The six sigma black belt is the foundation of an organization's process improvement program. This individual typically attends a minimum of 4 weeks of six sigma training.
Candidates for this training should possess skills including the use of spreadsheets, word processors, presentation programs, and have the ability to learn at least one statistical analysis program. A strong mathematical background is not required, but is helpful to assist with learning the advanced analysis tools.
Currently, outstanding candidates are selected on the basis of their analytical thinking ability, leadership qualities, and communication skills. One does not have to be a manager, or have a post-secondary degree to be selected, but should have the ability to learn a variety of improvement tools in a short period of time.
That's one of the reasons for the popularity of this particular problem solving strategy. Candidates need not be engineers to become successful six sigma black belts, but they must have a desire to learn, and a desire to make a difference within an organization.
A black belt leads process improvement projects and guides the improvement team throughout the project cycle. This may include tasks such as:
This individual is also ultimately responsible for proper data analysis. It is vital to any process improvement project that decisions are made on the basis of the available data. While other team members may have been tasked with the analysis, as team leader the black belt is accountable to top management and the project champion.