Six Sigma Black Belt

Six Sigma Black Belts is one of the significant key roles, identified for the successful implementation of Six Sigma as they are highly skilled in the use of the Six Sigma methodologies and tools. They are often referred to as Change Agents.

A Black Belt not just demonstrates team leadership, but also understands team dynamics and assigns roles and responsibilities to the team members. Black Belts are proficient in all aspects of the DMAIC model in accordance with Six Sigma principles. They also understand Lean methodology, therefore identify and eliminate waste elements and activities to make the process efficient.

Responsibilities and Roles: Black Belts are result driven go getters and possess various qualities that enable them to perform their role. Some of those qualities are mentioned below:

  • Customer Support: Black Belts know that the customers are always the final judge and understanding customers is the key to product/process improvement.
  • Change Agent: Black Belts perform as a change agent and have a knack of changing the organization or the business process by engendering support for the change without upsetting the employees.
  • Communication: Black Belts perform various roles viz. trainers, coaches, and mentors for which effective communication is essential. Black Belts should be able to communicate to all audiences (from blue collared employees to white collared executives).
  • Project Management: Black Belts are project leaders and knowledge of project management fundamentals is expected of them.
  • Business Acumen: Black Belts need to have a broader perspective industries and marketplace. Understanding the big picture in terms of finance, marketing etc generates more beneficial results.
  • Technical Aptitude: Although Black Belt may come from a non-engineering or non-statistical background, some amount of computer literacy and analytical skills will make the work easier.
  • Interpersonal Skills: As told previously, Black Belts are leaders and therefore they need to know people management skills. Black Belts must possess the ability to lead, work with teams, be part of a team, and understand team dynamics. In order to effectively lead a team, a Black Belt must be likeable, get along with people, have good influencing skills, and motivate others.
  • Diverse Work Experience: A diverse work experience enables the Black Belt to address issues in a more holistic manner.

Certification: To become a Black Belt, one has to typically complete four weeks of Six Sigma training, demonstrate expertise of the subject matter through completion of projects and an exam. After finishing their assignment, Black Belts are expected to graduate to more significant business roles or to a Master Black Belt within a period of three to five years.

Certification can be provided by companies or by third party vendors. The level of quality varies drastically and is perhaps inconsistent. Some people get certified by simply taking an online test and absolutely no Six Sigma experience or classroom attendance. On the other hand, there are professionals who have tons of experience, weeks of classroom attendance and exceptional scores.

Thus, being a Black Belt is not just about getting a certificate rather it is the level of perfection attained by an individual in terms of leadership and project management in compliance with the Six Sigma methodologies.

A certified Six Sigma black belt is a proficient individual who is absolutely capable of explaining the principles, applications and philosophies of Six Sigma to the subordinates who are aspiring candidates of Six Sigma. They should also exhibit perfect team leadership apart from comprehending the dynamics of a team. The certified Six Sigma black belts are responsible for selecting the roles of team members and they also assign specific tasks to the members. The certified black Belts should be meticulously perceptive about the details of the DMAIC model which is the basis of Six Sigma. They know the usage and concepts of the statistical tools and can apply them in practical situations. They also know the lean methodologies in context to Six Sigma. Their extensive knowledge helps them execute and lead Six Sigma projects and also plan them looking at the scopes of improvements.

  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Six Sigma Certified Black Belt: The certified black belts generally work under the master black belts and act as the boss of the green belts. They mainly focus on the execution of various processes selected by the master black belts. The posts handled by the Certified Six Sigma Black Belt professionals include that of project leaders, team leaders etc. they assign the tasks to the team members, supposedly the green belts and get the reports from them on regular basis. They are supposed to proof-read and compile the collected data and report and finally submit them to the master black belts. The certified black belts are the main pillars of any company that is driven by the Six Sigma approach.
  • Qualities of a Six Sigma Certified Black belt: The certified Six Sigma black belts are really good at implementing Six Sigma in a company. Organizations, which do not have a master black belt and cannot afford to hire an expensive professional of the same qualification, can always refer to the black belts about Six Sigma deployments. The master black belts have excellent leadership qualities. They should be able to convince the management and the employees about the pros and cons of the Six Sigma projects. Analytical skill is a must have for a certified Six Sigma black belt. They should be able to assess the risks related to a particular project before hand. Communication skill of a black belt should be excellent so that they can bridge the gap between the management and the lower level employee group. Finally, they should be able to handle all sorts of problem situations, obviously with the help of Six Sigma applications.
  • Job Opportunities for the Six Sigma Certified Black belt: The certified Six Sigma black belts can never run short of jobs. The number of companies implementing Six Sigma is growing day by day. This is the reason why more management students are leaning towards Six Sigma certification. The black belts need to have experience in the field of Six Sigma as a green belt certified employee. Those who already have few years of experience as a black belt are offered high paying jobs by many organizations. They can also open their own Six Sigma certification firms as they know all about the subject. Hence, the trainer’s post is a suitable choice for the black belts.

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