Six Sigma Master Black Belt

The Six Sigma Master Black Belt is an individual possessing the highest level of both statistical and organizational skills. They use their skill-set to lead an organization's 6σ program, make critical decisions, mentor other belts, train employees, and oversee improvement projects. Please remember that this list in not all inclusive, master black belts may take on other roles within your organization as required.

The master black belt has all the knowledge of a black belt. Additionally, he or she should possess good project management skills. As the administrator of all projects being implemented, the individual must organize tasks and be able to prioritize them as well.

Another role is to ensure that the appropriate statistical techniques are being utilized, particularly in uncommon situations. While a black or green belt may have vast experience with statistics, sometimes the incorrect tool is chosen for analysis.

That is why this individual is the administrator of all projects. After all, it is much better to find the usage of an incorrect technique before any implementation occurs. Using the wrong statistic leads to poor desicions.

The master black belt is usually the person leading the Six Sigma training sessions within the organization. Sometimes a black or green belt will lead training, but the statistics training should only be conducted under the guidance your 6σ program leader.

Statistics training is conducted in this fashion to prevent propagation of errors. This event occurs when a trainer incorrectly explains a tool, or makes a mistake when answering a question. Then the error passes to the next level, perhaps the green belts, who then pass it along to the team members.

Leadership skills are another critical component of the master black belt. This leader must be able to

  • Create the vision of what your 6σ program will accomplish
  • Be the example- he or she must lead by example
  • Be Accountable- this individual is responsible for the entire program
  • Ensure that the program yields noticeable results

Master Black Belt Certification

In the United States, there is no clear body of knowledge for this certification, as determined by the American Society for Quality. No national body offers this training or certification. There are, however, several respected institutions offering this type of training.

Candidates for these programs (in most cases) must be able to show:

  • Proof of Black Belt Certification
  • Verified Instruction Experience
  • Verification of Projects (as many as 10)

Our research into certification indicates a varying degree of costs, prerequisites, and time. Some certification schemes require as many as 5 scheduled weeks of class time, while others are online self-study courses.


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