Pro-ENBIS (G6RT-CT-2001-05059)

Minutes: Project Management Meeting
Newcastle upon Tyne
1st to 3rd December 2004.

Venue – ISRU, Stephenson Centre University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle UK

Minutes taken by Tony Fouweather & Carolyn van Lottum

Present at the meeting



  1st Dec

  2nd Dec

  3rd Dec

Shirley Coleman UNEW.ISRU Yes Yes Yes
Tony Fouweather UNEW.ISRU Yes Yes Yes
Carolyn van Lottum UNEW.ISRU Yes Yes Yes
Matt Linsley UNEW.ISRU No No Yes
Wim Sendon EURAN.ISG Yes Yes Yes
Xavier Tort-Martorell UPC.SOR Yes Yes Yes
Frøydis Bjerke NFRI Yes Yes Yes
Maria Ramalhoto IST.UMTE Yes Yes Yes
Tony Greenfield GREENF.CC Yes Yes No
Marco Reis QUAL Yes Yes Yes
Anne De Frenne MATH No Yes Yes
Ronald Does UAM.IBIS Yes Yes No
Javier Moguerra URJC.GECD No Yes Yes
Andras Zempleni UEOT.DPTS Yes Yes Yes
Laszlo Markus UEOT.DPTS Yes Yes Yes
John Tyssedal UTRON.NIT.IM Yes Yes Yes
Rainer Goeb UWUERZ.II.CS Yes Yes Yes
Alberto Luceno UCANT.DMACC Yes Yes No
Poul Thyregod DTH.IMMOD Yes Yes No
Antonio Pievatolo CNR.AMI No Yes Yes
Fabrizio Ruggeri CNR.AMI Yes Yes Yes
Alessandra Giovagnoli UBLG.DSS Yes Yes Yes
Oystein Evandt IPCONS No No No
Irena Ograjensek ULJUBL.FE.SI Yes Yes Yes
Stefano Barone UNAP.DPA Yes Yes Yes
Christopher McCollin UTNOTT Yes Yes Yes
Adam Jednorog TUWRO.IPEA Yes Yes Yes
Ron Kenett KPA Yes Yes Yes
Henry Wynn LSERS.STA Yes Yes No
Andrea Ahlemeyer Stubbe AHSDM Yes Yes Yes
Paolo Giudici UPAV.EPMQ No Yes Yes
Petros Dellaportas RCAUEB Yes Yes No
Stelios Psarakis RCAUEB Yes Yes Yes
Erik Monness Hedmark University Yes Yes Yes
Iain Grant Not applicable No No Yes

Day 1 – Wednesday 1st December (13:00 – 17:00)

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

Shirley Coleman chaired the meeting. She welcomed everyone and presented the ISRU team. Everyone presented themselves.

Agree agenda for the meeting

The proposed agenda was accepted.

Minutes of the last meeting

Project management meeting held in Copenhagen 19th September 2004, minutes available on the Pro-ENBIS website

The minutes were accepted.

Management Overview

Final management report – review & comments

The report was discussed. Work package leaders have sent Tony Fouweather a short paragraph summary to be included in the final report. The work package leaders are all happy with the progress made and think that all the deliverables have been met. There will be more papers/visits/articles/workshop reports to be submitted before the project end. These will be added to the project website, final report and ETIP.

ETIP – progress and reminder for work package leaders to complete

Part one is to be done by the coordinators, but the rest must be filled in by the partners. Deadline is 31st December 2004.

It was noted that although it is not an obligatory contract like the consortium agreement, the commission takes the ETIP very seriously.

Tony agreed to have the ETIP ready for partners to add their parts by 13th December 2004. Any corrections/additions should be sent to Tony during December as partners will need to have their parts done by the end of December 2004.

Cost Statements and review of resources

No complaints. Christine Younger (the project accountant) agreed to see all partners on an individual basis to answer any questions/sort out any discrepancies. All partners were satisfied with the outcome from these consultations.

Presentation of work to date:

Summary of work completed by Work Package Leaders

5a. Established list of European industrial statistical expertise

It was proposed to complete this deliverable by using a questionnaire to be sent to all ENBIS members asking for details of their expertise.

