What is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Why You Want to be One?

The Sigma level of a process quantifies or describes the performance of a process or product characteristic when compared to a customer specification. A Six Sigma process exhibits no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Very few business processes achieve this level of performance and consequently most organizations endure very high costs and poor quality. Most company processes produce in excess of 6000 (approximately Four Sigma or less) defects per million opportunities which is often simply not good enough for today’s competitive environment where customer demands increase exponentially. Achieving a Six Sigma level of performance requires that a systematic customer focused methodology and disciplined project selection and execution framework be deployed throughout your company. To achieve such a deployment people at all levels of the organization must be trained in Six Sigma.

Six Sigma identifies Five Key Roles for its successful implementation. These are Executives, Champions, the Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Six Sigma Black Belts, and Six Sigma Green Belts. While all these roles are important the Six Sigma Master Black Belt plays a pivotal role in your companies Six Sigma deployment. A Six Sigma Master Black Belt will coach managers, partner with Champions and guide Black Belts and Green Belts as they work to complete their projects. Master Black Belts possess a unique combination of soft (people) skills and hard (technical) skills.

Successful Six Sigma Master Black Belts are your future business leaders. They have advanced knowledge and experience applying Lean, Six-Sigma and Lean-Sigma methods and tools. They can help your company fully internalize your Lean Sigma Deployment and reduce or remove your dependence on outside consultants and suppliers. They consistently solve your toughest business problems. They are able to share their expertise effectively with others and generate infectious excitement around your Lean Six Sigma program. Six Sigma Master Black Belts also facilitate project selection and project reviews. They mentor, teach, coach and lead Black Belts and Green Belts to successful project completion. They consistently deliver exceptional bottom line savings and top line growth for your company. Sigma Breakthrough Technologies offers a comprehensive and challenging Six Sigma Master Black Belt training program for the development of Six Sigma leaders. It is the benchmark for continuing development of Six Sigma training and deployment resources.

SBTI’s Six Sigma Master Black Belt core training program provides a powerful and unique combination of advanced hard and soft skills training. Early in a Six Sigma Lean deployment a great deal of a companies success results from “picking the low hanging fruit”. The tools required to solve these problems typically include a Project Charter, Process Mapping, Cause and Effect Matrix, FMEA, a few simple statistical tools and a Control Plan. These projects are typically localized and are fairly easy to lead and manage. Once the “low hanging fruit” begins to dry up companies are left facing the big chronic business problems that have been plaguing them for years. These business problems often require a combination of advanced statistical skills and superior leadership and people skills.

Fifty percent of SBTI’s Six Sigma Master Black Belt program focuses on advanced statistical skills. These advanced skills enable the Six Sigma Master Black Belt and the belts they coach to deal with the complex data structures that often underlie a company’s toughest business problems. But hard skills are only half the formula to success. The remaining 50% of the SBTI Six Sigma Master Black Belt program focuses on soft skills like managing the Six Sigma Lean program, leadership, leading change, communicating with passion and connection and teaching Six Sigma. The soft skills arm the Master Black Belts with the skills required to lead large multi-functional and/or global teams that are required to solve the tough problems.

The combination of advanced hard and soft skills is the success formula that will enable your Master Black Belts to yield large financial returns.

Based on a sample of 25 Master Black Belts trained and certified by Sigma Breakthrough Technologies the average savings per Six Sigma Master Black Belt personal project is $2,000,000. In addition, the average annual savings realized from the Black Belts and Green Belts who have been coached by SBTI’s Master Black Belts is $7,000,000. This provides a hefty return on investment in excess of 200X for SBTI’s Six Sigma Master Black Belt program!

In discussions with over 50 company managers here is a sample what they are saying about their SBTI trained and certified Master Black Belts.

“Tom is the ‘consummate MBB’. We could us 3 more like him. This company could ill afford to lose a resource as strong as Tom.”

“Paulo is ‘one of a kind’. If I could clone Paulo, I would.”

“Melinda has the complete respect of our managers. Melinda is playing a very strong leadership role in our Lean Six Sigma program. She leads our regular (project) review meetings and is very effective in that role. She makes significant and valued contributions in belt selection and in project prioritization and selection.”

“Adrian is the best BB/MBB I have ever seen. I always go to Adrian with tough technical problems. I have taken a lot of training and seen a lot of trainers. Adrian’s training and coaching style is tough to beat. Adrian is very engaging. People enjoy being taught and coached by him. He is excellent in front of a group! Adrian’s ability to put things in layman’s terms is extraordinary.”

“Juan is one of the best MBBs I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He is very passionate about Six Sigma and his passion is infectious. He has ‘supreme depth in a broad variety of Six Sigma and Lean topics.”

Six Sigma Master Black Belts are the backbone of implementing Six Sigma Strategies. Once trained, a successful Master Black Belt can become an invaluable key to the future success of a company.