Bye Bye Black Belt, It Was Nice Knowin’ Ya…

My Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification from Villanova University rolled off yesterday, and I’ve been pondering whether or not to pursue a replacement. If I do I’d get it through ASQ (American Society for Quality) and it would only involve studying again and passing the exam. When I was studying for the Villanova cert I did a practice exam for the ASQ one and passed it, but I’d want to read one of the ASQ’s big study guides to make sure I was comfortable with some of their question styles.

I did the original study and certification with Villanova because of the project requirement for certification. ASQ required documentation of two formal Six Sigma-type projects, which I didn’t think I could do. Villanova’s process involved a mock project as part of completing the Black Belt training course (the Green Belt and Lean courses were also required). Not knowing the subject matter clearly I went with what I knew I could get verified.

Now, however, I recognize that quite a lot of the work I’ve done over the years has Six Sigma components, and even involved Six Sigma Methodologies. Even more of my work has involved Lean techniques, so I’m guessing I should have exactly zero problem getting some of that work described, attested to by project champions, and accepted by ASQ. Passing the exam will be nothing but elbow grease.

I also found that Villanova’s process for recertification involved continuing to take a bunch of expensive classes rather than a more rational process of continuing study and participation or reexamination like ASQ and, ohhhh… everyone else uses.

When I read about the requirements I saw that I’m right near the end of an application window and there won’t be time to get everything done. If I proceed I’ll do so in the next window, after I give the final IIBA presentation I have scheduled in Baltimore on February 13th.

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