Six Sigma Black Belt: Certification & Definition

Instructor: Brianna Whiting
There are many different levels in the business industry. Perhaps one of the highest achievements one can attain is becoming a Black Belt in Six Sigma. In this lesson we will learn what it takes to be a Black Belt and how one becomes certified.

Six Sigma

All companies want to cut costs. Fewer costs means more money in their pockets. But how does a company go about finding ways to cut costs? What practices or methods can be useful in minimizing costs? Well, one way is to implement six sigma. Six Sigma is the process of eliminating defects in all processes. The goal to reach Six Sigma is to have less then 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Anything that does not meet the customer's specifications is considered a defect. One of Six Sigma's main methodologies is DMAIC which stands for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Those companies that use Six Sigma have been better able to improve processes and reduce variations.

Black Belt

Because Six Sigma is such a complex program, extensive training is offered. There are various levels of training and certification, but for this lesson we will focus on the Black Belt level, which is the highest level of certification. Black Belt is a certification level in which individuals understand Six Sigma philosophies and principles. They have great team leadership skills and are able to assign roles to members according to the dynamics of the team. They understand lean manufacturing/lean enterprise and are able to use Six Sigma tools to enhance organizational performance. This means they understand and can implement DMAIC. When a company employs Black Belts, they can expect to save around $230,000 per project with 4-6 projects being completed ever year.


So how does one get Black Belt certification? There are a few steps to consider and they are as follows:

1. Decide--The first step is to determine if Black Belt certification is a fit for you. Do you understand the requirements? Can you pass the exam? Are you able to complete a Six Sigma project in order to be certified?

2. Prepare--Once you have decided that you are a good candidate for certification, you need to study. There are various books and training materials available to help you prepare.

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