Search

Six Sigma Belts and Certifications Demystified

Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that was first used in the 1980s by companies like Motorola and Honeywell. By the 1990s, a long list of Fortune 500 companies had adopted Six Sigma in an effort to increase quality (and profits) by eliminating defects, service failures, and waste. Today, companies in almost every industry use Six Sigma to improve their operations, bottom-lines, and customer satisfaction. All Six Sigma projects are managed using a set of tools and techniques across five phases known as the DMAIC framework: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Using statistical analysis, Six Sigma teams work to fix processes so they’re 99.997% defect-free, which translates to only 3.4 defects per million. Six Sigma projects are managed by individuals with specific titles, roles, training, and certifications. These roles are identified by a hierarchical belt structure with darker belts representing roles that require more experience and training: white belt, yellow belt, green belt, black belt, and master black belt. White Belts Six Sigma white belts are engaged at the first level of the Six Sigma process and have a basic understanding of Six Sigma concepts. They’re responsible for connecting with the next highest belt (green belts) to solve specific problems at a local level. Often, white belts are called upon to support an overall Six Sigma project but aren’t actually on the Six Sigma team. Certification: Neither of the widely recognized Six Sigma certifying organizations, the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) or the American Society for Quality (ASQ), offer a Six Sigma white belt certification. However, some universities and companies do offer this level of certification. Yellow Belts The yellow belt is the first level of Six Sigma certification. Yellow belts are Six Sigma team members who report to green belts. They understand the basics of Six Sigma, including the first three phases of the DMAIC framework: define, measure, and analyze. Yellow belts are responsible for reviewing process improvements in support of a Six Sigma project. Certification: To obtain a Yellow Belt certification, you must pass a 60 question exam. Green Belts Six Sigma green belts are usually at the manager level and report to Six Sigma black belts. They’re considered to be the worker bees of a Six Sigma project because they do most of the data collection and analysis work. Green belts are knowledgeable on all phases of the DMAIC framework. Experienced green belts might lead small Six Sigma projects. Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma green belt certification, you must have three years of work experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge (e.g., process improvement), and that experience must have been in a paying role. You are also required to pass the 1.5 hour, 100-question green belt certification exam. Black Belts Six Sigma black belts lead Six Sigma projects, green belts, and teams. They are Six Sigma experts with a great deal of experience. Black belts interface with executives and ensure Six Sigma project goals are met. They also act as coaches to people with lower level belts. Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma black belt certification, you must have green belt experience and have completed two Six Sigma projects with signed affidavits. In addition, you have to pass the 4-hour exam, which includes 150 questions. Master Black Belts Six Sigma master black belts act as trainers and coaches to people with lower-level belts. Their role is typically strategic rather than project-based and focuses on Six Sigma at the program and enterprise level. Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma master black belt certification, you need to have at least five years of experience as a Six Sigma black belt or a minimum of 10 completed Six Sigma black belt projects. In addition, you need to pass a two-part exam. Other Six Sigma Roles In addition to the Six Sigma belt designations, organizations typically have Six Sigma executives and champions. A Six Sigma executive’s role is to align the Six Sigma program with the company’s culture and strategy. The champion translates the company’s vision and goals into a comprehensive Six Sigma program and individual projects. Each of these roles plays an important part in ensuring Six Sigma effectively improves a business and its profitability

Six Sigma Belts and Certifications Demystified

9K
Six Sigma Belts and Certifications Demystified

Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that was first used in the 1980s by companies like Motorola and Honeywell. By the 1990s, a long list of Fortune 500 companies had adopted Six Sigma in an effort to increase quality (and profits) by eliminating defects, service failures, and waste. Today, companies in almost every industry use Six Sigma to improve their operations, bottom-lines, and customer satisfaction.

All Six Sigma projects are managed using a set of tools and techniques across five phases known as the DMAIC framework: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Using statistical analysis, Six Sigma teams work to fix processes so they’re 99.997% defect-free, which translates to only 3.4 defects per million.

Six Sigma projects are managed by individuals with specific titles, roles, training, and certifications. These roles are identified by a hierarchical belt structure with darker belts representing roles that require more experience and training: white belt, yellow belt, green belt, black belt, and master black belt.

