it from a book but I went through hands-on exercises with classmates, which helps [me] to understand how to do it more effectively,” he said. Shiumotani feels that the various student backgrounds added to his experience.

Instructor Pat Dalton says the course allows students who are active members within manufacturing, customer service and non-manufacturing to immediately access tools that help eliminate repeated processes, improve speed or reduce inventory. “I think you’ll be a more helpful team member and a better asset to the company,” Shimotani says of learning the processes behind the manufacturing.

Shimotani used his Lean skill set in the workplace right away. The infinity diagram, which is a brainstorming technique, helped his team identify key issues in their company’s manufacturing techniques. After finding a couple of patterns, they identified the root causes and used process mapping to create solutions.

Dalton encourages students coming from any background to use the Lean method to unpack workplace difficulties and improve company flow. “This is helpful for anybody to look at any problem as a system-wide problem,” Shimotani said. “It’s a commitment for sure, but it’s worthwhile.”

An upcoming Lean Six Sigma Green Belt cohort begins Feb. 13. Students meet for 12 sessions on Wednesday evenings and Saturdays totaling 45 hours of instruction, including an 18-hour capstone simulation project. Students who successfully complete this training will receive their Lean Six Sigma Green Belt award of completion. Find more information on the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt program and register at stlcc.edu/accelerated.

About Laura Davis

Laura Davis is a Marketing Communications Coordinator at St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solution Group, which delivers non-credit continuing education opportunities, corporate training and community services to the St. Louis region.

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