Before you can understand the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge, you must first understand what this process improvement method entails. In this short video we give a brief overview of what Six Sigma is, and how it uses something called the DMAIC method to improve processes.
Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology. It is a disciplined, data-driven approach for eliminating defects and waste from a process. To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. When we say the word defect, we’re talking about anything that falls outside of a customer’s specification. All of MSI’s certifications can be viewed here.
A body of knowledge (BOK) is a breakdown of the key educational components of a subject. It is a list of the core skills that someone should possess to work in a particular field. A body of knowledge is usually developed by professional associations that have an expert-level of knowledge in the field.
The Six Sigma Body of Knowledge represents the core items that a professional will need to function within a Six Sigma project. There is no singular governing body for Six Sigma and there are numerous organizations that publish Six Sigma standards. These standards will vary based on the priorities that are set by the organization that created them. Some organizations may focus more on technical aspects, while others will focus on fundamentals. Still others take a project-based approach to standards and set their priorities based on outcomes.
All of these standards should be considered valuable. It is often in the best interest of individuals to learn multiple Six Sigma BOK philosophies so that they have a broad understanding of continuous improvement methods.
To demonstrate the mastery of a Six Sigma Body of Knowledge, an individual will generally take a certification exam. These exams are often developed by the same organization that developed the standard, but not always.
The MSI Six Sigma Body of Knowledge
As a Six Sigma certification organization, the Management and Strategy Institute develops its own Six Sigma Body of Knowledge. The quality standards are broken down by core competency and job function. This includes different bodies of knowledge for each belt level, from Lean Six Sigma White Belt to Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. The Management and Strategy Institute is also one of the only organizations that develop a standard at the Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt level.
Can any organization use these standards?
Yes, The Six Sigma Body of Knowledge developed under the SSQS is open-source and all organizations that issue Six Sigma training or certifications are encouraged to align their material with these standards.
The Process Improvement Credentialing Standard (PICS) for organizations can be viewed here. Process Improvement Credentialing Standard