Archive for the ‘Six Sigma Knowledge Base’ Category

What is the minimum qualification required to be a Six Sigma black belt?

A Black Belt curriculum cannot, by any stretch, be considered to possess the same level of tool mastery as, say, statisticians or quality engineers (CQE).  In true self-fulfilling manner, the more certain professionals try to circumscribe the Black Belt role with the notion of tool mastery, the more they form the notion that Black Belts are not much different from statisticians or certified quality engineers.


In reality, these same people should focus their energy on articulating why Black Belts are not like statisticians or CQEs – specifically that a)  there is no singular definition of what a Black Belt is or does, as this varies from corporation to corporation, and b) all projects lead by Black Belts are different and, therefore, require the use of different tools.


Thus, we see why a corporation should first deploy six sigma from the global level and then implement it at the local level, not the other way around.  Interestingly, a fixed curriculum will not achieve this aim.  Instead, it will indirectly cause the roll out of six sigma (and Black Belt curriculum design) to become implementation focused, not deployment focused.  In turn, this sets up a condition in which implementation plans are “deployed” in the absence of higher order goals and objectives.


Whenever a localized six sigma implementation plan is founded on predetermined methods and tools, in lieu of specific project circumstances and selection criteria, it is likely that the resulting program of study cannot be efficiently, effectively, or immediately absorbed into that particular deployment cell without extensive modification.


Interestingly, most of the existing six sigma curricula today (of a standardized nature) are quite tool centric in structure, versus idea centric by nature – as evidenced by the preponderance of quality tools, statistical methods, and other types of problem solving procedures that characterize these tool-oriented curricula.  In this vein, we should recognize that business leaders are focused on global strategies and measurements, while operational leaders are focused on tactics and systems, and while process leaders (Black Belts, for instance) are focused on the application of problem-solving tools and methods to certain quality issues and processing difficulties.  Since all three levels have a mitigating impact on each other, as well as the collective whole, it would seem that there should be more emphasis placed on the unifying ideas, aims, and concepts related to six sigma in terms of how a curriculum is designed and developed.


Only the local customers of six sigma, coupled with a highly seasoned Black Belt or master Black Belt, can create the most effective and efficient training plan for defining six sigma roles; determining the purpose, nature and content of curriculum; augmenting that curriculum with a specific content configuration; engineering the methods, techniques, and timing by which it is delivered; and ascertaining the extent to which it should be reinforced.  These are local decisions, not global decisions, and only in this manner can a corporation be global yet local.  When this perspective of the customer is taken, the implications for curriculum design are quite profound, because we are primarily focused on the needs of the business, and only secondarily focused on the needs of the individuals or end users.

What is Six Sigma?

 Six Sigma is a data driven, customer focused, and result oriented methodology which uses statistical tools and techniques to systematically eliminate the defects and inefficiencies to improve processes. It is a systematic method to measure and analyze the business processes to identify critical factors affecting business results, thereby improving the processes and establishing controls around the improved processes.

Six sigma is a widely accepted quality concept in the corporate world today. Six Sigma started its journey in the 1980s as a data driven method to reduce variation in electronic manufacturing processes in Motorola Inc. in the USA. Six Sigma became famous when Jack Welch made it vital to his successful business strategy at General Electric in 1995. Today it is used as a business performance improvement methodology all over the world in diverse industry including general manufacturing, construction, banking and finance, healthcare, education, government, KPO/BPO, IT/ Software. At present IT/ ITES sector companies are dynamically implementing Six Sigma and it is no more confined into manufacturing sector

The term ‘six sigma’ comes from statistics and is used in statistical quality control (SQC) which evaluates process capability i.e. the numerical measure of the ability of a process to meet the customer specifications. It was originated from terminology associated with manufacturing which refers the ability of manufacturing process to produce a very high proportion of output within specifications. The sigma rating of a process indicates its yield or percentage of defect-free outputs it produces. A six sigma process is the one which produces 99.99966% statistically defect-free outputs which is equivalent to 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO).

Six sigma uses a set of quality management and statistical methods and creates a team of experts within the organization (Executive Leadership, Champions, Black belt, Green Belt, Yellow Belt etc.) having specific skill sets required to carry out the six sigma project. Each six sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of phases with quantifiable value targets e.g. reduction in process cycle time, reduce cost, increase in quality rating/ customer satisfaction index, reduction is defect rate.

Road Map of a Six Sigma project:

  1. Identify the areas of improvement
  2. Define the problem statement and goals for improvement in quantifiable terms (i.e. which can be measured numerically)
  3. Determine the resources required for the project
  4. Formulate a project deliverables timeline in a phased manner
  5. Establish performance parameters/ metrics
  6. Gather baseline information about the process
  7. Validate measurement system for the process output (Y)
  8. Examine the data collected in the earlier phase to determine a prioritized list of sources variation
  9. Explore potential causes (potential X’s for causation) and determine the impact of each X has on the response Y
  10. Determine the optimum level of vital few X’s
  11. Validate measurement system for X’s
  12. Verify process improvement
  13. Develop control mechanism to ensure sustenance of the improved process

Some of benefits of Six Sigma are given below:

  • Six Sigma helps companies to reduce cost and improve productivity
  • Six Sigma improves quality of projects output by reduction of inefficiencies and defects
  • Six Sigma increases customer satisfaction, and loyalty
  • Certified Six Sigma Professionals can help increasing ROI significantly

Africa Value Solutions Limited (AVS) offers the following Six Sigma Courses and Exams:

Why get Six Sigma Certified?

 6sigmastudy’s widely accepted certifications help individuals and organizations complete projects with greater efficiency, increase ROI and customer satisfaction.

Many organizations around the globe adopted Six Sigma and Lean to increase quality of the outputs and to reduce cost by means of reducing defects and removing inefficiencies. There are numerous benefits of adopting Six Sigma.

For Individuals

Growing popularity and acceptability of Six Sigma and Lean has created a great demand for certified professionals in the job market. Grab the opportunity and join this growing community.

For Organizations

Six Sigma and Lean certified professionals help organizations with improved level of project management that leads to increased ROI.

6sigmastudy Certification Hierarchy

6sigmastudy certified professionals help organizations with improved level of processes and quality outputs that lead to increased ROI. They have knowledge pertaining to and can anticipate issues related to the practical implementation of Six Sigma.


Africa Value Solutions Limited (AVS) offers the following Six Sigma courses and Exams:

LinkedIn URL:

Africa Value Solutions LTD (AVS) | Co-operative Bank Building | Suite 405, 4th Floor | Ngong Road | Ngong Town | Kenya.

Email: | Website: | Tel: +254 (0) 77 555 1119 | Skype: reriani

Africa Value Solutions LTD is a Subsidiary of Faida Ventures LTD

PRINCE2, ITIL,  M_O_R are Registered Trade Marks of AXELOS Limited in the United Kingdom and other countries.