There were differing opinions if all ENBIS or just Pro-ENBIS partners should be included. The ENBIS option would give potential access to nearly 1000 statisticians/practitioners across Europe, whereas Pro-ENBIS would be a much smaller pool.

The questionnaire still needs to be redesigned as methodologies/applications were mixed up in the present version.

It was noted that KPA have a really nice survey design platform on their website which was used to construct the draft questionnaire.

It was decided to pilot the survey within Pro-ENBIS then consider sending to all ENBIS.

It was noted that the questionnaire cannot be anonymous as we are aiming to use the results to list European expertise so names are important.

5b. Established a pool of European expertise

The pool of European Statistical expertise collected for this deliverable uses the contributors for the state of the art report as the pool.

State of the art report/book

There are currently discussions ongoing with Wiley publishers looking at the possibility of expanding the state of the art report. This report is a deliverable in its own right. Deliverable 8.7 - Report on state-of-the-art in measurement, business and industrial statistics. The report (deliverable 8.7) has 16 sections each containing between 1 and 2 pages. Most authors are willing to expand their contributions up to full chapters for the proposed book.

The report (2 pages per chapter) is the Pro-ENBIS deliverable. The book is an extra outcome.

It was decided that the 2 page chapter summaries should be completed first to meet the deliverable. The 2 page summaries will need to be edited into a comprehensive report (about 30 pages) for the Pro-ENBIS deliverable. Tony F and Shirley will take care of this before the end of the project.

The main issue with the book is that some partners feel that the book should be edited by a European editor rather than an American as the book is an ENBIS project. Various suggestions were put forward including an all Pro-ENBIS editor panel, but the issue of contracts already in place could cause problems.

Irena suggested that each contributor should be contacted separately to see how each one stands on the issues raised.

Shirley will report back to the group after her next meeting with Wiley.

Members news

Shirley told the partners about the sad passing away of Dimitar Vandev in September 2004. Dimitar was the Pro-ENBIS representative from Bulgaria from the Bulgarian Statistical Society.

Tony Fouweather has now contacted the BSS to see if someone else has taken over.

Plamen Mateev [] is now looking after their input for the last few weeks of the project.

Website Update

John Logsdon sent his apologies for non attendance. John has been the project webmaster for the last year and has continued to update the site on a regular basis. He has added new deliverables as and when they are completed. John also updates the news and other sections on a regular basis. The partners were all very familiar with the project website and were very pleased with it..

Publications and Periodicals

ENBIS now has its own magazine, taking up 4 pages within Scientific Computing World edited by Tony Greenfield, John Logsdon and Ted Harding. SCW is available free to all ENBIS members but so far only 300 have signed up for free copies out of nearly 1000 members. Partners were encouraged to make sure colleagues sign up for their free copy.

Compilation of abstracts deliverable

It has been extended to include co-authored conference papers as well as journal papers.

Also it contains a list of all the articles (deliverables) written by partners

Any further papers/articles that are missing from the compilation should be sent by the authors to Tony Fouweather. Note that we already have enough papers/articles to meet all the deliverables. But if any partner wants their material included that is not currently included it is their responsibility to send it in.

Feedback from recently held workshops/Industrial visits

Corus – Teeside. A visit took place in November, organised by Oystein Evandt as part of his Pro-ENBIS work at Newcastle. The visit went well and the documentation including presentations and a report can now be found on the project website in the members section.

A visit to austriamicrosystems AG, Schloss Premstatten, Austria will take place on 13th December. [Note that documentation for this visit has now been received and posted on the project web site. See website for full details.]

A visit has been planned in Greece by Athens University. A further industrial visit is to take place in Oslo 15/16 December. Details will be posted onto the website. This will be the final visit to take place under this project.

A workshop on data mining is planned for Athens.

Further work to be done to complete the project

Most deliverables are now completed. The last few loose ends will be tied up in the last month of the project. The final report and ETIP are due at the end of February 2005.

Life after Pro-ENBIS

ENBIS will carry on. The membership now stands at almost 1000. The George Box fund may be used to develop membership. Young statisticians will be encouraged to join. An article in SCW could help stimulate interest. Also the national representatives could be used to encourage more members.

