Question for the readers… what's the latest thinking out there about certifications for Lean?
I'm biased against certification, I'll lay that out there. I've never been enamored with the Six Sigma “belt” approach, nor do I think certification tends to be an indicator of much other than your ability to get certified.
Maybe I'm too cynical about that. Too many of us in the Lean world were brought up in a pre-Certification era, if you will. I learned on the job, from some great mentors. Do I really have to go back and get certified when I have a track record?
One of those mentors of mine from my GM days is looking to switch companies. Yes, a great Lean guy at GM — he was hired in from the Toyota supply based and he's done great work in GM. I was surprised (and somewhat appalled) that he emailed me asking about certification.
Any company who looks at his resume and talks to him and STILL wants certification… that's probably a company for him to stay away from. A company like that doesn't get Lean, I'd say.
The organization I work for, the Lean Enterprise Institute, has never gotten involved in certification and I think the position is that LEI will never do that.
I'll open it up to reader comments… what are your thoughts on certification (as a job seeker or as an employer)? Do you have experience with any particular certification model that you can recommend to others?