Six Sigma Belt Levels Broken Down

The success of any business depends on the skills, commitment, training, experience, and knowledge of its employees. These factors impact how profitable an organization is and whether or not consumer satisfaction with products or services is consistently maintained. The six sigma belt system,  with each color denoting certified levels of expertise, is one of the popular ways to further the learning, training, and quality improvement knowledge of employees in the workplace.

Through training and carefully designed projects, employees can achieve certification levels referred to as Six Sigma Yellow, Green, Black, and Master Black belts. Professionals trained and certified in a specific category can undertake specified projects and responsibilities, and also have the opportunity to progress and achieve a higher ranking. It has to be understood that the individuals trained at different levels in the organization work in teams within the specified parameters denoted by the color or level of their belt training.  Each individual has a specified and important set of responsibilities to contribute to improvement in the system, and therefore, also the organization as a whole.

A Yellow Belt is the lowest recognized level of Six Sigma Training.  These individuals learn the very basics of the Six Sigma Methodology so that they can act as support staff members to Green, Black, and Master Black Belts.  Green Belt training includes schooling in the basic elements and principles of the system, as well as becoming familiar with relevant statistical tools and methods. When qualified, Green Belts, guided by Black Belts, will generally work on smaller projects within their area of knowledge.

Black belts have undergone more extensive training in which they have achieved a considerable degree of mastery in the Six Sigma tools and methods. Such employees take on leadership roles and responsibilities which are appropriate to their higher level of expertise, experience, and knowledge gained. Apart from being familiar with more sophisticated statistical tools and techniques, these folks take on higher level process improvement projects.

Master Black Belts go through the most extensive training in this group to become high-level specialists who can act as mentors and train other individuals to become Si` Sigma Certified at the Yellow, Green, or Black Belt level. Naturally, these individuals make critical decisions in an organization, and play an important role in guiding and training colleagues that are coming through the ranks. The input of Master Black Belts on major projects, especially in guiding managers, makes a decisive impact on the business as a whole.

Ultimately, all employees, irrespective of the color of their Six Sigma Belt, work together toward the singular goal of helping to cut costs, while satisfying the demands of customers and striving for perfect quality. Hence, every decision is important, and so is the willingness to learn, and to be open to guidance from those working at higher levels. Part of what makes the Six Sigma Methodology so effective is that the ideas and opinions of all employees count, irrespective of level of operation.

Working within a Six Sigma organization, and going through the motions of achieving various levels of expertise and experience, requires lots of energy and input from staff. The willingness to learn, and the motivation to discover new things are welcome attributes for folks wishing to improve. It’s not only personally enriching and meaningful, but also beneficial to an organization.

Overall, a Six Sigma Certification in any belt color signifies more than an employee’s status in an organization. It also shows the person’s commitment to customer satisfaction with products or services, and calculated efforts to help a company reduce costs. Identifying, and implementing action to rectify critical errors that could compromise consumer satisfaction is at the heart of the entire process.