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What Six Sigma Black Belts Must Know

Aug 17, 2007
The success of any Six Sigma initiative depends on the ability of the professionals, who are entrusted with the task of implementing the 6 Sigma concepts and methodologies. Business organizations often employ Six Sigma Black Belts, who are qualified and certified by the parent company. However, qualification and certification are not the only prerequisites. Black Belts are required to exhibit the requisite skills, experience and creativity to overcome basic organizational challenges.

Black Belts Should Have All The Basic Skills

Six Sigma Black Belts ought to be equipped to employ all the statistical tools and techniques adopted, to reduce shortcomings and improve the efficiency of the existent business processes. The implementation of the statistical tools enables them to use the available data to set company specific goals and objectives. They should be able to develop a detailed action-plan to achieve these objectives.

While implementing the 6 Sigma concepts and methodologies, these professionals should be able to measure and quantify the effect of the Six Sigma initiatives on the quality of the products and services, within the set time frame. They should be able to set up effective control systems to maintain the achieved quality standards. After achieving the desired results, they should be able to effectively communicate the essence of the strategy to the participants, to take the organization to the next level of 6 Sigma quality standards.

Black Belts Should To Be Aware Of The Technicalities

Black Belts should be able to measure the existing PPM or Parts Per Million rates of the organization. This refers to the number of defects that occur per million opportunities. After assessing the current PPM rate, they should be able to create a detailed plan to achieve the Six Sigma PPM rates, which are 3.4 defects per million opportunities. They are expected to measure the current COPQ or Cost of Poor Quality too. This refers to the cost incurred due to the manufacture of defective pieces. After measuring the current COPQ, they should be able to implement the necessary steps to achieve the Six Sigma COPQ levels.

Apart from these calculations, they should be able to effectively employ all the 6 Sigma tools and techniques, such as QFD Matrix or Quality Function Deployment, central tendency, dispersion, regression analysis, linear and non-linear analysis, cost scheduling, Chi-square analysis and quantitative trend analysis. They should also be conversant with the basic probability concepts, factorials, permutations and combinations and the common probability distributions, like hyper geometric, binomial, Poisson, normal, exponential and chi-square.

Other Things That Black Belts Should Know

In addition to the Six Sigma strategy adopted, the Black belts are expected to be aware of the fact that the success of any 6 Sigma initiative depends on the co-operation between the Six Sigma professionals, employees of the company and the management. They should be able to establish effective and regular communication channels between the various entities involved in the 6 Sigma project. Most importantly, Six Sigma Black Belts should be aware of all the different methodologies that help in completing a 6 Sigma project, within the stipulated time frame.
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 lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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