Yellow Belt training introduces continuous improvement tools to campus

Author: Angela Knobloch, OIT

Yellow Belt training helps trainees discover how to do their jobs more efficiently

“Of all the training classes, conferences and seminars I’ve attended in my career, Yellow Belt training was one of the most useful and enjoyable. We’re fortunate to have it here at Notre Dame,” says Chas Grundy, product program manager in OIT’s Enterprise Support Services.

You may be familiar with the terms yellow belt, green belt and black belt from the world of martial arts. These terms are also used to identify specific levels of mastery in using continuous improvement tools.

The Office of Continuous Improvement offers two levels of training—Yellow Belt and Green Belt—focused on methods of examining, understanding and improving processes in the workplace.

Yellow Belt training is a one-day course incorporating a “hands-on” simulation to teach continuous improvement concepts.

“I had no idea what to expect when I attended the Yellow Belt training. I was surprised about the degree we went to capture (measure) data and then use that data to make decisions about improving a process,” says Marty Ogren, associate director, Warehouse, Delivery and Transportation. “Now I look at ways to measure what we do in Warehouse and Delivery so that we can make better decisions on a daily basis.” Several members of his team have now attended and they return energized, discussing with their teammates how they can do their jobs in a more efficient manner.

Yellow Belt training is appropriate for all levels of staff and faculty at Notre Dame. The session is specifically designed with situations to which everyone can relate. Since the program was started three years ago, more than 700 people from a variety of departments across campus have participated, says Carol Mullaney, director of continuous improvement. “Everyone has an opportunity to consider how to apply continuous improvement concepts to his or her role.”

The next Yellow Belt training dates are Tuesday, May 21, and Tuesday, June 18. Classes will be held at McKenna Hall, and registration can be completed through Endeavor. For those interested in diving into process improvement more deeply, Green Belt training opportunities are offered in both spring and fall. Visit the Office of Continuous Improvement website (continuousimprovement.nd.edu) for more information, call 631-1293 or email OCI@nd.edu.