Result of European Science Foundation (ESF) bid for a small group meeting in September 2005.

Not successful.

6th framework advice from project officer

No more since Copenhagen.

Summary of ideas to date and an overview of the discussion to be held later in the afternoon

Dealt with Tomorrow (2nd Dec)

For the 2nd December partners were asked to consider the ENBIS conference to be held in Newcastle in September 2005. They were also asked to consider the Six Sigma Academy as this will be discussed briefly on the 2nd as some partners will be leaving before the full discussion on the 3rd.

Day 2 am – Thursday 2nd December (09:00 – 13:00)

Exploitation and Dissemination issues

The ETIP will be completed to a degree by the 13th December. This will allow the partners to add their comments/ideas in before the whole thing is finished off by ISRU. The partners need to do their exploitation plans by the end of December, but ISRU has until the end of February 2005 as co-ordinator to finish the reports totally.

Pro-ENBIS site/deliverables – handed over to ENBIS?

The website will be linked to the ENBIS web site after the end of the project. There was some discussion about whether it should be publicly available. It was noted that it should be on the members only section of the ENBIS website as some of material may be sensitive/not for public. On the other hand, some partners felt that it should all be open to everyone.

The co-ordinator suggested that only the industrial visits may contain sensitive material so these can be kept separate. Perhaps if an interested member of the public wanted to hear about a particular visit they could contact the partner(s) involved for further information.

Workshops/papers/articles are already in the public domain so these do not cause any problems.

Action: It was agreed to make the Pro-ENBIS material freely available on the ENBIS web site except for the industrial visits and minutes of meetings.

The ENBIS website should have a news item telling the members about what is finally done with the Pro-ENBIS material.

ENBIS conference September 2005

There was enthusiastic discussion about the conference. There was initially some discussion about whether we should be talking about the ENBIS conference at the Pro-ENBIS meeting. It was pointed out that as Pro-ENBIS is due to finish soon, the ENBIS conference will be almost like the next Pro-ENBIS meeting. The ENBIS conference should have more workshops than previously as now Pro-ENBIS is ending there will be less opportunity to run workshops through the rest of the year. The opportunity to run more workshops at the conference should be taken (to replace Pro-ENBIS input into workshop calendar). It was suggested that Pro-ENBIS partners could have a small event 6 months apart from the conference. This event could focus on themes from Pro-ENBIS.

It was decided to hold an interim ENBIS meeting in April 2006.

The meeting continued to discuss the conference on the grounds that it served to promote ENBIS which is the aim of Pro-ENBIS.

Style of conference – workshops

It was noted that SMEs will have to pay to attend as the conference cannot make a deficit. Industry focussed workshops would be a good idea to attract SMEs and other local businesses. The style of the conference will be similar to Copenhagen; 3 streams with longer/shorter presentations and a poster section. There was good feedback about the poster session from Copenhagen.

Ron Kennett will be the chair of the conference. Ron suggested ½ day workshops within the conference. 5 or 6 workshops with different themes would be good for attracting delegates to the conference. The workshops could start before the conference (as previously done) or each session could have the option of a workshop. But obviously this would reduce the numbers of papers able to be presented at the conference.

It was agreed that there will be some parallel workshops overlapping with the conference and some before and after.

Ron Kennet suggested that the Pro-ENBIS interest group leaders should meet again at the end of the day to discuss. The list of interest groups currently is:

  • Design of experiments (Henry Wynn)
  • Data mining/warehousing (Andrea Ahlemeyer-Stubbe)
  • Stochastic modelling (Fabrizio Ruggeri)
  • Reliability and Safety ( Maria Ramalhoto, Christopher Mccollin )
  • Quality improvement, process modelling and control (Shirley Coleman )
  • Statistical consultancy ( Ron Kenett )
  • Measurement uncertainty (Birger Madsen)
  • Statistical Education (Irena Ograjensek)
  • Non clinical Pharma (Henrik Melgaard)
  • Operational risk management (Paolo Giudici)

