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Selecting The Right Black Belt

Apr 17, 2008
If businesses ignore this and select a Black Belt without evaluating their skills, experience, and aptitude, it's highly unlike that they will be able to do proper justice to the implementations, let alone derive any real-time benefits from the implementations.

So, what exactly can businesses do to select the right Black Belt? Well, they just need to follow the standard evaluation and selection process as described in the following paragraphs.

Evaluating Behavioral Traits

Since Six Sigma implementations are quite complex and require a lot more than just the knowledge of Six Sigma concepts, tools, techniques and methodologies, businesses need to concentrate more on evaluating the behavioral traits of Black Belt candidates. While doing so, businesses need to consider all the various behavioral issues such as problem solving abilities, ability to generate new ideas, self-motivation, and ability to overcome barriers.

These are some of the special qualities that define the basic characteristics of the right Black Belt. Only those candidates, who prove their mettle in these areas, should be hired to carry out the Six Sigma implementations.

Evaluating Leadership and Communication Skills

Since Black Belts are required to provide continuous support and guidance to implementation team members and since they are also required to act as the main communication link between the team and top management, businesses need to select only those candidates who are proficient in these matters.

However, since making assessments of such complex skills cannot be done properly in a single session, candidates should be put through multiple evaluation sessions and judged accordingly. This will help in eliminating candidates who might just be having a lucky day and selecting the really deserving candidates whose overall performance is almost always better than the rest.

Evaluating Domain Experience

Since no two Six Sigma implementation projects are exactly the same, businesses need to be quite specific while evaluating domain experience of the Black Belt candidates. Preference should be given to candidates who might have implementation experience in the same domain as the business might currently be in.

If businesses really want to reduce implementation risks, they should never make the mistake of choosing candidates who might only have years of experience to brag about.

Evaluating Past Performance

Although not mandatory, businesses need to give preference to Black Belts who have successfully completed Six Sigma implementations in their careers. However, since there are often just too many variables that determine the success of Six Sigma implementation projects, businesses should not make this the sole criterion for selection. In effect, past performance should be given the same treatment as other factors described above.

Businesses that sincerely follow the evaluation and selection process described above, will have no problems whatsoever in selecting the right Black Belt. This would help because ensuring the success of Six Sigma implementation projects will then no longer be an issue for these businesses.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals such as, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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