West Texas A&M University

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Lean Six Sigma at WTAMU



What is LSS

Six Sigma is data driven problem solving.  Six Sigma's DMAIC problem solving approach is simple and logical. Through understanding and adhering to its simplistic nature, one can successfully solve manufacturing and service problems.

A process that is Lean is one that delivers products or services that the customer wants at a price that reflects only the value that the customer is willing to pay for.

The combination of Six Sigma and Lean produces a system called Lean Six Sigma (LSS).  LSS as defined by Michael L George in his book, Lean Six Sigma for Service, is a "business improvement methodology that maximizes shareholder value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed, and invested capital".

Lean Six Sigma use the DMAIC structure.

Define the Problem: To develop a clear project charter based on a real problem that is relevant to the customer, and that will provide significant benefits to the business.

Measure the Process: To understand and baseline the current performance of the process, the rough a set of relevant and robust measures (KPIs).

Analyze the Process: To find the root cause of the problem, and understand/quantify their effects on process performance.

Improve the Process: To develop, select and implement the best solutions, with controlled risks.

Control the Process: To ensure the solutions are 'embedded', the process has robust controls, and the project has a clear closure.

Six Sigma DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control

The above material is from a resource written by Quentin Brook, "Lean Six Sigma & Minitab: The Complete Toolbox Guide for all Lean Six Sigma Practitioners."


Student Employment Paperwork Flow 

Electronic Requisitions

Student Athletes Medical Payments

Athletic and Student Group Travel

  • Reduced the amount of paperwork required for athletic and student group travel
  • One document for each team or each group instead of several
  • Eliminated the possibility of lost documents or duplication

AHEC Kaizen Event

 Student Transfer

Student Success Center

Residential Living

Foundation Project

Electronic Filing System

Fine Arts Degree Plan

Voucher Replacement Process

 The Gold Card Office brought an idea to the Lean Six Sigma team about the cost of printed vouchers from the print shop.   A voucher is printed each time payment is made to a vendor.   Each fiscal year a different color of paper is designated for the voucher to be printed on.   The bookstore, gold card office and business office would order box(es) of preprinted paper when it was needed.  

Each box holds 500 pieces of paper, each sheet costs $.08 each.
WTAMU prints 24,000 vouchers a year. 
By purchasing the paper thru Central Supply and each department printing the vouchers as needed we reduce the cost to $.01 per each voucher.  We reduce the cost each year by about $1,600.00  Not to mention the waste on not using the preprinted vouchers at year’s end.

Business Office/Purchasing Office Kaizen Event

This event found the Business Office meeting in the Purchasing Office to understand the process of requisition to voucher process.   During the event both offices came to an understanding of the full process rather than bits and pieces.  During the exercise it was suggest a step be eliminated in the requisition to purchase order process.   The elimination of just the one step will save the University $2,300.00 annually.

Requisition Process


Team Building Exercises

Process Improvement (Noodle Exercise) Make 24 "perfect" noodles per Customer Specifications

  1. Precise Cut
  2. Correct Measure
  3. Team  Work
  4. Winners

M&M Experiment

  1. Rating
  2. Sorting
  3. Dividing
  4. Data Entry

LSS Campus Leadership

Bryan Glenn, bglenn@wtamu.edu, Director of Purchasing Master Black Belt

Donna Makkhavane, dmakkhavane@wtamu.edu, Special Events/Marketing Coordinator, Green Belt

Michael Regan, mregan@wtamu.edu, ITSC Manager, Green Belt

Tammy Stamps. tstamps@wtamu.edu, Senior Health Career Promotions Coordinator, Black Belt

Dr. Steven Severn, ssevern@wtamu.edu, Associate Professor, Eng.,Phil. and Mod Languages, Black Belt, Champion

Denese Skinner, dskinner@wtamu.edu, Interim VP of Student Affairs, Black Belt, Champion


Green Belt

A Six Sigma green belt can introduce the techniques to their respective work areas and lead small improvement projects. Green belts are capable of determining the necessary data and gathering it for improvement projects. The Six Sigma green belt works under a black belt and must have three years of work experience.

Green belts demonstrate their knowledge of the Six Sigma tools through a written examination. The certification examination for a green belt is a 100-question examination, according to the American Society for Quality. A green belt has participated in projects before certification, but has not led one.

Black Belt

Six Sigma black belts are certified professionals that can teach others the concepts and methodologies. Black belt certification requires the individual to lead at least two projects before certification. Individuals can be certified with one project and three years of work experience.

To be certified as a black belt the applicant must be able to explain the philosophies and methodologies used in quality improvement. The American Society for Quality administers a 150-question test that determines the abilities and knowledge of the black belt candidate.

Master Black Belt

Master black belts must be certified black belts and have 10 black belt projects completed before certification as a master black belt. The American Society for Quality reviews the portfolio of the candidate's work. Once the work is reviewed, the applicant will be eligible to take the master black belt examination. The candidate's body of work is reviewed for mentoring, teaching and coaching abilities as well as technical experience and knowledge. The exam is a 100-question multiple choice test designed to test the applicant's body of knowledge.

WTAMU offers GreenBelt Training beginning in September.  These classes will meet on Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in the Purchasing conference room. Contact Bryan Glenn to register.  Class sizes will be limited to 6 people. 

Additional Information

The link below will provide more information and more training opportunities.