You may have heard about different “belts”in regards of Six Sigma but not clear what they mean. In this article, we will talk about all the roles related to Six Sigma in details and share some tips for people who are interested in pursuing career path related to Six Sigma.
黑带大师Master Black Belt (MBB)
An MBB is the person who is responsible for promoting and maintaining Six Sigma culture at corporate level. His/her major tasks usually include but is not limited to: trainings deployment, project selection, projects coaching, KPI definition and tracking, and regular communication with top management. In some companies MBB is positioned as a management role with a group of Black Belts as direct reports, yet in other companies it is considered as an expert role with only mentorship with Black Belts. Besides solid knowledge and experience with Six Sigma, a full set of soft skills, such as leaderships, communication skills, strategic thinking, are required for this role as well.
黑带Black Belt (BB)
BBs are expected to have strong statistical analysis and project management skills. They are usually full-time professionals responsible for leading DMAIC and/or DFSS projects, delivering Six Sigma trainings, and coaching other belts with less knowledge and experience. So, practically a BB acts as a project leader, a trainer, and a coach at the same time, and the workload allocation to these three roles varies company to company, sometimes even individual to individual. As for titles, some companies call their BBs project manager while in other companies they are engineers or specialists.
绿带Green Belt (GB)
GBs are usually part time Six Sigma professionals who are expected to contribute 20-30% workload to lead 1-2 DMAIC projects a year in their own departments. They are well equipped to handle projects that requires standard statistical analysis and with limited scope. The title for GBs depends on what their actual job is, mostly engineer or specialist.
黄带Yellow Belts (YB)
Normally, YBs don’t have to know much about statistics, they are only expected to understand the DMAIC logic and to solve simple problems with it in their daily work. As a result, YBs are not considered as Six Sigma professionals.
除了以上提到的以外，有些公司还有棕带、蓝带、和白带。一般来说，黑带大师 >黑带 > 棕带 > 绿带 > 蓝带 > 黄带 > 白带。
Besides what is mentioned above, some companies also have Brown Belts, Blue Belts, and White Belts. In general, MBB > BB > BrB > GB > BlB > YB > WB.
Every Six Sigma project has a coach. Usually a YB project has a GB/BB as coach, a GB project has a BB/MBB as coach, and a BB project has a MBB as coach.
Champion is the initiator and sponsor of a Six Sigma project, he/she is from the management team and is expected to have attended champion training. He/she initials project topics in his area with the help of MBB (or BB), help the project leader nominate team members, and supports the project team with recourse, guidance, and supervision.
Like other projects, a Six Sigma project requires a project team with necessary members. Those team members are nominated by champion, the person whom they directly or indirectly report to. They are supposed to be familiar with the project topic and have capacity (10-20% workload) to take over some project tasks distributed from the project leader.
Tips for those who are interested in Six Sigma career path:
1. 六西格玛专业人士的职业发展路线：Typical career path of Six Sigma professionals:
a. GB - BB - MBB - Consultant
b. GB - BB - Quality Mgr./ CI Mgr./ Business Excellence Mgr. - Quality Dir. - Quality VP
2. 优缺点Pros and cons
Pros: challenging, project based, various topics in daily work, fast growth at early stage of career.
Cons: challenging, limited demand in the job market, low chance of transfer to a management role.
3. 六西格玛业内人士的薪资范围（中国一线城市）Salary range of Six Sigma professionals (tier1 cities in China)
GB 150-300k RMB
BB 300-700k RMB
MBB 500k-1.2m RMB
(根据工作经验和实际工作范围有很大浮动It varies a lot depending on experience level and actual work scope)
4. 六西格玛专业人士和一个有六西格玛认证的人Six Sigma professional vs. a personal with Six Sigma certificate
They are genuinely NOT the same. The logic is simple, I have a driver’s license but I’ll never have the guts to call myself a professional driver. It is what a person dose that matters. However, a Six Sigma professional must have certificate and a person with Six Sigma certificate could become a Six Sigma professional.
5. 常见的六西格玛认证机构Common Six Sigma certificating organizations
Reputable audit organizations, eg: TÜV
Leading companies that are famous for implementing Six Sigma program, eg: GE.
Consulting firms that provides Six Sigma training and coaching，eg: Linke Consulting