A Six Sigma Master Black Belt’s Role as Teacher

The belt system of the Six Sigma quality improvement program is similar to the belts given in martial arts as in each one symbolizes the knowledge, experience, and job responsibly of the individual team Member. The Master Black belt is the person who is in charge of training and consulting the other levels of belts. Depending on their level, these other professionals will handle their job as they have been trained to do.

Trained and Certified Black Belts are the project managers within a Six Sigma Team. These people will lead a group of individuals; a team, toward a specific goal and will lay out the plan to get to that goal. They will act as team leader, and the person ultimately responsible for the outcome of the project. They will lead by encouraging their subordinates and directing them down the proper path to quality improvement.

The Master Black belt professional within a corporate setting is the individual in charge of the Six Sigma training and certification within a business.  They are highly trained and experienced within the Six Sigma Methodology, and will teach all levels of individuals from the most basic knowledge to the most advanced.  They will train Black Belts how to lead, what to say, how to assist and motivate the lower belt levels to use and apply the DMAIC and DMADV methods for their organizations. They will show the team leader the proper ways to handle various situations and complications that might come up and also how to choose the leaders for the green teams.

The Green Belt professional usually works as an assistant to black, unless they have been put in charge of their own basic level project. They will perform tasks that their superiors have directed them to do, will help collect and analyze the data and will suggest changes or recommend ways for expansions and additions.  In addition to these skills, Master Black Belts will also teach the Green belts how to lead a group, if they are chosen to do so. It is important that green belts understand their role as leader to their team (of Yellow and perhaps White Belts) and subordinate to the Black Belts that work as their superiors. Some projects will not need the help of Black Belts, and so the responsibilities will fall on the green.

Working for both the color belt levels above them, Yellow Belts will carry out the tasks their superiors ask of them, which usually include helping to collect data and analyzing it. They may study the results but their knowledge in the Six Sigma Methodology, tools, and statistics is not as extensive as their superiors and therefore, they perform mainly manual tasks in the collection of the data. Their superiors will take the information results and draw conclusions from them.  The Master Black Belts are in charge of equipping the Yellow Belts with the data they need to fulfill their role in the team

White Belts hold the lowest possible level of Six Sigma Certification.  In fact, the benefit of their existence is questioned by many within the Six Sigma Community, as most professionals agree that the lowest level of knowledge should be the Yellow Belt title. They may not have anything directly to do with the methods but are very aware of the practices and policies. They are there to help coordinate on a local level, arranging meetings, survey locations, and other helpful tasks to help solve company issues.  They are often referred to as auxiliary staff and have many other duties to perform on a daily basis besides their Six Sigma tasks.

Six Sigma Master Black belt professionals will have the knowledge that the other professionals might need from time to time and will therefore work as mentors for them; their role is imperative to the success of an organization that adopts this methodology. They will answer questions, train others to the best of their ability, and offer efficient and accurate advice, using the DMAIC or DMADV processes.