Six Sigma Belts: Still impactful in Transforming world?

  • Home
  • Six Sigma Belts: Still impactful in Transforming world?
Shape Image One
Six Sigma Belts: Still impactful in Transforming world?

“The trick to balance is to not make sacrificing important things become the norm”-by Simon Sinek.

Six Sigma is one of the best technical tools used for the improvement of the quality of Products & services and strives for near perfection. This process works by evaluating the root cause of the problem and then works accordingly for the solutions to provide the best results.

Six Sigma certifications are broadly available. No doubt, if you obtain a Six Sigma certification, that is one of the best moves for your career. In Six Sigma, there is a natural rank to the certifications one can obtain. Each Six Sigma certification level involves various tasks, responsibilities, and rewards. And within these levels, there are differences in the deliverables, lengths of time invested, and exams. Earning a certification often leads to higher income.

Still, knowing when and where to start can be difficult, exceptionally for professionals looking to advance their careers. Six Sigma Belts have been known to start from entry-level White Belts through to Yellow Belts, Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black belts. Most 3 belts are recognized in the industry: Green, Black, and Master Black Belts. 

In this article, we will look at each six-sigma belt level, what is needed for achieving it, and how it will benefit you!

Here is a brief overview of the various Six Sigma Belts.

  • White Belt – This is the beginner’s belt. A Six Sigma White Belt offers professionals with basic Six Sigma concepts from an awareness perspective and how they impact an organization. They can work on local problem-solving teams but may not be part of a Six Sigma project team.
  • Yellow Belt – At this level, the professional participates as a project team member, learns more about Six Sigma principles, will help in collecting data and creating process maps.
  • Green Belt – Those who earn a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt are experts in the tools & concepts of Six Sigma. Earning Green Belt certification often needs passing a multiple-choice exam. They help in data gathering & analysis for Black Belt projects.
  • Black Belt – At this level, professionals have a mastery of Six Sigma tools, techniques, and data analysis and train and coach project teams. Black Belt certification often needs the completion of a Six Sigma project and passing an exam.
  • Master Black Belt – The highest level of Six Sigma mastery, Master Black Belts generally trains Black Belts & Green Belts and influences enterprise-wide projects. Six Sigma Black belt certification typically needs at least 5 years of experience in the role of Black Belt or MBB or may have finished at least 10 Six Sigma Black Belt projects, & candidates must pass a certification exam. 

Every project needs organizational support. Six Sigma executives & champions set the direction for selecting and deploying projects. They make sure, at a high level, that projects succeed, add value, and fit within the organizational plan.

  • Champions: Translate the company’s vision, goals, mission, & metrics to create an organizational deployment plan and identify individual projects. Identify resources & eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Executives: Provide complete alignment by establishing the strategic focus of the Six Sigma program within the context of the organization’s culture and vision.

Also See- What is Lean Six Sigma and how it benefits an organization?

Six Sigma Belts

  1. White Belt- 

This belt is regarded as an introductory belt, and this is for those who are looking to learn the basics of six sigma. This is the belt for learning if your company is using lean six sigma and its key tools and concepts.

Program Outline-

  • Six Sigma White Belt training generally lasts from an hour up to a full day.
  • An understanding of basic vocabulary, principles & concepts of lean six sigma.
  • Suitable for everyone within the company practicing six sigma.
  • Their work includes data mining, carrying out functions given by managers, and finishing daily tasks.
  • For individuals who are just beginning their Six Sigma belt journey, obtaining a White or Yellow Belt is a great way to gain exposure to the methodology.

Also See- What is Value Stream Mapping?

  1. Yellow Belt

Six Sigma Yellow Belt has more knowledge than the White Belt but less than the Green Belt. At this secondary level is the introduction of metrics & basic improvement methodologies. The yellow belt keeps their existing job & will prepare the person to work as a team member in the Six Sigma projects. They help with process improvements & get training on the basic statistics & principles for effective transformation.

Program Outline-

  • The training & certification process generally takes two days and consists of 12-20 training hours and an exam.
  • They will provide basic knowledge of the Six Sigma principle.
  • Include responsibilities from data collection, waste identification, to basic statistical analysis.
  • This is the first level of belts that provide a formal introduction to statistical analysis.
  • Utilizes the DMAIC approach as its structure.

