Six Sigma Yellow Belt


Some of the more popular articles I have written about are Certifications on a budget – so I thought I would continue in that trend, focusing on one I just completed this evening….Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

Lean Six Sigma is a managerial concept combining the two methodologies, Lean and Six Sigma.  This leads to a focus on the elimination of the eight kinds of wastes  and an improved capability of performance.

Lean – production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination.

Six Sigma – Developed by Motorola in 1986, Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. 

Although extremely popular in corporate and manufacturing worlds, there currently is no unifying Certification Authority for Six Sigma  (gads…I sound like J.P), therefore one has to use caution when trying to present any credentials, as your target audience might not not accept them. 

Since Six Sigma was on my radar, I did a little research and decided to try

What drew me to GoLeanSixSigma was that that they take a daring approach – they offer their entry level training for free….and a incredible Certification Price of $25.

The Training itself is provided via video presentation, but there are some great resourcestools and templates (again for free) on their site.  An example of their work can be seen to the right, where they break the down the DMAIC process of Lean Six Sigma.  I personally find this to be a great reference and something I am sure I will refer back to.

The exam is fairly straightforward – 50  multiple choice questions via an on-line exam.  The exam is broken down in sections based on the individual steps of the Lean Six Sigma model.

Personally, I enjoyed the exam – finding the training beneficial and the test challenging.  The exam itself is not a true “Lift” from the training, so you have to pay attention – which I applaud GoLeanSixSigma for.

Since the Yellow Belt exam is the entry point for, you can be assured that there is another exam tied to the basic test.  In this case, GoLeanSixSigma also has a follow on exam, the Green Belt, which currently is available only with their training option.  I cannot attest to the the quality or content of this particular exam, but if it is like the Yellow Belt, I imagine it will it to be a great addition to their offerings.

Overall – I can highly recommend the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt to anyone’s collection of Certifications.  It demonstrates an understand of two methodologies, has a low price point and is supported by some free training.  What more could you ask for?

Well done GoLeanSixSigma…..and now on to studying for something new.



Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt


The IRS would never lie to Congress….would they?


I’ve been saying certain things for years.  Things like – “Notre Dame is THIS CLOSE to a National Championship” or “Alby doesn’t have any Hair on his Butt”.  I’ve also said that Politicians have no idea about technology.  When you hear some of the stuff they say or do (here is the latest with Anthony Weiner too) – its so glaringly obvious.  Today we have case in point.  If Congress believes what the IRS is saying – then they have no right or ability to pass any legislation pertaining to tech…they are just not qualified.

Veteran IT Professional Gives Six Reasons Why the IRS’ Claim That It ‘Lost’ Two Years of Lois Lerner’s Emails Is ‘Simply Not Feasible’

A veteran IT professional tells TheBlaze that the IRS’ claim that the agency lost two years’ worth of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails is “simply not feasible.”

On Friday, members of Congress revealed that the IRS would not be able to hand over Lerner’s emails to and from other IRS employees from January 2009 to April 2011, possibly due to a “glitch” or “crash.” Lawmakers were seeking the emails as part of their investigation into the IRS targeting scandal.

Norman Cillo, an Army veteran who worked in intelligence and a former program manager at Microsoft, argued it is very difficult to lose emails for good and laid out six reasons why he believes Congress is “being lied to” about the Lerner emails:

1. I believe the government uses Microsoft Exchange for their email servers. They have built-in exchange mail database redundancy. So, unless they did not follow Microsofts recommendations they are telling a falsehood. You can see by the diagram below that if you have three servers in a DAG you have three copies of the database.

Credit: Norman Cillo

Credit: Norman Cillo

2. Every IT organization that I know of has hotswappable disk drives. Every server built since 2000 has them. Meaning that if a single disk goes bad it’s easy to replace.

3. ALL Servers use some form of RAID technology. The only way that data can be totally lost (Meaning difficult to bring back) is if more than a single disk goes before the first bad disk is replaced. In the diagram below you can see that its possible to lose a single disk and still keep the data.

Credit: Norman Cillo

Credit: Norman Cillo

4. If the server crashed (Hardware failure other than disks), then the disks that contain the DATA for the Exchange database is still available because the server hardware and disks are exchangeable. Meaning that if I have another server with the same hardware in it, I can put the disks in and everything should boot right up.

5. All email servers in a professional organization use TAPE backup. Meaning if all the above fails, you can restore the server using the TAPE backups.

6. If they are talking about her local PC, then it’s a simple matter of going to the servers which have the email and getting them from the servers. If the servers have removed the data you can still get them by using the backups of the servers to recover the emails.

However, Cillo, who has been working in IT for roughly 16 years and is currently a consultant for a tech company, said it’s possible the IRS is telling the truth if the federal agency is “totally mismanaged and has the worst IT department ever.”

Other than that, it’s just not “feasible,” he told TheBlaze. “If the IRS’ email server is in such a state that they only have one copy of data and the server crashes and it’s gone, I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

“I don’t know of any email administrator that doesn’t have at least three ways of getting that mail back,” he added. “It’s either on the disks or it’s on a TAPE backup someplace or in an archive server. There are at least three ways the government can get those emails.”