Lean Six Sigma Black Belt: Is It Right for You?

Black Belt leading a team meeting

What Is Six Sigma?
What Is Six Sigma?

Black Belts are change agents and dedicated problem solvers who are skilled in statistical analysis, team dynamics and project management. With a name inspired by martials arts, Black Belts hold an important role within Lean Six Sigma—a problem solving methodology that promotes a rigorous, data-driven approach to improving process performance, adding value to the customer and instilling a culture of continuous improvement.

What Is Lean?
What Is Lean?

Black Belts are key resources who are usually 100 percent dedicated to the effort. They facilitate and lead projects, provide deployment support, and coach and train other performance excellence resources. As dedicated resources that complete four to six projects a year, Black Belts experience a 7:1 ROI and average $200,000 in median savings per project.

Additionally, Black Belt certification is seen as a personal and professional development building block that prepares people for leadership roles later on. Black Belts lead projects across organizations, so they gain hands-on experience with the inner workings of processes and people, and a better understanding of how the organization ticks. They also accrue valuable experience about the business overall, as well as key skills in leading people and driving and facilitating change. Many organizations keep their Black Belts in the role for two or three years so they can move on to leadership positons and continue to help grow the company’s performance excellence culture.

Black Belt certification has enabled me to deliver significant productivity and quality benefits to the business...Black Belt training also definitely assisted me in obtaining a global process excellence leadership role.Bruce Meuli, Black Belt, UBS Bank

To become a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, people usually go through a training and certification process that covers a body of knowledge, quizzes and exams, and a project for real-world application. Black Belts should be skilled in the DMAIC methodology (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) and principles of Six Sigma, as well as in project management, process mapping, value stream mapping, statistical analysis and change leadership.

If you’re thinking of getting your Black Belt or looking to train and certify your team, the our Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Program is a top-rated choice. The Lean Methods Gorup is the trusted partner to corporations, organizations and individuals.

To help you learn more about Black Belts and the important role they play, we’ve gathered some resources that expand on what it means to be a Black Belt and what you can expect from the program.

Knowledge, Skills and Salary of Black Belts
Top Ten Six Sigma Black Belt Candidate Qualities iSixSigma.com
Why Six Sigma Black Belts Make Better Leaders iSixSigma.com
Research: Black Belts Return on Investment iSixSigma.com
Six Sigma Black Belt Salary Indeed.com

 

FAQs: The Lean Methods Group’s Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Training and Certification

Is the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt program right for me?

Black Belt training is appropriate for anyone in any industry who wants to build their problem solving skills and leadership capabilities. If you are interested in moving into more of a process excellence or leadership role, our Black Belt program provides an unparalleled experience in training, mentoring and real-world project experience.

We also offer a Green Belt to Black Belt Upgrade in both classroom and online versions for those who are already Green Belts, providing an accelerated path to getting your training and certification.

What prerequisites do I need to enroll in the Black Belt program?

No prerequisites are required but basic statistical knowledge, project management, and communication and leadership skills are desirable.

What requirements must I meet to complete the program?

The Black Belt curriculum must be completed through either our classroom course or online program. Blended programs are also available. To gain certification, candidates must be enrolled in classroom courses only:

  • Complete all assignments.
  • Pass all quizzes and exams.
  • Complete one real-world, workplace improvement project. 

How long does it take to complete the program?

The time to complete the program varies depending on whether you take the course in the classroom or online and how long your project runs. Classroom courses are 25 days (1 full week each month for 5 months) and online courses are 180 hours. After the training is completed, classroom candidates must also complete their projects. Most people complete the program within one year. Extensions are available, if needed. 

Which format is better: classroom, online or blended?

Classroom courses provide the advantage of offering certification, in-person time with your instructor and a mix of classmates from all industries and a range of locations, which provides a great chance to network with like-minded problem-solvers and build lasting relationships. The classroom also offers many interactive and experiential activities, discussion and mock simulations of real-life business scenarios.

eLearning Demo Module
Demo: Test Drive eLearning

Online learning offers a flexible, cost-effective method for skills development, featuring the same world-class curriculum as our classroom versions, with engaging visual content, animated modules, activities and real-world case studies delivered in a pure HTML format so you can access it across desktop and mobile devices (note - certification is not available with this option).

Blended learning is a good option for those who have internal support for training but desire hands-on, experiential coaching on Lean Six Sigma tools. 

What kind of support do I receive throughout the program?

All certification programs are managed and supported by Lean Methods Group Master Black Belts, recognized as some of the best process excellence educators in the industry. Candidates have a designated program manager who helps guide you through the process. Six mentoring hours are included in your certification package and more can be added, if needed. There is also an “Email an MBB” link so you can ask questions anytime.

What organizations recognize the Lean Methods Group’s certification?

The Lean Methods Group’s certifications are recognized by many organizations, including:

Does the Lean Methods Group’s Black Belt program prepare me to pass the ASQ certification exam?

Certification Information
See All Lean and Six Sigma Certifications

Generally speaking, belts who pass the Lean Methods Group's certification exam should be prepared to pass the ASQ exam. A comparison of the Lean Methods Group and ASQ Black Belt certification exams indicates that the content is fairly similar and that the most notable differences are related to the administration processes.

How does the Lean Methods Group support its Black Belt candidates after they gain certification?

The Lean Methods Group offers online learning, tools and resources through Open Access, providing a unique support system to help you with your own development as well as future knowledge transfer. The site offers hundreds of free tools, templates, webinars and classroom modules right at your fingertips.

What makes the Lean Methods Group’s program and certification different?

5 Whys of Certification
Why get certified? Read The 5 Whys!

With personalized attention provided to each candidate, the Lean Methods Group’s Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training and certification is the best choice for building your problem solving skills in both Six Sigma and Lean. In addition, we include change leadership skills and creative thinking modules from our innovation courses.

Unlike other providers, such as ASQ which will certify Black Belts on coursework and exams alone, the Lean Methods Group requires a completed project with review and approval, thus certifying the development of successful practitioner skills with coaching feedback from a Master Black Belt. Our emphasis on real-world project work and individualized coaching promotes personal growth and business success.

Ready to Learn More?

Visit the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt page to learn more about the curriculum and requirements, or contact us to set up a time to speak with our director of public training or an instructor.  

Next Article

process mapping
Process maps use different symbols to note the function or action of the line and steps. Here are some of the most common.