White Belts

Six Sigma white belts are engaged at the first level of the Six Sigma process and have a basic understanding of Six Sigma concepts. They’re responsible for connecting with the next highest belt (green belts) to solve specific problems at a local level. Often, white belts are called upon to support an overall Six Sigma project but aren’t actually on the Six Sigma team.

Certification: Neither of the widely recognized Six Sigma certifying organizations, the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) or the American Society for Quality (ASQ), offer a Six Sigma white belt certification. However, some universities and companies do offer this level of certification.

Yellow Belts

The yellow belt is the first level of Six Sigma certification. Yellow belts are Six Sigma team members who report to green belts. They understand the basics of Six Sigma, including the first three phases of the DMAIC framework: define, measure, and analyze. Yellow belts are responsible for reviewing process improvements in support of a Six Sigma project.

Certification: To obtain a Yellow Belt certification, you must pass a 60 question exam.

Green Belts

Six Sigma green belts are usually at the manager level and report to Six Sigma black belts. They’re considered to be the worker bees of a Six Sigma project because they do most of the data collection and analysis work. Green belts are knowledgeable on all phases of the DMAIC framework. Experienced green belts might lead small Six Sigma projects.

Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma green belt certification, you must have three years of work experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Green Belt Body of Knowledge (e.g., process improvement), and that experience must have been in a paying role. You are also required to pass the 1.5 hour, 100-question green belt certification exam.

Black Belts

Six Sigma black belts lead Six Sigma projects, green belts, and teams. They are Six Sigma experts with a great deal of experience. Black belts interface with executives and ensure Six Sigma project goals are met. They also act as coaches to people with lower level belts.

Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma black belt certification, you must have green belt experience and have completed two Six Sigma projects with signed affidavits. In addition, you have to pass the 4-hour exam, which includes 150 questions.

Master Black Belts

Six Sigma master black belts act as trainers and coaches to people with lower-level belts. Their role is typically strategic rather than project-based and focuses on Six Sigma at the program and enterprise level.

Certification: To obtain a Six Sigma master black belt certification, you need to have at least five years of experience as a Six Sigma black belt or a minimum of 10 completed Six Sigma black belt projects. In addition, you need to pass a two-part exam.

Other Six Sigma Roles

In addition to the Six Sigma belt designations, organizations typically have Six Sigma executives and champions. A Six Sigma executive’s role is to align the Six Sigma program with the company’s culture and strategy. The champion translates the company’s vision and goals into a comprehensive Six Sigma program and individual projects.

Each of these roles plays an important part in ensuring Six Sigma effectively improves a business and its profitability

Susan

Susan Gunelius

Blog Author

Susan Gunelius is a 20-year marketing veteran and President & CEO of KeySplash Creative. She also owns an award-winning blog, Women on Business.


Website : http://www.womenonbusiness.com/

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 comments

Makendra 10 Jan 2017

Thank you so much for your insight! It’s incredible how focusing on one word can help us realise the concepts and principles that God emphasises in His Word. The words “all” and &#2h80;everyt2ing” are so encompassing and surely if the Lord put them in there, He fully intended to provide a way to aid us in executing the commands in their entirety! Once again, I so much appreciate God using you to draw me deeper into His beautiful Word!

Kiran Koli 03 Oct 2020

It is really informative for me.

