Skip To Content

Full program description

5 Days, Tuesdays, Aug. 4 - Sept. 1, 2020

40 Hours

Course Type:

4 CEUs

Program Description

OSU College of Business, in collaboration with the Northwest Center for Performance Excellence (NWCPE), offers open-enrollment and on-site customized training in Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Yellow Belt certification in the USA and internationally in English and Spanish. The program's mission is to assure professionals that those interested to learn what Lean Six Sigma or Continuous Process Improvement is to those who aspire to prepare to lead transformational continual process improvement initiatives in their organization or elsewhere have a reliable resource to accomplish their goals.

The programs consist of a series of modules that one can take independently or as a series to earn a Lean Six Sigma certification or certification as an SPC Professional. Here is some background on the methodologies and the unique design of our program design.


Lean and Six Sigma are two terms that describe the process and product design and improvement methodologies. Their origins are in work and concepts developed by quality gurus, including Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, Walter Shewhart, W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Henry Ford, the Toyota Motor Company, and Motorola among others. Lean primarily focuses on process design with an emphasis on the reduction of non-valued added activities and process and product complexity. Six Sigma is complementary and focuses on the analysis of process variation to understand cause and effect relationships. It leverages that understanding to gain maximum control of process outputs permitting optimum design and control of processes and products. Six Sigma identifies the opportunities, discovers the root causes, and suggest solutions. Lean often provides those solutions.

Any organization can benefit from the application of both methodologies. An organization will lose opportunities for realizing their full potential if either Lean or Six Sigma methodologies are missing. Depending on the nature of the organization and their processes and the role of an individual, some combination of those methods deemed Lean methods, and those believed Six Sigma methods might be most valuable. The Lean Six Sigma customizable certification program grounds individuals in methods that are common to both Lean and Six Sigma and fundamental to the capability to optimally design and improve the process while enabling them to choose elective modules from topics that are unique to Lean or Six Sigma to maximize its relevance to that individual’s role in the organization.

Who should enroll?

People who work in manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries or roles. Continuous Improvement and Process Excellence Professionals, Quality Managers and Engineers, Manufacturing Engineers, Operation, and Production Managers. Anyone interested in contributing to their organization’s capacity for operational excellence wants to derive greater fulfillment from their job by learning how to learn about what determines their process outcomes and how to exploit that learning to improve them — anyone who is interested in enhancing their career opportunities.

What are the program benefits?

  • Targeted relevance – for some, the Lean or Six Sigma certification programs are the best choice given their immediate and long needs and objectives and prior background. For others, something precisely in between may be ideal. Together with the Lean and Six Sigma programs, the Lean Six Sigma program guarantee relevance. It’s so much more fun when it seems relevant.
  • Foundation for specialization – One’s needs and interests evolve. Once certifying in Lean Six Sigma, it is a relatively short path to continue and specialize in Lean or Six Sigma or even – both. The Lean Six Sigma program will help you understand what you don’t know. Once you know what you don’t know, you are better prepared to decide what more you want to know!
  • In-house programs – This approach makes it easy to design in-house programs. You may want to kick-off a plan with all employees participating in the core Yellow Belt modules than splitting off and running parallel tracks – one with a Lean Emphasis for specific roles in the organization and Six Sigma Emphasis with employees with different roles in the organization.

What else is unique about this program:

  • Substantive -- You will experience real and deep learning of new concepts. If you already have experience in some of the topics, you will deepen your understanding and ability to apply the methods effectively. You will practice real applications of the Six Sigma methods during the workshops and with application to process improvement or design project.
  • Relevant -- The instructors stress real application to the things you do every day as well to special, less numerous improvement projects. The instructors enjoy coaching you on how to apply the methods that are the most significant value for you.?
  • Taught by experienced experts – The lead instructors have between twenty-five and thirty years practicing and training in Lean, Six Sigma, and SPC methodologies in diverse industries to people of various professions and different cultures on four continents. NWPCE Instructors trained with the originators and world-recognized authorities in the methods included in the programs including Dr. Douglas Montgomery – one of the world’s leading authorities on SPC, Dr. Mikel Harry – one the founders of the Six Sigma methodology at Motorola, Dr. Shigeo Shingo --co-architect of The Toyota Production System, Hiroyuki Hirano -- author and noted JIT expert, Dr. Ryuji Fukuda -- a member of The Sigma Project in Japan and winner of the Deming Prize, and TPM experts from Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance.
  • Applications Coaching – A lot of the learning that sticks occurs during use and coaching. Modules in the Green and Black programs are specially designed for in-depth coaching on progressing projects to meet the project completion requirements for certification. The instructors are available after and between classes to coach in the application of SPC methodology. Coaching by email, phone, or in-person before or after workshops phone is complimentary.
  • Fun – The topics, while challenging, are also fun. That is mostly a function of the instructional approach. The instructors recognize the role of “fun” in real learning and include plenty of activities that require mental and physical activity as part of the learning experience.

Course Schedule

5 Days: 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays beginning August 4 - September 1, 2020  

Course Location: 
 OSU Portland Center, 555 SW Morrison Street, Portland, OR 97204

Course Instructor

Steve Zagarola

Managing Partner and Co-Founder NWCPE

Steve Zagarola is a Six Sigma Executive Master Black Belt certified by Mikel Harry – a co-founder of the Six Sigma methodology. Steve has more than 25 years’ experience in the application of statistical and modern structured approaches to the optimization of manufacturing and transactional processes, quality systems, and R&D. He has worked with and provided training and consulting for industries ranging from apparel manufacturing, advanced semiconductors, food and beverage, plastics molding, and wind energy in both the manufacturing and service and administration sectors. He has worked to improve manufacturing operations for global organizations on six continents and in English, Spanish, and German. Steve also served Six Sigma Program and Quality Manager at Vestas Wind Systems and as Director of Quality for Cascade Microtech and as a Senior Manufacturing Manager at The Coca-Cola Company. He provided technical editing for the 2012 edition of Six Sigma for Dummies for John Wiley & Sons. Steve is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, and German. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and completed post-graduate studies in Psychology and Statistics at Georgia Tech and Georgia State University and with Dr. Douglas Montgomery.

Tom Fabrizio

Principal and Co-Founder NWCPE

Tom has been teaching leadership, kaizen, and Lean Systems for over thirty years in a wide range of industries, including health care, automotive, aerospace, and food processing. He is the President and founder of Lean Manufacturing Tools, co-founder of the Northwest Center for Performance Excellence. He received his original Lean training from first-generation experts including Dr. Shigeo Shingo (co-architect of The Toyota Production System), Hiroyuki Hirano (author and noted JIT expert), Dr. Ryuji Fukuda (a member of The Sigma Project in Japan and winner of the Deming Prize), and TPM experts from Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance. Tom has authored several books on Lean, including Lean Tooling, The Five Keys to Lean in Healthcare, 5S for the Office, The Lean Primer, and Value Stream Management. Current and former clients include Multnomah County Clinics, Capsa Solutions, Gerber Blades, Cascade Microtech, Eaton Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Wells Fargo, Lee Blake Precision Tooling, Oregon Department of Corrections, Oregon Department of Transformation, Stanley Tools, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oregon Primary Care Association, Dana Cancer Institute, Lane County (OR) Medical Clinics, OHSU Internal Medicine and Family Medicine Clinics, Saint Luke’s Medical Center, Hexcel Corporation 7-Up Bottling Company, Gleason Cutting Tools, and Komet America. Tom holds an undergraduate engineering degree from Tufts University, an M.Ed., and a Law Degree. That said, his greatest passion is getting out on the front line and helping people remove obstacles in their daily work life.