Operational Excellence rolling out Lean Six Sigma training across the VPFO

In the VPFO Townhall on July 15, 2021, our Vice President, Peter Smailes announced Operational Excellence will begin a rollout of a VPFO-wide Lean Six Sigma training in alignment with our strategic plan.   

What is Operational Excellence?

The VPFO is currently undergoing a series of transformational changes. Our new Operational Excellence department is here to help us gather better data, craft better processes and make the most of these tools to improve service delivery and continuously improve our work. 

In order to create a solid foundation for university-wide continuous improvement, UBC Operational Excellence has mobilized a team of experts that will lead our practice from a Centre of Excellence 

What is Lean Six Sigma and how is it applied in our work?

Operational Excellence uses a method called Lean Six Sigma to establish efficient and effective operational practices. Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a combination of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. Lean focuses on efficiency through eliminating process wastes and adding value, while Six Sigma focuses on quality and consistency through reducing process variation.  

It uses the metaphor of martial arts belts to explain each team members role and ability to use the tools provided by Lean Six Sigma:  

  • White Belt: A foundational understanding of the purpose, terms and phases used in Lean Six Sigma. 
  • Yellow Belt: Small project leadership skillset and ability to use the basic Lean Six Sigma toolset. 
  • Green Belt: The main leaders of Lean Six Sigma projects. 
  • Black Belt: Leadership of large, complex Lean Six Sigma projects. 
  • Master Black Belt: Strategic oversight and leadership of a portfolio of projects or organizations. 
  • Sponsor leadership training: UBC will also offer an additional course for all leaders, which does not grant a certification or belt, but allows a high-level overview of managing and supporting the project sponsorship process. 

 More information is available on the Operational Excellence website. 

How can you participate?

We have partnered with UBC Sauder School of Business — Executive Education to set the standard for Lean Six Sigma at UBC. 

Our goal is to have everyone in the VPFO complete the training by November 1, 2021. The training will equip the community with the tools and knowledge to drive operational excellence in your work at UBC and will play a key role in our cultural shift towards continuous improvement.  

Your supervisor has the link and access code for the training and should be able to answer any immediate questions about how you or your team will address the training. For further questions or concerns, please reach out to the Operational Excellence group at operational.excellence@ubc.ca