A schedule of possible workshops for the ENBIS conference was drawn up which will form part of the call for papers to be put on the ENBIS website. The workshops are:

Date and time Workshop Lead by
Tuesday 13th September 2005 Data mining Andrea
Wednesday 14th morning Operational Risk Management Paolo and Henry
Wednesday 14th morning Clinical trials Tony Greenfield and Ron K
Thursday 15th morning Research methods Irena and Shirley
Thursday 15th morning Reliability and maintenance Chris and Maria
Friday 16th morning DoE Anne de Frenne and Bernadette
Friday 16th morning Survey of advanced methods Fabrizio and Rainer
Saturday 17th all day Consultancy skills Roland Caulcutt

Shirley told the meeting that ISRU will shortly be getting video conferencing facility through our involvement with FP6 IPROMS. Pro-ENBIS could perhaps continue with virtual meetings.

Young statisticians and the George Box fund

It was suggested that a call for papers from young statisticians (under 35?) should be made. Members were requested to think of ways to get access to the young statisticians, for example it may be possible to use the list of Knowledge Transfer Partnership associates in the UK. Other similar bodies in other countries may be able to help.

A certain number of students should be able to attend without paying the registration fees. Ronald Does explained to the meeting about the George Box fund and that it was important to use the fund to develop ENBIS.

It was agreed to use the ENBIS George Box fund to fund young statisticians to attend the conference paying for registration, travel and accommodation. It would be a nice idea to have a speech by a young statistician and the winner would have to present a paper but it would not be a key note paper.

It was agreed that there should be a workshop tutorial session (research methods in table above) for younger statisticians and an evening get together.

Keynote speakers

It was agreed that the George Box medal recipient should be a key note guest speaker as with Soren Bisgaard last year which was very well received. In general, it was felt that the number of keynotes should be kept to 2 or at most 3. Local keynote speakers were not thought to add much to the conference although it was noted that they may serve to attract local business people. In general University/academics are attracted by famous keynote names, whereas businesses are not.

It was decided to have one keynote speaker and the winner of the George Box medal as key note speakers for the 5th ENBIS conference. The programme committee would circulate members to ask for suggestions for key notes. The nomination committee would be circulating ENBIS members for nominations for the George Box medal.

Any other business:

Promoting ENBIS

a) Links

Local networks – it was noted that ENBIS would have approx 7000 new members if linked with Royal Statistical Society (RSS) in the UK. Scientific Computing World Magazine could be used to entice new members.

b) Publicity

The wording in the ENBIS leaflets will be updated when the old batch runs out. Ronald Does has the promotional file to do this. Membership analysis will be updated from August 2003 to include recent data.

Currently conference attendees get a CDROM of paper abstracts for the ENBIS conference. Some more money could be spent to get a published version. This would be good for young statisticians as to be published is the first step on the academic ladder.

c) Website

This looks very similar to other websites and would be better if more interactive. We could give young statisticians an opportunity to work on the website in a team. This would foster collaboration and also improve the website and membership of ENBIS.

d) Newsletter

The bi-monthly ENBIS Newsletter edited by Tony Greenfield has stopped recently while Tony worked on the ENBIS Magazine in Scientific Computing World. Partners said they would like to see this restarted on a quarterly basis. Tony G says it’s a full day’s work every 3 months. He says it is quite demanding and that the material faded out after a while. Shirley is happy to take over the newsletter when she has finished with being President of ENBIS. Irena is happy to assist Tony in the meantime and would also be interested in being the editor in due course.

It was noted that it may be a good idea to get national representatives involved in the newsletter. Everyone was asked to collect news then send it to Tony G

Closing comments

Fabrizio Ruggeri outlined the ENBIS medals.

  • George Box Medal – recipient to give a talk at the end of the conference. Suggestions on who should receive it should be given to the Nomination committee chaired by Fabrizio.
  • Young statistician – speaker to be invited to conference and allowed free attendance.
  • Best manager – for supporting and promoting use of statistical methods.

Sixth Framework discussion group - ideas for continuation of Pro-ENBIS activities after the end of the project.

