A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is someone who has been trained to lead change programmes within businesses focussing on process improvement.

A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is trained in several skill areas to ensure effective and sustainable  change is delivered within an organisation.

Some of the skills that are taught:

  • How to define a problem properly taking time to understand its true nature from all angles
  • How to measure and how to determine and ensure good measurement
  • How to look at a process from the customer’s point of view
  • How to drill down to the root cause of the problem and use technical methods to validate findings and create fact based arguments
  • How to come up with solutions to problems and test them in such a way that the final solution is optimised
  • How to make sure processes are controlled

Six Sigma is where we get the term ‘belts’ to describe the different levels of knowledge. It’s generally accepted that there are 4 belts and 6 different levels. These are:

  • White Belt – Introduction to Lean Six Sigma
  • Yellow Belt – Awareness of Lean Six Sigma methodology
  • Green Belt – Ability to practice improvement using tools and techniques
  • Black Belt – Expert is tools and techniques, training and mentoring others
  • Master Black Belt – Master of all techniques, training, mentoring, & leadership
  • Champion – Leader of change in an organisation

The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is trained as an expert in the tools and techniques required to solve often complex business problems such as issues with the overall design of work as opposed to a small issue with one step of a process.

Where Black Belt training differs from the more common Green belt training is in the following areas:

  • Understanding Customer – a wider variety of methods that can be employed to develop a deeper understanding of the customer
  • Measurement – training on the methods available for effective process measurement and when to use them
  • Project Selection – as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt there is a need to get involved in the overall selection of projects
  • Statistical Tests – Black Belts need to be able to use data in many ways to draw the correct conclusions. There are literally hundreds of tests, charts, tables etc. that you could use to develop understanding of root causes. A Black belt is trained to know what tools to use and when so that the right level of analysis is incorporated into any project
  • Leadership – If you have Black belts within your organisation you should expect strong leadership to be a core capability. Our Black Belt training ensures a focus on this element throughout and with a specific module aligned to this core capability.

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training is about equipping individuals with the knowledge, understanding and technical capability to begin making sustainable improvements back in the real world. If you’re looking to make a significant impact on your business through real sustainable change, training colleagues to a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt level is definitely the way forward.

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