“Today we are here to celebrate and recognize 63 of our NEOMED colleagues,” exclaimed Sara Briechle, senior process engineer, to applause at the start of the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Completion Ceremony, held Wednesday, November 18, via Zoom.
“These individuals really have invested in both our University community as well as their own professional development through their learning with the Lean Six Sigma training program this fall,” Briechle continued.
Connectedness and employee empowerment were common themes during the ceremony. The 63 individuals are now bonded by the shared values, frameworks and tools they learned in Lean Six Sigma training — a time-tested, data-driven methodology used around the globe to improve business practices.
President Langell, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, started off by praising Briechle’s achievements in implementing the program at the University and noting all of the accolades that he has heard for her. He then addressed the audience, saying, “This is about giving you the tools and latitude to succeed.”
Dr. Langell told the group, “You are the future; you are the leaders who will let us do this; and you have my absolute promise that we are here to back you, to empower you, and to work together for the benefit of our organization.”
During the five weeks of training, participants worked individually or in groups on projects that they chose to help them improve in their own work areas. Jami Brewer, program assistant for the BeST Center in the Department of Psychiatry and a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt recipient, presented the details of her project as one example.
Brewer focused on streamlining communications and creating new systems to improve operations for the many individuals, internal and externally, who are involved with NEOMED’s Project ECHO. The new process ensures several important things: “We know who is responsible for each step; where the handoffs are; and who is making the decisions at each stage,” said Brewer.
Her presentation was one example of how employees learned to define, measure, analyze, improve and control in order to eliminate wasteful practices in the workplace.
Seth Brownlee, Pharm.D., associate dean of assessment and associate professor of pharmacy practice in the College of Pharmacy, recognized each of the 63 Yellow Belt recipients by name, briefly describing the group and individual projects they had completed. Dr. Brownlee noted how each project sought to improve processes at the University – thus helping to create an exceptional student experience at the same time that it empowers staff in doing their jobs.
The upbeat Briechle is known for reminding her students to celebrate success as they work their way through the training, which is held in weekly online sessions. So, it was in character when she announced that everyone who completed the course will receive a “goody bag” highlighted with a NEOMED-branded yellow belt.
Those who are ready for more can advance to the Green Belt training.
Learn more about Lean Six Sigma and how to participate in future sessions.