Six Sigma Black Belt Professional has to undergo a very rigorous training which may spread over one-week to six months’ time.
It will depend upon how the course is structured. Sometimes you may require to complete a real Six Sigma project in your company and come up with an affidavit from your line supervisor. Or else sometimes the course instructor can simulate the environment in a classroom setting and can ask for an exam to pass.
The root of the matter is that the Six Sigma Black Belt requires two kinds of training. The first is about the hard core Six Sigma related statistics including all the statistical tools and techniques which will be used to measure and analyze any set of data. Second, the Six Sigma training is also about the team building and management skills. The Six Sigma Black Belt professional usually leads the Six Sigma project team which may include many Green Belts, Yellow Belts and White Belts. The Black Belt professional should thoroughly be trained to motivate and guide the team members and mentor them in order to achieve the desired goals together.
At the root of the Six Sigma project, it is actually a
project management skill. The Six Sigma Black Belt professionals also get the
inbuilt training on project management when they complete their Six sigma training.
Six Sigma Black Belt professionals usually work in a large organization setting. For any Six sigma project, it is important that the company’s top management should have the insight about the Six Sigma and they should be willing to commit to introduce and implement Six Sigma to help achieve some improvements.
The typically defined Six Sigma project may include many areas i.e. the customer dissatisfaction, late deliveries, longer wait times, lack of proper procedure, low sales, staff retention issues. In addition, there can be hundreds of more small and big problem areas.
Six Sigma project is usually a team work, not to be applied in isolation. Therefore, it requires a company-wide communication and consent of the top management to start such a project.
Six Sigma Black Belt professionals are the leaders who are required
to drive the ‘show’ and be able to bring in some solid results. The Six Sigma project
timeline may vary from 2 weeks to 6 months’ time. It is suggested not to prolong
it longer than that otherwise, the motivation may get lost in the mid-way from the
top management as well as from the team members.
Six Sigma Black Belt professionals have to act like a Sherlock Homes with their eyes and ears always open. The normal usual staff of the company who may have been working there for years most often are oblivious and unware of the many blind spots within the company. It is the training of the Six Sigma Black Belt professional to continuously observe for such areas and even overhear staff discussions to identify any problems which are going on within the company and affecting the customers.
The first phase of the Six Sigma is called ‘Define’ phase. This phase requires to identify and select the right project after a thorough research and understanding so that it can help to bring the right results. However, on the contrary, if you happen to select the wrong area for improvement, it will be easy to waste many months of time, human resources and money only to arrive at zero results.
The ‘Define’ phase is very important stage, and it may
easily be overlooked. Therefore, if you take the right start, the journey will
become easy and meaningful.
After the successful completion of this stage, then the Six Sigma Black Belt Professional will systematically start moving to the other four stages i.e. Measure, Analyze Improve and Control
It is important to understand that every Six Sigma project may not reap the desired results. However, it surely will help to improve many non –financial areas as well, if not, hard earning.
In order to achieve the solid hard earning, your first ‘Define’ stage is even more important in order to plan in advance to identify the correct areas for improvement and convert them into problem statement and formulating clear goals to achieve the financial outcomes and gains for the company.
Six Sigma Black Belt professionals are valuable resources in
any organization. They are more than the project leaders. They act as ‘Change
Agents’ as well. They also have to develop an effective communications plan after
the completion of the Six Sigma project. Unless you communicate the results and
the modification of the existing status to all the stakeholders, you will not
be able to consolidate your success nor will be able to control the improvements
in the future.
Lastly, I would suggest that even if your company is not fully ready for any Six Sigma project, it is still a good idea to get the Six Sigma Black Belt training from a reputable institute. This will add to your professional credentials and will hold you in high esteem in every organization you work for.