Responsibilities for a Yellow/White Belt-

  • Strategic supervision.
  • Resolve resource issues for the team.
  • Conduct periodic progress reviews.
  • Assist in solution implementation.
  1. Green Belt

The Six Sigma Green Belt is trained in a less intense version of Six Sigma than the Black Belt. A Green Belt knows a good amount about Six Sigma methodology. Green Belts often lead projects themselves and generally works under the supervision of a Black Belt. This is generally the first level in belts that offers to lead a project on their own. Green Belt projects are generally smaller than Black Belt projects. However, they are often expected to be finished within a shorter period.

Six Sigma Green Belt will often be expected to spend between 20-50% of their work time on process improvement activities, in continuation of their existing job.

Program Outline-

  • Training can take between 4 and 6 days and covers more of the tools and techniques than Yellow Belt training.
  • No academic qualifications are needed to begin training at the Six Sigma Green Belt level. There exist successful Six Sigma Green Belts around the world who have not completed college, university, or high school.
  • From their classroom training, Green Belts understand how to perform statistical analysis & contribute these results efficiently.
  • Green Belts have a full understanding of Six Sigma, the methodology, and its tools.
  • Green Belts are experts in DMAIC, a basic methodology in Six Sigma. Green Belt is the first certification level, you will experience the greatest reward at its achieving.
  • The goals of a Green Belt are shifting the performance to the desired target and reducing the variation of a process during quality transformation.

Qualities for the successful Lean Six Sigma Green Belt candidate:

  • Persistence.
  • A passion for improvement.
  • A logical, analytical mind.
  • Leadership skills.

A Six Sigma Green Belt performs data collection, running minor projects, data analysis. Their primary roles focus on helping team members collect & organize data for a Six Sigma project.

Responsibilities for Green Belt-

  • Define the project, scope, team, etc.
  • Set goals, timelines & milestones.
  • Generate the team’s Lean Sigma Roadmap & lead the implementation of Lean Sigma Tools.
  • Counsel team members.
  • Makes sure the team is trained & equipped for their work.
  1. Black Belt

Among the Six Sigma Belts, the Black Belt is likely the most active & valuable. Black Belt holder is an experienced & well-trained Six Sigma professional. Black Belt has lead various projects, mentored various Green Belts. In comparison to Green Belts, Black Belts implement improvement projects that are much complex & strategically essential to the business. They also work on the projects full time.

Black Belt has a thorough understanding of where and how to apply Six Sigma methodology to improve business objectives. Black Belt is well rounded in terms of statistical analysis, project management, financial analysis, which make a Black Belt highly glorious in the business world.

Black Belts are also subject matter experts and will often conduct mentoring, training, and develop new six sigma material. A typical Six Sigma Black Belt project may deliver anywhere from $50,000 to $350,000 of financial benefit to the organization.

Black Belts are of course the first to mentor other Belts. As the main project manager, these professionals must know how to inspire other employees to improve efficiency, meet deadlines, and increase complete value. 

Program Outline-

  • Six Sigma Black Belts consists of approximately 20 days of training.
  • If you’re a fast climber on the corporate ladder, Black Belt certification is what you need. And you need to have delivered one or more projects with a notable financial benefit for your organization.
  • After 3 years of Six Sigma experience and working on some projects, you can become a Certified Black Belt.
  • Certified Black Belts understand in-depth the tools available to them through their Six Sigma training. These tools include Root Cause Analysis, DMAIC, TQM, Simulation Mapping, Value Stream Mapping.
  • When managing projects that consist of several processes, you must be able to predict what improvements must be made and when to ensure the least resistance.

Check out the Video-


Responsibilities for Black Belt-

  • Define the project, scope, team, etc.
  • Set goals, timelines & milestones.
  • Report-out/update stakeholders & executives.
  • Establish the team’s Lean Sigma Roadmap.
  • Manage team meetings (Facilitation).
  • Track and report team progress.
  • Manage the team’s organizational interfaces.
  • Establish team norms.
  • Counsel team members.
  • Coach other Six Sigma Belts.
  1. Master Black Belt

Six Sigma Master Black Belt is the highest level of “belt”. Master Black Belts are a little different because this is more of a professional role, seen as a full-time career option. Master Black Belts has advanced statistical expertise and is the common only leader of the company.

