[8] IT Training Products: IIASSC (for Six Sigma)

****This is part 8 of a series of columns on how to select training for IT Make sure you have read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7 before you read this column.****

See www.iassc.org

IASSC seems to be the only independent Organization for Six Sigma Certification, however ASQ, the American Society for Quality, does qualify itself also as such. Because ASQ is doing training itself we do not see it as fully independent. However both organizations offer a Body of Knowledge and examinations that are looking quite the same. IASSC is having a worldwide distribution channel of exams, with a partnership with PeopleCert. By PeopleCert, candidates are able to take the exams by Pearson Vue, or in Test Centers that are authorized, mostly related to Training Providers.

The different levels are: Yellow, Green and Black Belt.

Originally Six Sigma was seen as a quality standard for the industry, introduced by Motorola in 1986 and taken over by General Electric and other big industry leaders. Later on it was adopted by other kind of Organizations and nowadays accepted by all kind of different businesses in manufacturing and energy companies and also coming more and more in the IT. For that reason we have included it in this article, however it will always be debatable whether other standards should be included. Six Sigma is a structured and rigorous approach for process improvement. Because it is eliminating defects, it has evaluated to a “Lean” approach, reason why the training program now is called, Lean Six Sigma.

Persons who are certified for Yellow Belt are having the basic knowledge and able to work in LSS projects. As a Green Belt, one is able to work as an expert in different parts of a LSS project. As a Black Belt, one is Expert and able to Manage a Lean Six Sigma project

Other independent Certification platforms

As referred to in the introduction of this article, we see many new developments in IT Training and certification. Most are introduced because of new developments in IT (Syber-)Security, the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing. In fact all these developments are in a way related as they all have to do with Management of IT and related risks and government.

Another important topic in IT has come in the interest because of the need to use IT more in an efficient way. Many failed projects are cause for this interest. “Lean” is the buzz word for this. Because of the crisis in 2007 and after, companies are keen to invest in things that have an Return on Investment. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) have been introduced to measure the performances of people. All these developments are cause for the introduction of new standards and consortia/platforms that are initiating these programs. There are too many to include them all, so again we are limiting the information and take some of them as we see them as the most important ones.

Lean, Agile and Scrum
This LAS combination of standards as it is called lately, are all based on the concept of -move all unneeded luggage- for developing, testing and implementing new IT.

Working in a Lean way means to have more focus on the things that really matter and eliminate everything that is not needed to make processes more efficient and less costly. The focus is speed, efficiency and eliminating waste from processes, while Six Sigma focuses on effectiveness and removal of errors.

Agile and Scrum are all about software development methods, based on iterative and incremental development, also called “lightweight models”. A flexible way of working with daily communication and testing is how projects are done in a “lean” way. Recently an Agile alliance has started as a non for profit organization with global membership, committed to advancing Agile development principles and practices. The Agile Manifesto is the root of Agile Software development. As Agile adoption is spreading all over the world, the manifesto is available in all languages. Scrum sometimes is seen as part of Agile, however there also is a Scrum Alliance. Lately we see the two concepts related or even brought together, like EXIN did. Axelos has introduced a new program that is combining Agile and PRince2 (Prince2 Agile). Other examination Institutes have different exams for Agile and Scrum, like APMG. It depends also on what kind of platforms have started and what platform will take the lead. We still see different ones, but because the Agile alliance seems to come up as the leading organization we refer only to that website.

See: www.agilealliance.org

For all these concepts and models we see new training and certification coming. The Examination Institutes APMG and EXIN are offering exams for Training Providers that are interested to be accredited for their programs. For the time being we see only basic training and certification. The APMG exams are developed in co-operation with the Agile consortium in the UK.

For Cloud Computing we see the same kind of development: different initiatives for training and certification are coming up. There is a Cloud Foundation and advanced level from EXIN. Several Training Providers do not refer to a certification program but just take their own exams after the training. In many cases we see a leading body coming up after some time. ITPreneurs, as one of the leading Courseware Providers does refer to a Cloud Credential Council (CCC), announced as an independent Organization, and vendor neutral. The website: www.cloudcredential.org refers to many Accredited Training Providers. As long as Cloud Computing is still a hype, different initiatives will pop up and we expect that after some years a recognized program will take the lead. It seems that the CCC has much support of vendors!

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