Ranking System: Six Sigma Master Black Belt

Although, to many people, it will sound as if we are talking about some form of a martial art, the basic idea of the Six Sigma ranking system is to only apply worth towards demonstrable performance. However, when you encounter someone to whom the title Six Sigma Master Black Belt applies, you will be looking at the cream of the crop of personnel who have completed all levels of training.

Six Sigma is not a martial art, but rather a business improvement process by which people can measure the efficiency of a production line or lines to make them better than their current state. This one goal of continuous improvement is the central theme to the entire system. There are differing levels of accomplishment within the system and as each person develops the knowledge and skills necessary to move upwards, they are awarded belts.

The belt ranking system was taken from the Asian warrior arts because they only endow them upon those who have earned them through performance. Unlike many martial academies in the US, belts and rank are not to be awarded only for participation and on time payments of tuition. Rather, they are bestowed based upon the merit of the individual involved in the training program.

A Six Sigma Master Black Belt is the highest level or rank that one can hope to achieve. His or her journey started as a Yellow Belt, then Green, and Black until reaching his or her current level. When one reaches the master’s level, he or she is able to utilize all aspects of Six Sigma in nearly any environment conceivable. It matters little if the person has any personal experience in the particular industry, although it can be beneficial.

He or she is able to oversee, train, and mentor others, determine goals, interpret data sets and metrics, and instruct whole corporations in the overall processes they need to implement in order to attain zero defects or 99.9%+ efficiency. Most of those who attain this level are independent contractors who sign on with a company for a set time in order to help them achieve some of their short terms goals and help them in establishing long-term goals as well.

When the Six Sigma Methodology was first introduced in the 1980’s, people thought it was project specific, but the Motorola employees who designed it thought differently and applied as much of the concepts developed to all areas of their business across multiple business lines. The idea that one can determine what area needs the most improvement through the gathering of data and the ability to determine which areas are trending towards inefficiency in order to allow rapid response to prevent losses is a huge draw to most manufacturers.

The process has been implemented in almost every industry conceivable. From automotive assembly to computer technology, it has shown its worth in spades. Although primarily used in the manufacturing environment, there have been many other areas of business that would say the bottom line of the company has improved because of the process. Even service oriented businesses can benefit from a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and their objective take on how things operate.