Although these may be common questions, the answers are not so common. These answers are Matt Hansen's opinion, so naturally other leading experts may answer some of them differently.
Is the StatStuff content the same as what's offered from other training organizations?
Yes, many of the tools and concepts are the same from other universities and organizations that offer Lean and Six Sigma training. But more than that, StatStuff includes many original tools and concepts that Matt Hansen developed for improving processes.
What do other training organizations have that StatStuff doesn't have?
Other than huge training fees, an obvious advantage of the traditional classroom training is interactive collaboration. Despite that, the advantages of StatStuff are that you can jump directly to the video on the tool or concept you need at any time you need it.
Why is StatStuff free?
The tools and concepts of Lean and Six Sigma are not rocket science so why should training cost so much as if it were? In fact, Lean and Six Sigma are merely methods and tools built on common sense, which should be offered for free.
Can StatStuff videos be copied and used outside of StatStuff?
No. All the materials on StatStuff are copyrighted and require express permission (through separate purchase or licensing) to use outside of StatStuff. The website is already free, so naturally the costs are absorbed through advertising, so please don't take advantage of this freedom offered to you.
Can I get a copy of the slides used in the training videos?
No, all video content (including slides, scripts, images, examples, tools, etc.) are copyrighted and proprietary to StatStuff. Once all the videos are complete, notes about the content will be sold in an eBook and in print.
Can I use StatStuff resources for Lean and Six Sigma training at my organization?
Absolutely, but only in two possible ways: 1) the StatStuff site must be used and referenced as the source for hosting the videos (i.e., this method is free and open to the public through StatStuff anyway, but you can't copy or modify the videos and host them separately such as through YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), or 2) you purchased enough licensing through StatStuff to allow for self-hosting that is not open to the public.
What do I get for licensing the use of StatStuff videos at my organization?
Can I advertise on the StatStuff website?
Does StatStuff offer any Lean or Six Sigma certification?
No, not directly. The tools and concepts taught through StatStuff are enough for someone to pass a Green or Black Belt certification test through any organization that offers it. But StatStuff is not one of those organizations that offers certification at this time.
Where should I go to get certified?
Sorry, we will gladly allow organizations to advertise for their classroom training and certifications on StatStuff (since that's not something we offer ourselves), but we do not specifically endorse any particular organization's certification methods. Despite this, if you do pursue certification, ensure you're working with an organization that has a strong reputation of certifying folks who deserve it. That is, if you know other people certified through a particular organization and those people don't have strong Lean or Six Sigma skills, then do NOT pursue your certification through that organization.
How does certification work?
Unlike each state that certifies public accountants or Microsoft who certifies their systems engineers, there is no single governing body for certifying Lean or Six Sigma expertise. That's good because it allows for much flexibility in the certifying requirements from each organization, but it's bad because some organizations have less stringent requirements and therefore certify folks who don't deserve it. Despite this, the typical certifying requirements include taking a test and demonstrating application of the tools through one or two projects.
Is there value in getting certified?
Yes and no. Yes, certification looks great on a resume and can certainly help someone's career. But only (this is where the "no" comes in) if the person is truly deserving of the certification. I know a lot of people who are certified, but very few who really know and can effectively apply the Lean and Six Sigma tools. Certification should only be a means and not the end itself. That is, our end goal should be to learn how to use and apply the Lean and Six Sigma tools to improve our business processes; certification should merely validate a person's capability to meet that goal.
Which certification should I pursue?
I believe there are only three valid certifications: Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt. Any other colored belt (like White, Yellow, etc.) is relatively new and not commonly recognized in the industry. That doesn't mean the training for those other colored belts are not helpful, but adding those certifications to a resume is not as well known or understood as the top three. In addition, there is no formal Lean certification (like those for Six Sigma) apart from the ones that certain organizations create on their own. Again, it's not that someone with a Lean certification doesn't have strong Lean skills, it's just that it's not as widely known or understood in the field.