Day 2 pm – Thursday 2nd December 2004 2:00 to 5.00PM

A very productive afternoon meeting led to 1 firm idea for a bid along with a number of possibilities. ISRU will co-ordinate the submission of a short STREP proposal (5 pages).

  • Integrated Knowledge Producing Platform (IKPP)

Six sigma Academy (brief discussion)

The main discussion is to take place on Friday 3rd December. But the group wanted to briefly discuss this today for the benefit of the partners who will not be present on 3rd.

The curriculum will be looked at on Friday 3rd Dec.

Summary of preliminary Six Sigma discussion held 2/12/04

Current Situation

The current situation is that the exact content of Six Sigma courses varies between Pro-ENBIS institutions and countries. Some institutions tailor their Six Sigma courses to individual companies. A number of the institutions have accredited courses and certify people who pass as Black Belts and Green Belts. A few of the members have also arranged for students to complete the exams set by the ASQ to gain the ASQ Black Belt certification in addition to their own certification.

Questions posed by members of the group

  • Are ENBIS proposing to have a Six Sigma Academy or Six Sigma Accreditation?

One member asked for clarification on whether an academy or accreditation was proposed. An academy implies that ENBIS will be involved in Six Sigma training whereas accreditation implies that ENBIS give a quality mark i.e. official approval to selected courses that are considered to meet a set standard (with a core syllabus).

  • What is the purpose of ENBIS endorsement?

Companies wishing to send staff on Six Sigma courses often want to know if the course has been approved by any outside organisations. It was agreed by a number of members that having ENBIS accreditation for their Six Sigma courses would be of benefit. It was suggested that people who complete ENBIS accredited courses should also become members of ENBIS and be included on the ENBIS database. It was also suggested that Six Sigma exams should count towards university qualifications.

It was suggested that there should be a committee to decide upon the core curriculum of a Six Sigma course and that this should be the basis for accrediting courses. The point was made that there must be a common standard or the accreditation will have no value.

Companies employing Black Belts and Green Belts have difficulty knowing whether the person is indeed trained to this level, ENBIS accreditation would show that the person had taken a course covering the core areas and meeting the set standard. This would also be of use to the employee, as their Black Belt / Green Belt qualification would be of a certain recognisable standard should they wish to move companies.

It was pointed out in the discussion that the best form of certification for a Black Belt is working for a company known to have made good savings and improvements using Six Sigma.

  • Would it be possible to have links with the ASQ and would this be of benefit?

The ASQ has been contacted with regard to linking the ENBIS accreditation to the ASQ certification scheme, possibly acting as an agent for the ASQ. The ASQ were willing to consider this. However when the ASQ tried something similar with the EOQ this failed.

It was pointed out that the ASQ accreditation is a money making activity, which may not be the best route for ENBIS. The idea was put forward that ENBIS could give accreditation to courses which it believes train students up to a standard where they would pass the ASQ exams.

  • Should the academy / accreditation be solely for Six Sigma?

It was suggested by a number of members that ENBIS should take a broader long term view and not concentrate solely on Six Sigma as Six Sigma will most likely have a limited life span. Instead the academy or accreditation scheme could be for Six Sigma and other up coming subject areas; it could be a general academy for all the business areas of ENBIS.

The point was made that if ENBIS do wish to have a Six Sigma academy this will need to be set up fairly quickly because of the limited life of Six Sigma and because a number of groups are establishing Six Sigma courses. The organisations that are quick off the mark are setting the standards, in which case ENBIS’s accreditation could end up in competition with others.

  • Other points

There is an existing ENBIS procedure relating to endorsements. At present the information on this procedure is not widely available. It was suggested that the existing procedure should be looked at, updated if necessary and made available (perhaps through the website).

Six Sigma covers statistics and management issues, one member posed the question whether ENBIS would be able to cover the management training aspects.

The suggestion was made that a small academy be launched and then to see whether it developed. An academy or accreditation would involve a great deal of work and no one is employed full time by ENBIS. This may require the employment of a full time secretary / assistant to carry out the daily work.

It was also suggested that there should be a vice-president and a subcommittee responsible for education. (This was later discussed by the ENBIS Executive committee and it was agreed that education was too large an area to be covered by one vice-president and that all 5 members of the Executive committee should be responsible.)

