This online course is 6 weeks long, followed by a 2-week period to complete the final exam (online, open book). Lessons are released on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week. You are not required to be online at any specific time. You register and pay on our website and instructions on how to access your course will be emailed to you immediately after registration.

The actual time commitment involved in completing any given lesson can vary significantly based on a number of factors including reading speed, familiarity with the topic, related experience, the amount of time spent completing optional assignments, and involvement with discussion board. For planning purposes we suggest setting aside 2 hours per lesson as a starting point.

Six Sigma: Total Quality Applications

Six Sigma: Total Quality Applications

Learn how to effectively apply the elements and methods of Six Sigma. Understand how more than 25 tools and methods relate to the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) model. Determine the relationship of basic statistics to Six Sigma and learn about the Six Sigma business case including strategic planning, the voice of the customer (VOC), quality function deployment (QFD), benchmarking, and financial investment methods. Discover how to use brainstorming, Pareto charts, and critical to quality help define processes, problems, and opportunities. Master the use of other key tools such as cause and effect diagrams, checksheets, scatter diagrams, failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), and force field analysis.

In this six-week online course, you will learn how to apply the DMAIC model each step of the way. You'll learn how to define, plan, implement, and close a Six Sigma project. You'll also know how to use process capability and how to apply lean thinking. And you'll understand the basics of advanced Six Sigma tools such as sampling, design of experiments (DOE), analysis of variance (ANOVA), hypothesis testing, control charts, and probability distributions.

This course will help you prepare for the internationally-recognized Six Sigma Black Belt and Quality Manager exams offered by the American Society for Quality® (ASQ®).

Week 1 Wednesday - Lesson 1

DMAIC and Basic Statistics
In our first lesson, we'll start off by investigating DMAIC, the most popular acronym within the Six Sigma body of knowledge. It stands for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Then, to set the stage for the remaining lessons, we'll explore basic statistics. Since many of the Six Sigma methods and tools that we'll be discussing require that you have a basic knowledge of statistics, I want to make sure that you're well-prepared. I'll show you how to apply the measures of location—median, mode, mean—and the measures of dispersion—range, mean absolute deviation (MAD), variance, and standard deviation (SD).

Week 1 Friday - Lesson 2

Six Sigma: The Business Case
In this lesson, we'll take a look at the business side of Six Sigma. We'll start off by discussing strategic planning—a concept that looks at internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. We'll move onto two methods of identifying customer requirements—the voice of the customer (VOC) and quality function deployment (QFD). Next, we'll explore benchmarking, a technique that helps you determine how your company matches up to the competition and industry standards. Finally, we'll look at a few financial methods to help you keep track of key objectives.

Week 2 Wednesday - Lesson 3

Define: The D of DMAIC
You can't improve something unless you first define it. To help us identify what we're dealing with, we'll begin this lesson by reviewing the first element of the DMAIC model: define. We'll move on and cover the basic Six Sigma metrics—defects per unit (DPU), defects per million opportunities (DPMO), yield, and rolled throughput yield (RTY). Next, we'll investigate a few team techniques to help define conditions and situations—brainstorming, brainwriting, nominal group technique (NGT), and affinity diagrams. We'll finish up by seeing how Pareto charts and critical to quality (CTQ) relate to process and problem definition.

Week 2 Friday - Lesson 4

Measure Part I: The M of DMAIC
In our next two lessons, we'll tackle the measuring aspect of DMAIC. Along with defining a process, problem, or opportunity, if you don't measure something, you can't improve it. You'll learn about different types of data and gain an understanding of sampling by seeing how it's used to analyze and observe populations. We'll conclude the lesson by examining three graphical methods to measure a population: histograms, stem and leaf diagrams, and box and whiskers plots.

Week 3 Wednesday - Lesson 5

Measure Part II: The M of DMAIC
As we continue our discussion on the measure component of DMAIC, we'll begin today by looking at probability distributions, failure methods and effects analysis (FMEA), and physical measurement. The probability distributions that we'll review (binomial, Poisson, and chi-square) are discrete. We'll study their formulas and see how their distributions compare to the normal curve. FMEA is one of the most popular and effective Six Sigma tools. I'll help you learn about FMEA's risk priority numbers (RPN) and also provide a form to help you use FMEA. We'll wrap-up the lesson by examining a few members of the physical measurement family—metrology, tensile strength, micrometers, and optical comparators.

