Understanding the Six Sigma Project and Hierarchy of Professionals

A Six Sigma project is put together to help organizations improve the quality of their productivity, functioning and service providing. They are also used to improve employee development and job satisfaction.

Whenever a problem comes up in a company, the root of the issue must be identified and examined in order to find possible solutions. The problems must be eliminated quickly before too much damage is done to the company. Six Sigma professionals will work with the company executives to weed out these problems, create solutions and eliminate the issues. The projects will also include implementing the plans. 6 Sigma is a program that helps implement plans within organizations to improve their quality of function, product manufacturing or service providing.

The individuals who hold the Black, Green and Yellow belts will work at the levels designated to them, according to their knowledge of Six Sigma. Black Belt professionals lead the team, Green Belts act as assistants and Yellow Belts act as support staff for the whole system.

On another less related level, some consider another level, White Belt individuals who know very little about Six Sigma and do not participate in the overall project but instead are regional assistants who help to coordinate when the professionals are working outside their typical locations. They are not recognized by the 6 Sigma community at large, and some consider this level to be a money making strategy for training and certification providers.

At times, the Green Belt professional who has shown him or herself worthy will lead a team on a project. This is excellent training for the Green Belt professional. When this happens, Black Belt individuals are always on call and available for any questions or concerns that might come up during the span of their project. This is something that happens when the Green Belt is handling their first few projects on their own. It is a comfort for them to know that Black Belts are there for support and guidance. In this way, teamwork is essential for this methodology to work and why the hierarchy of professionals exists.

One other level of Six Sigma certification is the Master Black Belt. These professionals are in charge of training the Black and Green Belts to be the best leaders they can be. They act as consultants on all the 6 Sigma projects, although they may not be directly related with decision making or plan implementation. They will not meet with company executives or handle any meetings. These discussions will all take place between company executives and the top levels of 6 Sigma Professionals.

By using Six Sigma methods, the professionals will analyze the company and root out the main issues that need to be dealt with. They will discuss these issues with the executives and find resolutions. They will take the results and implement plans of action in order to make positive change to the quality of performance, productivity or service within a company.

Originally developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, the Six Sigma Training program was created using some of the most innovative quality improvement methods from the preceding six decades. The term "Six Sigma" is derived from a field of statistics known as process capability. The term 6 Sigma refers to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within specification. Processes that operate with "six sigma quality" over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma's goal is to improve overall processes to that level of quality or better.