The notes from the afternoon meeting were made available at the meeting next day (3/12/04).

Minutes from Six Sigma Academy Meeting 3/12/04

The topics discussed at the meeting can be grouped in the following way;

  1. Curriculum
  2. Peer Review / Accreditation / Guidelines
  3. Administration Finance
  4. Summary, wrapping up session

1.0 Curriculum

Members were asked to briefly examine a document outlining the course structure and modules used by ISRU for Black Belt training. Members were asked to comment on the overall structure of the course, the placement of modules within the structure and the course content.

Two separate target audiences for Six Sigma training were identified; Academic and Industrial. It was noted that the industrial target audience could be further divided by sector and that Black Belt courses would require adaptation depending on the sector, however it was decided that for the moment ENBIS should concentrate on defining a basic core curriculum which would be widely applicable.

All members were happy with the DMAIC phase framework outlined as all felt that this is a standard framework. However some members felt that the times allocated to each phase needed revising, it was felt particularly that additional time should be allowed for the teaching of soft skills in the Define phase.

There was some discussion about which modules were included in each phase and modules which the members would like to see as part of the course, comments included;

  • There is a need for a Six Sigma Overview in the Define phase
  • More emphasis on the criteria for project selection
  • In the Black Belt course example shown FMEA is introduced in the Define phase. It was pointed out that there are a number of different types of FMEA. Design FMEA could be introduced in the Define phase and process FMEA in the Measurement phase.
  • A module on cost evaluation and budgeting for project costs would be useful
  • It was suggested that some of the formal processes and tools used in the subject area of Maintenance Management should be included as this is an area of interest for many industrial organisations.
  • More emphasis could be given to teaching the reporting of results to management. This is a bigger issue than presentation skills.
  • Modules on Bayesian statistics and AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) should be included.
  • A module on research skills would also be of use
  • It was suggested that Measurement of Certainty should be included in the Measurement phase.
  • There was discussion on which phase is most appropriate for Design and Analysis of Questionnaires (or Customer Feedback Analysis). It was noted that a number of topics could be introduced in one phase and referred back to in subsequent phases.

2.0 Peer Review / Accreditation / Guidelines

The meeting focused on the following possible areas of accreditation.

  • ENBIS accreditation of Black Belts
  • ENBIS accreditation of Six Sigma Trainers
  • ENBIS endorsement for Six Sigma courses
  • ENBIS accreditation of institutions wishing to carry out endorsed courses
2.1 ENBIS accreditation of Black Belts

It was suggested that one method of checking whether potential Black Belts have met a suitable standard would be to peer review Black Belt projects. This would involve the creation of a "Six Sigma Teachers Circle" who would be responsible for the external peer review. It was suggested that members of the teachers circle could ask Black Belts from a previous courses to review projects where appropriate.

2.11 Issues raised
  • Confidentiality

Many companies will have reservations about handing over project details to an external reviewer, particularly industrial reviewers potentially from competing organisations. This could possibly be solved by removing all identifiers from the projects before review and holding "blind" peer reviews.

  • Number of projects for review

It was pointed out that the work carried out on reviewing projects would be unpaid. The attendees of the meeting were happy to carry out the reviews but have a limited amount of time. If the number of projects to be reviewed per year is relatively small then this won’t be a problem; however it would become an issue if a large number of projects are put up for review each year.

A discussion was held on how many projects should be put up for review. It was suggested that a minimum of one project per "campaign" should be submitted (where a campaign can cover a period of time in which a number of Six Sigma courses have been held in a fairly intensive fashion). It was generally agreed that submitting every Black Belt report for review would be unpractical.

  • Language

Black Belt projects would be written in the native language of the potential Black Belt. It was pointed out that this would restrict the number of reviewers available to peer review some of the projects. It was suggested that if this was an issue, the Black Belts or their Six Sigma trainers could be asked to submit a 2 page management summary or a presentation in English. It appeared at the end of the discussion that language is considered to be an issue but not an insurmountable problem.

