Six Sigma – instructions on how to proceed in solving problems

Interview with colleague Robert Klacanský about Six Sigma

Interview with colleague Robert Klacansky about Six Sigma

As a businessman, I am interested in the key topics of education. I asked my colleague Rob Klacansky a few questions about the Six Sigma methodology.

Róbert Klacansky leads training seminars and subsequent implementation of statistical management methods and Lean Six Sigma in significant industrial companies and services (such as VOLKSWAGEN SLOVAKIA, Getrag Ford, Slovak Telekom, U.S. Steel Kosice, Reydel Automotive Slovakia, MIBA Steeltec, Miba Sinter, Continental Automotive, Emerson, Vaillant). He completed a train-the-trainer program at the Canadian company Digital Mentor Group and a work stay in the USA, during which he trained and implemented quality improvement methods. As a Master Black Belt, he has coached numerous successful process efficiency improvement projects. Additional notable references include Magneti Marelli, ZF Slovakia, Askoll, Slovnaft, Tatra Banka, and many others.

I would go straight to the point if I asked you – what is Six Sigma, what would you say to a layman

“Guidelines for Addressing Issues Arising in Routine Activities” or “Approach to Managing Recurring Problems in Daily Activities”

What is the greatest contribution of the Six Sigma methodology?

“Depending on experience, nature, education, and more, each of us has developed our own approaches to solving the problems we encounter in our work. More or less effective. Six Sigma encapsulates the experiences of the best, summarized into a few steps on how to proceed, what to consider, and what not to forget when efficiently addressing ‘chronic’ problems. In essence, the greatest benefits lie in the high efficiency of problem-solving, with a societal contribution to the organization in mind.”

What specific benefits do Six Sigma programs bring?

“How to optimally utilize time in a process, avoiding unnecessary delays, reducing process costs (direct – materials, indirect – energy), and gaining deeper insights into a process that may appear ‘unpredictable’. In the long run, this contributes to competitiveness in the given field.”

Who is Six Sigma intended for?

“For those who have the desire to make changes but don’t know how, or those who are entrusted to bring order to a process and have had no prior experience in doing so, for leaders who seek inspiration on how to do things differently from what they are accustomed to. Most often, we encounter the second group, where participants are selected by the organization and recruited from ranks such as quality control, technology, or newer employees being prepared for leadership positions.”

How do the yellow, green and black belt programs (training) take place?

“The program is structured modularly, where within 5 modules, participants go through the Six Sigma methodology. Either at a standard level for the Green Belt certification or as an advanced course for Black Belt certification, where project management skills (how to lead a team to successful problem-solving), analytical skills (exploring processes through data), and business skills (learning how to quantify the value of the team’s addressed problem) are covered.”

What emphasis is placed on practical exercises in FBE?

“Big, according to the rule – practice hard, fight easy. We strive to demonstrate on practical examples how to use these methods most effectively in real situations. Whether it’s on Six Sigma projects or similar situations outside of a project. It’s been shown that the best understanding of the methods comes when participants try them out in their own environment. Participants have access to many tools (forms and data processing software) that help them practice project and analytical skills, which are part of the DMAIC methodology.”

Are these courses certified?

“Yes, after completing the training and successfully passing the final test and presenting their selected project, participants will receive a Six Sigma certification, either Green Belt or Black Belt, according to the Blue Prints Six Sigma standards.”

Could you also tell us a funny incident from the training?

“I’m not sure if it’s funny, but it’s very satisfying (and slightly amusing) when some participants, with amazement, realize during their final presentations how clear the initial cause of the problem was, but after methodical examination, the real problem suddenly appears in a completely different place. For instance, an unusual realization that newly replaced components of a technology are the key to solving the problem, or that the process is using two, albeit new and modern, but fundamentally different measuring devices for monitoring, which is causing a significant portion of the issue, and so on. The AHA EFFECT is what erases the preconceptions of the ‘seasoned warriors’ when dealing with a specific problem, making them shake their heads in disbelief.”

If you are more interested in the topic, or if you have colleagues who are interested in completing six sigma training, we will be happy to help you.

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