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Six Sigma Black Belt: Project Examples

Instructor: Brianna Whiting
The ultimate goal of every company is to operate efficiently and cut costs. One way to cut costs is to implement Six Sigma by means of projects. In this lesson we will learn about projects that are suitable for those with Black Belt certification.

Six Sigma and Black Belts

Meet Walter! Walter has worked for the same company for over 20 years. Because he works in production, he decided that the best way to become a bigger asset to his company was to learn about Six Sigma. Six Sigma is dedicated to finding ways to eliminate defects from the processes within a company such as variations in manufacturing, production, service, and even in business. While Walter started at the most basic of levels in Six Sigma certification, he was able through hard work to achieve Black Belt certification. A Black Belt like Walter, is someone who has extensive training in Six Sigma practices and takes on a leadership role by leading projects and providing guidance to other certification levels. Because projects are a huge role of the Black Belt, Walter has decided to learn what projects would be helpful for his company to better implement Six Sigma. Come along as he learns which projects are ideal for Black Belt certification.

Purpose of Projects

The first thing Walter needs to understand is why Six Sigma projects are important. Projects help a company understand how improving certain processes can help reduce costs and remove poor quality products and services. In other words, Six Sigma projects put a dollar number to the benefits of changing or improving processes. When multiple Six Sigma projects are completed, the company should be operating nearly defect free.

Black Belt Projects

So what is a Black Belt project? How will Walter know if he has chosen an appropriate project for his certification? Well, the ultimate goal of a Black Belt project is to produce a project with a substantial financial impact. Black Belt projects use Six Sigma tools that focus on performance and show how an improvement in performance creates a financial benefit to the company. Below you will find a list of projects for Walter to choose from that meet Black Belt standards.

Qualified Projects

1. Finding ways to reduce defects: Defects cost a company money because they either need to be replaced or repaired. Reducing defects saves money and improves production.

2. Reducing the amount of time to set up new machines: Setting up a machine means the machine is not actually running. When a machine is not running, production is not operating at its fullest. Finding a way to shorten the amount of time a machine is not running helps production get back to regular production faster and saves a company money that is lost when production stops.

3. Correcting areas that were rejected after an audit: An audit shows a company areas of weakness. Walter would be able to find areas where his company struggled during an audit and focus on improving those areas.

4. Reducing added labor in any process: More labor means more money to pay those providing the labor. By finding ways to do things more efficiently with less labor a company can cut expenses.

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