Suggested Blogs

Supply Chain Certifications For A Better Career Option

The Supply Chain Management (SCM), a process used in many organizations, is an assortment of steps for transforming raw components into a meaningful final product. The stages of SCM include: • Plan: involves developing strategy to meet the needs of the customer. • Develop: Involves identifying reliable suppliers for raw materials, building strong relationship with them and formulating methods for shipping, delivery and payment. • Build: involves manufacturing, testing, packaging and scheduling the product. • Deliver: Involves delivery of products/goods as planned. • Return: involves creating a flexible and responsive network for receiving defective products from customers and registering their feedback and complaints. Initially, Supply Chain Management was a process adopted by organizations to achieve substantial operational efficiencies and reduce costs. Considering todays’ competitive market, Supply Chain Management entails the strategic positioning of end-to-end business processes in order to achieve economic value. Following are the benefits of SCM: • Improves the Supply Chain network of the organization • Enhances collaboration in the organization • Minimizes delays • Reduces costs Certifications have become prerequisites in all the corporate world. Certified professionals in Supply Chain Management will definitely have an edge over their peers. It is not only the most preferred career option but it also provides better future prospects. Following are the top 5 Supply Chain Certifications: 1. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) This certified supply chain professional training demonstrates your knowledge and organizational skills by enhancing your expertise in the Supply Chain Management practices. This certification gives you an in depth understanding of how supply chain is integrated in areas of planning, manufacturing and delivering the product. Eligibility requirements: • A Bachelor’s degree or international equivalent • 3 years of relative business experience along with other ISM or APICS certification • CLTD or CSCP, CPIM, CSM or CPSM designations Benefits: • Improves hiring potential • Provides a hike in salary • Gives you the attributes required to enhance your professional value • Maximizes the ERP investments of your organization • Enables you to increase and retain customer satisfaction • Manage effectively end-to-end supply activities 2. Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) The CPIM certified professionals have the proven knowledge and skills to critically streamline operations. This certification is for those who have a keen interest in the field of inventory management and want to have detailed understanding of production planning and scheduling. The CPIM does not require any Bachelor’s degree, only 2-3 years of relevant experience in the field is needed. To obtain a CPIM certification, an individual must pass 5 CPIM exams. The CPIM program consists of 5 different modules, each representing a critical area in inventory management and production, as follows: Module 1: Basics of Supply Chain Management Module 2: Master Planning of Resources Module 3: Detailed Scheduling and Planning Module 4: Execution and Control of Operations Module 5: Strategic Management of Resources Benefits: • Provides a hike in salary by at least 12% • Highlights your attributes and increases your chances of employability • Gives you an edge over others • Increases and retains customer satisfaction • Adds an increased value to your organization • Reduces costs • Maximizes ROI 3. Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) This certification proves that you are an expert in Supply Chain Management and validates that you have the attributes required to deal with finance, risk management and supplier relationship management. Individuals enrolling themselves to the program are required to take 3 exams, in any order, to become a certified CPSM. They are: Exam 1: Foundation of Supply Management Exam 2: Effective Supply Management Exam 3: Leadership in Supply Management Eligibility Requirements: • A Bachelor’s degree or international equivalent with 3 years of full-time supply management experience Or • A qualified Bachelor’s degree with 5 years of full-time supply management experience • Successfully pass the exams based on all the 3 modules Benefits: • The certification proves your expertise in supply chain management and demonstrates your knowledge, skills and passion for your profession. • There is an increasing demand of CPSM certified professionals in the most resilient and competitive companies. • CPSM certified professionals are likely to earn an average of 23% more annually compared to the non-certified individuals. • CPSM certified professionals demonstrate proper supply chain management strategies. 4. SCPro SCPro certification, offered by Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), is a three-tiered program which performs assessment of dynamic knowledge and skills over supply chain activities. This certification certifies an individuals’ ability to evaluate business challenges, implement supply chain improvements, and develop a thorough project plan for achieving positive results. SCPro consists of 3 levels of certification as follows: SCPro Level One: Cornerstones of Supply Chain Management SCPro Level Two: Analysis and Application of Supply Chain Challenges SCPro Level Three: Initiation of Supply Chain Transformation Benefits: • Increases your hiring potential and gives you an advantage over your peers. • Expands your professional knowledge and skills in supply chain management. • Highlights your expertise in the operational skills of supply chain management. • Demonstrates your capability to analyse, design and implement change across the global supply chain activities. • Introduces you to a group of professionals with SCPro certification. These certification courses are just a few of the courses on offer. It is essential for individuals in the field of Supply Chain Management to at least have one of these certifications’ to grow in their receptive organizations. So what are you waiting for? Go get certified
3756
Supply Chain Certifications For A Better Career Op...

The Supply Chain Management (SCM), a process used ... Read More

Six Sigma Green Belts vs. Black Belts : What's the Difference?

