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Six Sigma Yellow Belt: Project Examples

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  • 0:02 Six Sigma Basics
  • 1:11 Yellow Belt
  • 1:40 Yellow Belt Projects
  • 3:38 Project Examples
  • 4:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting
There are many levels of certification for Six Sigma. One level that plays an important role in process improvement projects is the Yellow Belt certification. Come along as we learn what projects might be of interest to Yellow Belts.

Six Sigma Basics

Defective products can cost a company a lot of money because they often have to be remade or corrected. To help avoid defective mishaps, many companies turn to a method known as Six Sigma. Six Sigma is a methodology for eliminating variations and defects from the processes of a company. Through the implementation of Six Sigma, companies find problem areas and develop projects to fix them. This leads to a more productive operation and ultimately saves a company money. While the concept of Six Sigma seems fairly straightforward, there are rigorous training courses and exams one must pass to become certified in Six Sigma practices.

The certifications begin with an entry-level certification known as Yellow Belt, and then progress to Green Belt, Black Belt and, ultimately, Master Black Belt, of which the very best are called Champions. While each have important roles in helping a company practice Six Sigma, the focus of this lesson is the Yellow Belt. Let's learn what a Yellow Belt is and its role in Six Sigma projects.

Yellow Belt

Meet Betty! Betty has decided to become a certified Yellow Belt, which is someone who has the basic knowledge of Six Sigma but does not yet lead his or her own projects. Often lumped into the Green Belt certification, Yellow Belts have much of the same knowledge, but their training is usually done in one to two short weeks and lacks the depth of Green Belt certification. Yellow Belts are important team members and subject matter experts on those projects being led by Green and Black Belts.

Yellow Belt Projects

We noted earlier that Yellow Belts don't lead their own projects, but this is only partially true. You see, while Betty might work on small projects, these are often handed off to Green Belts and Black Belts to be finished, because they use Six Sigma methodologies that Yellow Belts aren't trained in. Basically, Betty will be responsible for starting what may evolve into larger company improvement projects. These small projects are often called process improvement projects, and they're completed using a method known as PDCA. PDCA stands for Plan, Do, Check, and Act, and it helps Yellow Belts find different processes that need improvements. Let's look at each step in a bit more detail.

The first step is Plan, which means finding the problem. For example, Betty might investigate if there are defects in a certain process. Maybe a machine is producing broken pieces. Once the problem is identified, you can start to find the cause, which will help you brainstorm ideas for finding a solution.

The second step is Do, which is when Betty will be thinking of plausible solutions. When a solution's been decided on, it's time to try it out and see how it performs. Is it correcting the problem? Are there fewer broken pieces? Are there minimal defects now that implementation of the solution has begun?

The next step is Check, which is when you measure the success of your test solution. For example, has the solution effectively corrected the broken pieces? Are there any ways to make this solution better? Keep in mind, if the solution didn't prove effective, you might find yourself repeating the Do and Check phases in search of other improvements.

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