What does a Six Sigma black belt need to know?

The Six Sigma methodology is facilitated by people at all different levels of the organization. Each level is assigned a value within the system that denotes an individual’s role within the system. Six Sigma Black Belts are the fourth link in the personnel chain, linking the lower Green Belts with the higher ranked Master Black Belts.

Instead of dealing with the general details of the project, Black Belts are required to pay attention to day to day activities. They are front-line executives of the Six Sigma project, and their role is critical to its success.

A Six Sigma Black Belt professional should possess the following qualities.

Comprehensive knowledge of DMAIC: DMAIC is the central theory of the Six Sigma process. The acronym stands for Defining the process, Measuring the current process baseline, Analysing causality factors, Improving the process through optimization and Controlling the process flow and the transition to production. It is imperative that they not only know these five basic principles but has a deeper understanding of their application.

Familiarity with tools and techniques: Six Sigma success revolves around specific tools and techniques for measuring and implementing the strategy. These tools assist implementation as far as stimulating the decision-making process, therefore they must have an understanding of these tools. Additionally, a Six Sigma Black Belt should know when and which statistical method need to use for proper analysis.

Should possess a strong communication skill: Every Six Sigma Black Belt of an organization should effectively communicate the need for improvement. Whether certain benchmarks have been met or a project is delayed due to some issues, these professionals are responsible for managing the communication between management and team members.

Strategic thinking: In order to achieve specific goals, business plans and projects must be formulated and executed. All the Six Sigma Black Belts must not only be able to demonstrate an ability to do this but also to measure the progress and the articulation of these measurements along the way. The Black Belts have to direct the implementation of Six Sigma wisely in order to ensure maximum gains.

Should know the role of each position: A Six Sigma Black Belt professionals should have an adequate knowledge and understand the roles of every person involved in a project. Whether a team leader, project manager, mentor or technical leader, they should know the individual role of every person.

Knowledge of the customers: A Six Sigma Black Belt must understand who the main consumers of the product are and how they can be reached, and what they are looking for the company. In addition, they must be able to devise and test surveys that will lead to an increased understanding of the customer in relation to the product.

The role and responsibility of a Black Belt professional vary from an organization to organization. It is a leadership role for the individuals possessing the sharpest business acumen, great communication skills, a knowledge of customer advocacy, and technical aptitude.