Successful firms lay great emphasis on quality and strive to achieve the highest standards in their products and services. The Six Sigma methodology has helped to give many companies the leading edge against their competitors, by implementing process improvements across the enterprise that help them realise their maximum potential. Those who are not familiar with the Six Sigma jargon may have heard of Green Belts and Black Belts, but may not know what the key differences are between the two. Both Six Sigma Green Belts and Black Belts are trained professionals who are responsible for streamlining process quality and improving the key metrics of a business. Green Belts generally carry out process improvement or project management tasks in addition to other work responsibilities- that is to say; quality improvement is not their entire or sole responsibility. Green Belts are considered as the future leaders of the company. As they work with stakeholders at all levels of the organisation, they are considered as valuable assets. Green Belts work under the supervision and mentorship of Black Belts. Green Belts who find they want to lead quality change initiatives on a larger scale across the organisation can take the next step and undertake the Black Belt Certification. Black Belts are leaders and change agents, who assume the entire responsibility of turning around quality standards and process improvements in the organisation. Their specialised training and experience enables them to work on cross functional projects across the enterprise, not just projects within one business unit or department. Black Belt training goes beyond that of the Green Belt level to include highly advanced statistical analysis tools and techniques. Their proven managerial acumen and abilities to withstand pressure and deliver projects on time without compromising on quality standards will stand the organisation in good stead. Skilled Black Belts who have significant experience and a positive never-say-die attitude can go very far in their career and assume top leadership positions within the organisation.
Six Sigma Green Belts vs. Black Belts : What'...

Successful firms lay great emphasis on quality and... Read More

What is the Capability Maturity Model? (CMM)

Capability Maturity Model (CMM) broadly refers to a process improvement approach that is based on a process model. CMM also refers specifically to the first such model, developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in the mid-1980s, as well as the family of process models that followed. A process model is a structured collection of practices that describe the characteristics of effective processes; the practices included are those proven by experience to be effective. CMM can be used to assess an organization against a scale of five process maturity levels. Each level ranks the organization according to its standardization of processes in the subject area being assessed. The subject areas can be as diverse as software engineering, systems engineering, project management, risk management, system acquisition, information technology (IT) services and personnel management. CMM was developed by the SEI at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. It has been used extensively for avionics software and government projects, in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa.Currently, some government departments require software development contract organization to achieve and operate at a level 3 standard. History The Capability Maturity Model was initially funded by military research. The United States Air Force funded a study at the Carnegie-Mellon Software Engineering Institute to create a model (abstract) for the military to use as an objective evaluation of software subcontractors. The result was the Capability Maturity Model, published as Managing the Software Process in 1989. The CMM is no longer supported by the SEI and has been superseded by the more comprehensive Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). Maturity Model The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a way to develop and refine an organization’s processes. The first CMM was for the purpose of developing and refining software development processes. A maturity model is a structured collection of elements that describe characteristics of effective processes. A maturity model provides: a place to start the benefit of a community’s prior experiences a common language and a shared vision a framework for prioritizing actions a way to define what improvement means for your organization A maturity model can be used as a benchmark for assessing different organizations for equivalent comparison. It describes the maturity of the company based upon the project the company is dealing with and the clients. Context In the 1970s, technological improvements made computers more widespread, flexible, and inexpensive. Organizations began to adopt more and more computerized information systems and the field of software development grew significantly. This led to an increased demand for developers—and managers—which was satisfied with less experienced professionals. Unfortunately, the influx of growth caused growing pains; project failure became more commonplace not only because the field of computer science was still in its infancy, but also because projects became more ambitious in scale and complexity. In response, individuals such as Edward Yourdon, Larry Constantine, Gerald Weinberg, Tom DeMarco, and David Parnas published articles and books with research results in an attempt to professionalize the software development process. Watts Humphrey’s Capability Maturity Model (CMM) was described in the book Managing the Software Process (1989). The CMM as conceived by Watts Humphrey was based on the earlier work of Phil Crosby. Active development of the model by the SEI began in 1986. The CMM was originally intended as a tool to evaluate the ability of government contractors to perform a contracted software project. Though it comes from the area of software development, it can be, has been, and continues to be widely applied as a general model of the maturity of processes in IS/IT (and other) organizations. The model identifies five levels of process maturity for an organisation. Within each of these maturity levels are KPAs (Key Process Areas) which characterise that level, and for each KPA there are five definitions identified: 1. Goals 2. Commitment 3. Ability 4. Measurement 5. Verification
What is the Capability Maturity Model? (CMM)

Capability Maturity Model (CMM) broadly refers to ... Read More

Useful links