Our standard Black Belt Certification Program does not require a project.
Up until August 2018 we required every Black Belt student to complete a project for certification. However, we found that it was more beneficial to our students to allow them to obtain an incremental Black Belt certification so that employers would feel more comfortable with their abilities to execute a project.
With that said, we STRONGLY suggest that students pursue at a bare minimum their Black Belt Level II Certification (providing a Certificate of Project Completion) after completing their standard Black Belt Certification.
Many employers expect a Certificate of Project Completion if you have earned a Black Belt Certification.
Most of our students do not experience any problems with the project portion of the program (whether submitting a hypothetical or real project). In fact, it was only very recently that we even allowed students the option to receive any type of Black Belt designation without a project first being submitted.
Students who experience difficulty with the project component are provided a sample project to use as a guide.
Our programs (and the projects) do not need to be carried out in a “live” workplace environment. Additionally, some students reformat previous projects to adapt to our requirements.
In the past, Six Sigma Projects have been required to be based in a “live” business environment. However, employers are not always willing to provide the necessary resources for a project (or to report financial data to an outside organization for review). It is for this primary reason that our students can submit either a “live” sponsored project or they can submit a “hypothetical” project to demonstrate their thorough understanding and proficiency of the Six Sigma Methodology.
The projects are graded by one of our resident Master Black Belts. The MBB reviewing the project will be checking to ensure that certain “criteria” are met to demonstrate an understanding of Six Sigma project implementation. They typically look for things like comparing possible projects in pre-planning, project charters, understanding and implementation of analysis tools, adequate control plans, etc.
If the project does not meet our requirements, students are free to resubmit their project as many times as necessary during their 12 month training period. When a project is not accepted, the student is given feedback in the form of which parts of the project need improvement before re-submission.
The final project requirement is as follows:
The required project can either be conducted in a “live” business environment or can be a “hypothetical” project.
If you will be submitting a “hypothetical” project, you will be graded primarily on the steps that are taken (as opposed to the actual “data” you submit). Again, the main purpose of your project is to measure your ability to carry out a Six Sigma Project from start to finish. Simply choose a project that you would consider to be worthwhile, then guide the project through each step of the Six Sigma Process.
The project/business plan can be either a Service, Industrial, Commercial, or Community project (either real or hypothetical). It must use the tools that were taught in the various levels of Six Sigma training. Although there is no required length, the project must demonstrate a level of proficiency and knowledge that will be required to apply the concepts and methodology in a real-world setting as a student transitions into a Six Sigma Professional.
Simply put, your project should include every action/result that will take place during each stage of the DMAIC process.
The project should DEMONSTRATE A SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT for the client/company. We realize the wide spectrum of possible choices/improvements can be overwhelming. Refer to what you have learned and apply the knowledge you have gained. If you are in need of an improvement area, consider one of the following examples:
Commercial – Order entry, Call Center proficiency or any process within a service organization.
Community – Increase the efficiency of a public service organization with processes.
Industrial – Optimize a production process or manufacturing process. Optimize a product’s performance.
Generally speaking, many students submit projects that are at minimum 12 pages (most commonly 20-30 pages when counting supporting charts/graphs). Styles are typically well-outlined or in an essay format. It is important to keep in mind that there is no required general format or length for your project; a clear concise plan is most important (i.e. Project Charter, DMAIC, Gantt chart, etc.).