The Colors of Six Sigma: The Black Belt

Six Sigma uses a Belt tier system that helps organize the trained and certified professionals that work within their methods. The three levels of this tier system are Black, Green, Yellow, and white.

At the bottom level, businesspeople are given a white Belt level when their job is to help the members working on a project organize at a local level. They will connect Yellow, Green and Black Belt professionals with local resources to help them with their project.  The white belt is a little bit controversial within the six sigma community, and not all acknowledge this level as being legitimate.

Yellow Belt professionals work under the direction of the Green and Black Belt professionals. They will be at the center of the analyzing, measuring, and collecting of data. Once they have collected all of the data they need, they will present it to the green and black professionals, along with suggestions that they would recommend for changes to be made.

The Green Belt professional often consults with the Black Belt to make sure that the project is going along as it is supposed to. They will also assist in analyzing any data that is received, and will review any suggestions made by Yellow Belt professionals. At times, a Green Belt will have enough experience in the field that they can lead a project on their own. If they have more experience with a particular industry of the business they are working with, they are often chosen to lead these projects. Having the knowledge of Six Sigma methods and also procedures that are performed within the company’s industry is a great benefit to both the professional and the company. Whenever a company discovers they have an employee with Six Sigma knowledge, they tend to want to utilize that knowledge. Likewise, employees are glad to be given the chance to use the knowledge they have.

The Black Belt professional will lead the project. This is the individual who will make decisions, delegate responsibilities, look for resources, and consult with company executives. They are responsible for taking on a leadership role which includes choosing the team members. This decision will be based upon team goals and individual skills and specialties. Once a project is finished, it is the Black Belt professional who will stay to monitor the progress. While the plan is implemented, they will watch for obstacles or possible delays that could cause the project to fail.

The quality of the company’s output is extremely important to its success or failure. This is the reason that business owners and company executives will seek the services of a trained and certified Six Sigma professional.