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Black Belts Within A Company's Structure

Aug 17, 2007

The immediate investment costs of training existing employees may be more than the monthly fees charged by an external Black Belt, but when we look at long-term gains, internal Black Belts are certainly the best choice. Investing in internal Black Belts would mean that the organization would never have to pay for the services of external Black Belts. The savings generated could then be used to provide Six Sigma training to more employees.

Employee Loyalty

Most of the employees who get Black Belt training are likely to be appreciative of the organization's policies and pledge their loyalties for the organization. However, it is also possible that some employees may become complacent, thinking that they have gained immunity because of their past performance. Such employees must be dealt with, with an iron hand and not allowed to become a drag on the organization. Expecting loyalty from external Black Belts will not be wise because it's obvious that their services are available to anyone who offers the biggest paycheck.

Familiarity with Company Processes

Existing employees have in-depth knowledge about the organization's business processes, making it easier for them carry out the implementation work. In comparison, external Black Belts may require more time for understanding the existing processes. If for technical reasons, an organization decides to hire external Black Belts, then it would be wise to hire a Black Belt who has prior experience in a similar organization or industry.

Familiarity with Company Structure

Existing employees are quite familiar with the organizational structure and know exactly whom to contact for suggestions or solving implementation related problems. External Black Belts may not have the same level of familiarity, but they have a natural advantage because it has often been noticed that project sponsors and team members are more receptive to the ideas and suggestions of a professional hired from outside that those offered by existing employees.

Learning Curve in Six Sigma

Although existing employees are well versed with the organization's processes, they might still face difficulties during the implementation process because they have very limited experience of using six sigma tools and techniques. In comparison, external Black Belts are professionals and know that if they do not perform, they will be fired. External Black Belts will certainly deliver the results as long as they get their paychecks.

Six sigma implementations can certainly help organizations to stay ahead of the competition. To ensure successful and cost-effective implementations, organizations should first analyze their needs and requirements in relation to the above stated factors and then make the decision of whether to opt for an internal or external Black Belt.
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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