Are you a Black Belt or a Champion? Ins and Outs of Six Sigma Methodology and Certifications

If you work in quality control or process management, you have probably heard of those funny karate-sounding certifications, like 'Black Belt, 'Green Belt' and so on. These are Six Sigma credentials, and while they may sound funny, they are just as efficient and useful as one would expect a black belt to be. Six Sigma certifications are the world's most reputable credentials in quality management. If you're unfamiliar with Six Sigma, keep reading to understand what these 'belts' are about.

Six Sigma Philosophy

Six Sigma is a quality management philosophy and related methodologies with the goal of reducing defects in products and services. Six Sigma focuses on process output, whether it is manufacturing or other industries, such as financial services, insurance, healthcare etc. Six Sigma sets high targets in improving process output that require collecting data and analyzing data, and implementing changes to improve the processes to achieve visible and quantified results. This is achieved by identifying and measuring defects in a process, and then systematically eliminating them, which needs to improved outputs, increased customer satisfaction, reduced costs and increased profits.

Six Sigma projects are carried out by Six Sigma certified teams, where each team member has his/her role and tasks. These roles are Champion, Black Belt, Lean Black Belt etc – according to Six Sigma certifications. Each Six Sigma credential has its scope and areas of expertise, so as these members come together, they form an efficient team, fully familiar with Six Sigma methodology and approaches. In general, Six Sigma has 2 approached: to analyze and implement changes in existing processes (DMAIC), and to organize new processes from scratch which also includes designing new products and all related processes/ actions (DMADV).

Six Sigma certification program includes the following levels:

  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
  • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
  • Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt
  • Six Sigma Lean & DFSS

Six Sigma offers clear project management methodology, which has gained popularity with organizations from different industries and countries. Companies invest huge recourses in implementing Six Sigma within their structure as the methodology reportedly contributes to up to 50% cost reduction, sufficient profit growth and improved customer satisfaction.

Six Sigma Certification Process

Unlike most other professional certifications, Six Sigma does not have an official centralized certification body. A lot of Six Sigma certification exams are administered by companies to their employees which is seen as a long-term investment into the employees. Alternatively, candidates can receive their certification by a number of independent Six Sigma certification exam providers. No variety of Six Sigma exam preparation materials, which ranges from textbooks to interactive software to online and offline classes helps candidates like you find an approach that best suits your needs and your learning style, so you can achieve Six Sigma credentials in the most convenient way.