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How to Choose a Six Sigma Black Belt Project

Aug 17, 2007
Selecting the most appropriate Six Sigma Black Belt project is the most common problem faced by students who enroll themselves in a Six Sigma training course. The project is necessary as it helps students learn the practical aspects of Six Sigma implementation programs. The project is conducted either before the commencement of the training program or during the first week.

Identifying A Problem

Before starting a project, students first need to identify a problem, similar to real life implementation problems faced by business organizations. The problem that is identified and its possible solutions form the base of the project. For ensuring the successful completion of the project, students need to select a problem about which they have a basic level of understanding. Selecting a complex problem based on a case study published in a management journal is not recommended, as the project requires students to practically solve a given problem.

The information given in the management journal will only help students in preparing the project report and not in evolving practical solutions to the problem, which students will have to do on their own. The main reason why use of case studies are not recommended is that the resources that might have been used in solving the real life problem may not be the same as provided by the organization where students are receiving their training. Training instructors also encourage students to opt for a project that is relevant to their domain or qualifications.

Select Manageable Projects

Every Six Sigma Black Belt project needs to have a defined objective. Many students make the mistake of opting for a project having multiple objectives, which is often not achievable within the stipulated timeframe. Even after giving it their best shot, most of these students are often unable to make progress in their quality improvement projects. The only option left for these students is to either reduce the scope of their project objectives or opt for a completely new project, which will mean more hard work and time. In most cases, these students opt for the first alternative in order to allot adequate time to theoretical training as well.

No doubt, there are students who have completed even the most complex projects, but going by statistics, the number of failed attempts is a lot higher than the number of successful attempts. Students who are not sure of their abilities should not try to achieve everything at the first go. Instead, they should try to concentrate more on learning the basics involved in Six Sigma programs. There will be plenty of time in their professional career for solving the most complex of Six Sigma implementation problems in an organization.

During the course of the project, the primary objective of students should be to develop insights, which will help them a lot when they become true professional after the completion of the training program. Concentrating their efforts just on achieving the objectives may not help them, as by doing so, they are most likely to miss the basics of Six Sigma. The scope of objectives in a Six Sigma Black Belt project does not matter as long as students are able to develop a thorough understanding of their individual projects and are able to assess the impact it will have on the quality of the outcome.
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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