  • Standard of reports submitted for review

A discussion was held on which reports should be submitted for review. Suggestions were; that the best project should be submitted, that the best and worst projects should be submitted or that one borderline project should be submitted for review. It was agreed that any could be submitted which meant in practice that it would be one of the better projects.

2.2 ENBIS accreditation of Six Sigma Trainers

The issue of whether ENBIS should accredit individual trainers / teachers was discussed. The question was posed whether Six Sigma trainers needed to be Black Belts. If ENBIS accredited Black Belts and Trainers, then those members of ENBIS wanting ENBIS endorsement would need to become accredited Black Belts.

Many trainers have a broad knowledge of Six Sigma and an in-depth knowledge of certain areas. Six Sigma courses are often carried out by a team of trainers, making it unnecessary for individual trainers to have the type of knowledge required for Black Belt certification. A number of members felt that it is unnecessary to accredit individual trainers.

It was suggested that a better approach would be to accredit courses and to ask each course leader for their CV. It would then be left to the course leader or the institution to put together a team of trainers.

2.3 ENBIS endorsement of Six Sigma Courses

The point was put forward that it would be better to accredit the course itself rather than the individuals teaching the course. This raised the following issues:

2.31 Exams

A number of the Six Sigma courses provided by ENBIS members include a final exam. Course attendees are asked to analyse a sample of industrial data using Six Sigma tools. This gives the potential Black Belts the opportunity to show that they can use a good range of tools, not only those used in their projects. Would an exam be part of "set" course structure required for accreditation? It was suggested that the exams and industrial material used by members could be pooled into a database.

2.32 Core Curriculum

The point was raised earlier in the discussion that if projects were reviewed, then the curriculum was also reviewed indirectly.

A number of members felt that there should be a simple core curriculum which accredited courses should use.

2.4 Accreditation of Institutions

It was also discussed whether it would be possible to accredit institutions. After receiving accreditation, the institution would be able to hold courses endorsed by ENBIS.

Institution did not refer solely to academic institutions but also referred to non-academic organisations such as consultancy groups. Comments arising from this discussion suggested that accreditation at this level would be too difficult and inappropriate.

2.5 Further comments

ENBIS membership should be a pre-requisite for ENBIS endorsed Black Belts and for those running ENBIS endorsed courses.

If there was an ENBIS endorsement service ENBIS would need to collect information for each course on

  • How many students attended each course
  • Where students are from
  • How much the students have paid / did they receive value for money
  • Feedback from the students
3.0 Administration / Finance

In previous discussions members pointed out the fact that running of an ENBIS accreditation scheme / academy will take time and money. The following comments and suggestions were made during the discussion on Administration and Finance.

  • An administrator / secretary would be needed to carryout the day to day tasks and to carry out a preliminary check on information or requests for accreditation coming into the unit.
  • For the first year ENBIS could finance the academy / accreditation unit out of existing money. After the first year the unit / academy should be self financing. It was suggested that this could be achieved by; charging each student attending any ENBIS accredited course a set fee, charging institutions running ENBIS accredited courses a set fee, or running "pay to attend" courses directly from the unit / academy.
  • This raised the question of how much would an institute pay for accreditation and "what is the value of the ENBIS logo" one member pointed out that if ENBIS charges for accreditation then the ENBIS logo must represent some added value to the course.
  • One member replied that the ENBIS accreditation may have a limited value to a university course but that endorsement from an industrial applied group such as ENBIS may be valuable to a lone consultancy group running Six Sigma courses.
  • The question was asked whether ENBIS is set up as a profit or a non-profit organisation, as this will have a bearing on what ENBIS can do.
4.0 Summary, wrapping up session

A brief wrap up session was held to outline the next steps from this meeting and the timescales. The following decisions were made;

  • Administration and Financial issues must be discussed by the ENBIS council
  • The information from this meeting will be organised into a proposal document and this will be distributed to those who attended the meeting for feedback. Timescale: distributed to meeting attendees before Christmas.
  • The feedback on the proposal document should be returned to ISRU. Timescale: feedback to be received by the end of January.
  • The feedback will be incorporated into a proposal to be put to the ENBIS council. Timescale: proposal to the ENBIS council by the end of February.

The meeting closed at 4.00PM