Process Improvement Management Certificate: Curriculum


  • Have access to and utilize the SSU Canvas LMS (Learning Management System). Canvas will provide all course information, assignments, course lessons and reading. No additional materials to purchase.
  • Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with a 70% or higher grade.

Course Outline & Topics:

  • Lesson 1: Process Improvement Overview and DMAIC Methodology, Team Collaboration, Presentation Skill
  • Lesson 2: Project Charter Elevator Pitch, Process Mapping, Voice of the Customer
  • Lesson 3: Metrics & Importance of Data, Change Management
  • Lesson 4: Facilitation & Chart Writing
  • Lesson 5: Root Cause Analysis
  • Lesson 6: Practical Problem Solving
  • Lesson 7: 5S, Create Flow (Standard Work, Single Piece Flow, Kanban)
  • Lesson 8: 7 Waste, Kaizens
  • Lesson 9: Solution Selection and prioritization
  • Lesson 10: Visual Management, Control (Governance Plans), Celebration:

Lean Six Sigma vs Process Improvement


A Six Sigma professional is an expert at finding and solving a problem, and a PMP® certified project manager is an expert at correctly implementing the project itself. Used together, a practitioner can identify a problem and then use project management training to ensure the solution is implemented in the most efficient and effective way possible.


Project Management – High Level Overview

Project management involves creating and managing projects that finish on time, within budget and with an outcome that matches the original business goal of the project.

The main goal of a project manager is to increase the success rate of projects. That involves key areas such as defining goals with organizational executives, setting and staying within a budget, breaking a project into smaller segments and guiding a team to complete those tasks, and eventually completing the project by deadline and with a quality result that aligns with overall business goals.

Lean Six Sigma – High Level Overview

Lean Six Sigma is a methodology designed to identify defects and variation in a process and removing waste. By using Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques, an organization can reduce mistakes, cut costs, increase efficiency, produce better products and services and become more competitive in the marketplace.

Lean Six Sigma focuses on a data-driven examination of a process that identifies and eliminates defects. Its goal is to have no more than 3.4 defects per one million opportunities. Getting there requires leveraging a wide variety of different strategies and tools, most involving a detailed look at every phase of an operation. Applying the tools and techniques of Lean Six Sigma can help improve customer and employee satisfaction and improve the overall bottom line.

Both Lean Six Sigma and Project Management methods are carried out by teams made up of employees throughout the organization who work together to improve processes.

Lean Six Sigma Professional – Role

  • Focus on finding and eliminating defects and waste within a specific process
  • Aims to reduce wasted time, effort and money on a specific process
  • Have a continuous control phase
  • Uses data-driven methods and statistics to identify and solve a challenge

Lean Six Sigma is the method of choice for reducing variance and eliminating the number of defects that a process produces. It relies heavily on statistical analysis and offers an arsenal of tools that analyze current performance and help identify the root cause of problems. Lean Six Sigma can provide the data to justify where and how to make changes to a process. The highly-structured and data-drivenstrong> nature of Lean Six Sigma helps teams test their solution after they’ve implemented it.

Lean Six Sigma makes a long-term commitment to a process, and it requires commitment from the project teams that practice it. This commitment begins when the team works together to write a charter that defines the objective of the project. It continues as the team sets milestones that will mark progress toward improvement. In the final stages of the project, the team ensures that its influence will be felt long after it is dissolved by creating detailed documentation that explains how users can keep its improvements in place.

Project Manager - Role

  • Focus on improving the success rate of projects
  • Plans and executes a project
  • Focus on completing a project by a specific deadline
  • Uses standardized practices to efficiently deliver a project that meets a pre-determined goal

Project management is more concerned with getting the project up and running than with fine tuning its performance. It uses tools like the critical path method to ensure that the project is completed quickly and efficiently.

Project management works better for a one-time implementation of a new process rather than continually improving an existing process. Project management lacks the tools to measure performance and implement solutions for permanent improvement. Instead it looks at how different components of the project are performing, and seeks to improve those that are lagging, rather than focusing on the entire process.