Week 3 Friday - Lesson 6

Analyze Part I: The A of DMAIC
In this lesson I'll present several tools that relate to the third component of DMAIC: analyze. Our first order of business today will be learning how to make sound decisions and assess risk. After that, we'll look at tools to help you investigate the processes, problems, and opportunities you defined and measured in the earlier lessons. I'll share how to use regression analysis and cause and effect diagrams. We'll also spend time on force field analysis, storyboards, decision trees, why-why diagrams, and finish up with checksheets and scatter diagrams.

Week 4 Wednesday - Lesson 7

Analyze Part II: The A of DMAIC
Are you familiar with the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words?" Since we're going to be spending a large portion of the lesson discussing flowcharting, I believe this quotation is very relevant. Flowcharts are a fine tool to define processes and analyze what's taking place. We'll look at the ins and outs and the subtleties of creating and using flowcharts. After we discuss flowcharting, we'll jump back into the world of statistics and examine hypothesis testing and analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Week 4 Friday - Lesson 8

Project Management Phases
In this lesson and the next one, we'll discuss project management as an essential vehicle to help you achieve your Six Sigma plans. We'll begin by discussing the different phases of the project life cycle. Then we'll move on and examine deliverables. Since they represent what customers expect, you need to know how to create and manage them. We'll also define stakeholders and talk about what they expect. I'll give special emphasis to the words "customers" and "stakeholders" to represent those inside and outside your organization.

Week 5 Wednesday - Lesson 9

Project Definition and Scheduling
Now that you have a good understanding of the different phases of a project and know all about deliverables, you're ready to learn how to "scope" and schedule a project. Scoping refers to making sure that you set the original boundaries for your project. When you understand all the variables of your project and define the scope properly, your plan and the results that follow have a much better chance of meeting stakeholder expectations. In this lesson, we'll talk about what is arguably the most valuable item in your project management toolbox—a work breakdown structure (WBS). We'll discuss two different versions of WBS and then we'll look at ways to schedule your project.

Week 5 Friday - Lesson 10

Improve: The I of DMAIC
If you like playing games and solving puzzles, you'll enjoy today's lesson. I'll address the "I element" (improve) of DMAIC by introducing design of experiments (DOE). Although DOE has been around since the 1920s, it's taken a while for organizations to accept it. We'll begin with an overview and discuss what a design and an experiment are. You'll learn about the history of DOE and its nature. I'll identify the principles of sound experimental design and help you work on three DOE problems: one factor at a time (OFAT), full factorial, and fractional factorial DOE.

Week 6 Wednesday - Lesson 11

Control: The C of DMAIC
Today we'll finish our examination of DMAIC by featuring the final letter—C for control. I'll share three tools to help you control your operations: run charts, control charts, and process capability. We'll discuss how to create run charts, go through an overview of control charts, and create two different types of control charts. I'll wrap things up by showing you how to use process capability.

Week 6 Friday - Lesson 12

Thinking Lean
You've just about completed all course requirements except for learning how to think lean—our topic this lesson. Whenever I hear people talk about lean manufacturing or lean thinking, for some reason I think about going on a diet. When I give this notion some thought, it does make sense. Lean thinking means doing more with less. I guess this is how companies succeed: providing more satisfaction and more quality with less effort and less frustration. Our focus on lean thinking will consist of eliminating waste, reducing lead time, and minimizing the impact of constraints.
Completion of Tony Swaim's Total Quality Fundamentals.

Course Details
This course is fully online, you require internet access and an email account. The course duration is 6 weeks, followed by a 2-week period to complete the final exam (online, open book). Lessons are released on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week, for a total of 12. You are not required to be online at any specific time.

In addition to the specific lesson content, there is a discussion board with each lesson and often there is an optional assignment to apply the learning.

Following each lesson, there is a short multiple choice quiz. Your score on these quizzes does not count towards the final mark but completing these helps solidify your learning as well as prepare you for the final exam.

The final exam is an open-book, multiple choice exam and you need to achieve a minimum of 65% on the final exam to pass the course. There is only one opportunity to pass the exam. A certificate of completion from Ed2Go is available for printing immediately upon successful completion of the course and a certificate from the University of Waterloo will be emailed typically 1-2 weeks later.

Many of the Ed2Go courses are eligible towards the various online certificates offered by WatSPEED.

Choose your course start date:

Jun 14, 2023Jul 12, 2023Aug 16, 2023Sep 13, 2023Oct 18, 2023