Green Belt and Black Belt certifications are associated with the Six Sigma lean management technique that was first perceived by Carl Frederick Gauss. In a life spanning between 1777 and 1855, Gauss came up with the normal curve concept that in 1920s inspired Walter Shewhart who improved the on the idea that was taken up by Motorola’s Bill Smith in 1985. Smith worked along side seasoned Motorola engineer Mikel Harry who solidified the lean management style by incorporating its problem solving aspects of Measurement, Analysis, Improvement and Control.
Proper understanding of Green Belt and Black Belt certifications is vital in adopting the Six Sigma lean management method. Motorola for instance designed the manufacturing and administration module to reduce time wastage and improve quality by 50 percent every two years. In 1996, General Electric adopted Six Sigma at a cost $ 200 million to reduce product defects and push up the quality of their products along side productivity and profitability.
The Difference between Green Belt and Black Belt Holders
The Six Sigma management profile comprises of levels. Each rank’s identification is based on a specific belt color to gratify and honor the level of administrative skills the belt holder possesses. The belts include; Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt. A Green Belt certification holder is considered a Champion of the Six Sigma theory of management. He or she is not at a position to make overall executive decisions owing to lack of practical quantitative analytical skills. However, Green Belts are in many organizations accepted as members of the executive committee.
A Champion’s roles include project objectives’ negotiations and identification of new ventures in addition to removal of political barriers that may frustrate a Six Sigma scheme. They offer communication links between the top management and the team on the ground and supervise resources required for a project’s successful completion.
Black Belt certification on the other hand is held by executive committee members who have ascertained their theoretical and practical prowess in Six Sigma management techniques. Black Belt holders are trusted with top decision making processes. This is because one has to complete two Six Sigma projects to hold the title. He or she must also have approved affidavits showing his experience in handling businesses involving accounting, manufacturing and human capital management in a manner that details constant improvement of efficiency.
Some of the roles of a Black Belt include leading a Six Sigma project team by providing logical research based guidance to the group. Black Belts are also instrumental in recommending new Six Sigma projects and preparing the team adequately for the project completion using innovative skills that eliminate wastage of time, raw materials and creativity.
What does it take to Move from a Green Belt to A Black Belt Holder?
A Champion under the Six Sigma management system is at a position of putting the principles of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) into effective practice. A Champion can as well interpreted the public mood correctly and meet their demand using basic analytical tools and lean concepts such as Juran, Kaizen, Ishikawa, Deming, JIT, Taguchi, and 5Ss. Good communication and Human Resource motivational skills are also qualities that you need to be a Green Belt holder.
Big corporations such as Motorola, General Electric and Toyota Corporation, formulate in-house Six Sigma techniques to address management and production problems that are unique to them. Small and medium scale enterprises on the other hand can opt for online and institutions of higher learning in the quest for quality training programs that can help their team of lean managers move from Green Belt to Black Belt Six Sigma level of administration.
Though the course structure varies from one institution to another, you are likely to undertake 9 to 12 units to acquire the necessary skills needed to attain Black Belt certification. These units delve deeper into Six Sigma management facets such as DMAIC to enable you prioritize problems effectively. Data driven goal improvement is a unit that prepares future Black Belts for goal establishment using technical data and alignment measures. Deeper analytical concepts and decision analysis are vital features of Black Belt training programs as they are the cornerstone of continuous improvement upon which the Six Sigma concept rests.
Other units that you will be required to cover include, group diagnostics, flow process chart creation, surveys and advanced methods of verifying results of various kind. The period of time taken to move from Green Belt to Black Belt like in martial arts depends on whether you are taking full or part-time courses, the institution and your ability to master the concepts fast enough to move on to the next stage. Qualified Black Belt Six Sigma managers are, in this era of quality and quantity driven markets, widely sought after globally, hence, though the courses can be expensive, Six Sigma is the future of management making a Black Belt Six Sigma course a worthy education based investment.