Master Black Belts will have been Black Belts with many years of practical experience and devote a notable amount of time mentoring Black Belts, Green Belts. A Six Sigma Master Black Belt may coach anywhere from 2-10 Black Belts at a time. MBBs lead large-scale DMAIC projects.

Master Black Belts are the most comprehensively trained and are the most seasoned, educated, and capable of all Six Sigma experts. Their projects tend to focus on basic change and direction for a company. Master Black Belt advises the management on the poor-quality cost of an operation and asks on methods & approaches to addressing problems.

They often set strategic direction for an organization, remove bottlenecks facing Black Belts or Green Belts assigned to them. The Master Black Belt works with high-level operations directors, senior executives & business managers to help with assessing & planning strategic business objectives eventually leading to a successful lean transformation.

Master Black Belts are also responsible for developing materials, certification programs, and conduct training, and provide complete direction for the Six Sigma program.

Responsibilities for a Master Black Belt (MBB)-

  • Are a “go-to“ resource in the business when strong technical skills such as data analysis, workshop facilitation, etc. are needed.
  • Identify & define the portfolio of projects needed to support a business strategy.
  • Train & Mentor Black Belts & Green Belts.
  • Supports and develops the effectiveness of the Project Champions.
  • Supports & influences business leaders towards building a continuous improvement culture.
  • Lead the implementation of Lean Six Sigma thinking.

Check out the Video-

Champions & Sponsors

Champions or Sponsors are leaders trained to select and prioritize Six Sigma projects that deliver the goals of the company. Champions are often engaged at the beginning of DMAIC and DFSS projects in the Define phase to ensure the scope is being maintained and going in the right direction.

Responsibilities for a Champion- 

  • Assist in team selection & solution implementation.
  • Determine strategic direction of the project.
  • Define needs for success.
  • Resolve resource issues for the team.
  • Conduct periodic progress reviews.

Which Belt may be Correct for You?

Obtaining your Six Sigma certification is proven to amplify your earning potential. If you desire to move along the corporate ladder, or just want to know how to put up more to your organization then Six Sigma certification is the right step in the right direction. Green Belts and Black Belts play key roles in achieving process improvement through Six Sigma. For those who wish to take on a higher-profile role in managing change at their organization, earning these Six Sigma belts can make the use of your skills and help you reach your career potential.

If you know where you desire to begin, the next step is to find the right Six Sigma certification course. With the right training and experience, you can start practicing Six Sigma as a certified Belt.

Results from the 2019 Quality Progress Salary Survey presents that U.S. respondents who have done any level of Six Sigma training earned $17,205 more on average than those without any Six Sigma training. Compared with persons with no Six Sigma certifications, on average:

  • Master Black Belts (MBB) earned $29,196 more.
  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belts (CSSBB) earned $14,962 more.
  • Certified Six Sigma Green Belts (CSSGB) earned $8,515 more.
  • Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belts (CSSYB) earned $1,352 more.

Final Word

Six Sigma certification is an incredible way for you to improve your capabilities as a leader in your organization. It helps you to renovate the processes in your organization. It emphasizes extraordinary efficiency in all aspects of operations. Six Sigma accentuates more on the elimination of mistakes that are present within processes. It also focuses on the identification of unnecessary steps that consume the effort and resources of the organization, enabling a successful organization transformation.

Frequently Asked Questions-

  1. What is the order of Six Sigma Belts?                                                                                                                                                              The order of different Six Sigma Belts is as follows-

    White Belt- Specialists are considered Six Sigma White Belts if they do not undergo a legal certification strategy or extended training.

    Yellow Belt- A Yellow Belt designation implies disclosure to Six Sigma concepts that go beyond the basics provided by a White Belt certification.

    Green Belt- Earning a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification requires the individual to follow a full course that further introduces them to the methods of six sigma for growth and improvement of products, services, and processes.

    Black Belt- After completing the Green Belt courses, leaders may take their skills and abilities to the following level by completing the Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

    Master Black Belt- A seasoned Black Belt with strong management and problem-solving aptitudes can go on to become a Master Black Belt in lean six sigma.




Leave a Reply