Six Sigma Yellow Belt

It would not be wrong to say that the green, black or master black belts are considered to be the major belts, yellow belt, though small, has an important role to play in the entire six sigma implementation processes. It is responsible for the whole groundwork of the six sigma management and it’s invaluable in the process of improvement and growth of a company.

As we all know that in the six sigma management system, there are three major levels that take active part in the improvement of the process. The bottom one is the green belt, specialized in applying the basic six sigma principles and methodologies for the project improvement. Above this, there are Black belts, the hi-tech six sigma trained personals having a good knowledge of six sigma principles and metrical tools, and normally does the job of leading a number of projects at a time. Next level is master black belt, trained in advanced statistical tools and methodologies to do the job of defining projects, looking for more opportunities to work on and also help in the training and guidance of the black belts and the green belts. There is another belt in the six sigma system: the Yellow Belt.

Yellow belts are the six sigma professionals who are trained in basic six sigma principles and philosophies, six sigma tools and methodologies, and how to integrate it into the transactional and production system to achieve higher level of customer satisfaction and bottom-line goals and objectives of the organization. They undergo a very small certification training of one or two weeks, to get an overall understanding and working knowledge of the six sigma, rather than a complete detailed functional skills of a green belt or a black belt. Though they are not qualified to lead projects on their own, they act as a core team member and as an expert on the subject matter of the project. Their job is to process maps and documents to support the effective accomplishment of the six sigma projects. In addition to this, Yellow belts are often responsible for working upon smaller process improvement projects using the PDCA methodology. It stands for Plan, Do, Check and Act, and is a part of the Kaizen philosophy. A yellow belt would often use the PDCA approach, also known as the Deming wheel, to identify processes that need little improvement to increase its effectiveness. These projects often get escalated to the black belt or the green belt that handle it from there and apply the six sigma model to maximize the return to investment ratio using the Statistical Process Control.

Some of basic functions of a yellow belt are:

  • Preparing the Project Charter and the Business Case: Yellow belts have a working knowledge of the basic six sigma philosophies and the strategic tools related to it. It applies it to prepare the Project Charter and create a map for the six sigma project. It entails the customer’s needs, company’s objectives, the scope of the project and the various problems that may arise and also gives a mission objective to work upon.
  • Developing Measuring Plans: Though the yellow belts are directly not related to the quantifying phase of the DMAIC model but they do act as core members by helping the green and the black belts develop the plans necessary for the quantification purpose.
  • Assessing the Possible Output of the Key Six Sigma Tools: Yellow belts may not be directly related to the improvement process of any project but they are always involved in the study and improvement of the six sigma strategy.
  • Generating Ideas and Solution Concepts:  Using the PDCA methodology, they carry out several tests and trials to find out the most promising solution that can remove a defect or drawback from a process. If it succeeds, the matter is escalated to the levels above verification and confirmation. They provide a lot of support to the major six sigma green, black and master black belts, in the improvement of the overall competence and efficiency of the organization.
  • Verifying the Solutions: The yellow belt has the responsibility of verifying the effectiveness of any plan or any process that is running in the company and to find out if it needs improvement in terms of efficiency and quality of output.

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