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waste is tip of the icebergAn interview with Regu Regupathy, Certified Black Belt and Rutgers Executive Education Instructor/Advisor for Lean Six Sigma

“Waste you see is tip of the iceberg, the unseen waste is several times larger.”

Regu Regupathy is an engineer, author and teacher with over 40 years of experience in engineering and project management. He has been an engineering manager for projects that range in size from $500 million to $5 billion. He has also been a project manager for projects ranging in size from $50 million to $500 million. He has trained over 500 Black Belts, Green Belts, Yellow Belts and Champions in Lean Six Sigma principles. Regupathy is a member of the faculty of the Executive Education at Rutgers School of Business Camden and teaches in the Lean Six Sigma Certification Program that includes training, mentoring and certifying Lean Six Sigma White Belts, Yellow Belts, Green Belts, and Black Belts.

What is your philosophy about Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is mostly a common sense-based process. People shouldn’t be afraid of it. And, they will not lose their jobs because of the implementation of it.

Lean Six Sigma operates in many levels from quick visual observation-based improvements to complex data collection and analysis methodology. Waste you see is tip of the iceberg, the unseen waste is several times larger. In most cases, the process, not the people, is the reason for errors and inefficiencies. And, only people engaged in the process can offer solutions to improve the process.

Do you find that Lean Six Sigma principles are most applicable to the manufacturing industry?

My experience includes work in the U.S., Canada, Indonesia, Germany and India. I have used Six Sigma in industries such as healthcare, engineering and construction, banking, manufacturing, technology, government, certification boards, pharmaceutical, food processing and insurance. The bottom line is that Lean Six Sigma is not only for manufacturing. Service and transactional business organizations have more opportunities to benefit from the Lean Six Sigma process.

Is Lean Six Sigma a process that can impact organizations internally?

Lean Six Sigma helps to reduce waste, cycle time, and cost. It improves quality, safety, customer satisfaction (internal and external), and thus improves organizational performance and profitability. I can’t think of an industry that couldn’t benefit from Lean Six Sigma and whose customers wouldn’t be more satisfied.

You wrote the book, “Lean Six Sigma in Six Days”. Who is the audience?

Based on my experience in the business world and the academic world, I wrote this book as a textbook for MBA students. I wanted those that are studying the principles to understand the application. It is currently used as the textbook for the MBA Lean Six Sigma course at the University of Georgia. Although the book is used in an academic environment, anyone who is interested in understanding the principles and application in various industries will find the book helpful.

What do you think is the most important thing you do as an instructor advisor at Rutgers Exec Ed?

I want to share the knowledge and skills I have developed through several decades of exceptional associations with great leaders in the engineering and construction industries. My goal is to create change agents because of the Lean Six Sigma processes.

What can participants expect when they take your course?

Participants can expect to build efficiency in their organization and become process-based thinkers. They will change their perspectives to believe that processes are the key. They won’t blame people. Instead, they will focus on improving the processes and empowering people.

What is your role in the Rutgers Lean Six Sigma certification process?

I work with participants one-on-one as a mentor when they decide to pursue Lean Six Sigma certification. Participants choose a project at their company for which they want to apply the principles and processes of Lean Six Sigma. I work with them every step of the way to challenge them and ensure that they are properly applying the concepts to be successful with their project and in front of the Rutgers Lean Six Sigma Certification committee.

 What advice would you give to someone who is considering taking your course as part of the Rutgers Exec Ed Program?

Be prepared to learn and practice what you have learned.

 Regu Regupathy, a certified Black Belt, engineer and author. He is an instructor/advisor in the Lean Six Sigma Certificate program at Executive Education at Rutgers School of Business – Camden. His 40 years of experience in industries such as healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, technology, food processing, government and insurance, makes him a sought-after instructor. He is also a member of the Lean Six Sigma Certification Board at Rutgers University – Camden and acts as a mentor to those pursuing Lean Six Sigma certification.

Executive Education at Rutgers School of Business – Camden offers Green Belt and Black Belt programs. Click here for more information.