2.18.2010

Your Lean Skills Are In Demand

I found this recent news release quite revealing. According to a study performed by the Avery Point Group based on more than 3,000 job postings, it appears the demand for candidates with Lean talent and experience is far outpacing the demand of those with specific Six Sigma backgrounds. In addition, the majority of those organizations seeking to fulfill job openings with Lean talent are no longer requiring candidates to possess some Six Sigma experience as well. Do you think this trend is the result of the particular economic environment (i.e., employers with limited resources are seeing more value in Lean than Six Sigma)?

Perhaps, because of Six Sigma's longer history of traditional training and certification programs, more employees already have some type of noted Six Sigma experience thus creating a larger supply than demand? Speaking of certifications, what are your thoughts about the recent development of Lean certification programs established by various universities, firms, and associations, such as the Association for Manufacturing Intelligence (AME), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and the Shingo Prize organization?

Another important point stated by Tim Noble in this release is these findings may indicate a possible progression "toward a decoupling of Lean and Six Sigma." After years of Lean techniques finally achieving integration with Six Sigma initiatives, do you feel this trend is indeed occurring? If so, do you think this trend is beneficial in the long term?

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