10 Things Every Master Black Belt Should Know

Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, Consulting, Practitioner, Professional, Master Black Belt, SSMBB

As the end goal for most Six Sigma professionals, Master Black Belt is an aspiration within itself. With years of experience, hours of training, and multiple training experiences, individuals will become Six Sigma Certified Master Black Belts. However, what classifies a Master Black Belt apart from the lower Black Belts can greatly depend on who you ask. For many employers, Master Black Belt is awarded to the absolute best and most qualified candidates. Whereas, certain training and certification courses promise to accredit a Master Black Belt after a week-long program. To better differentiate what is and what is not a Master Black Belt, here is a list if 10 things every high ranking Six Sigma professional should know.

The Basics for Master Black Belt

  1. First, Master Black Belts must have years of experience working on Six Sigma projects. Roles can be either as Green or Black Belts but must adhere to high standards of management and quality control.
  2. Likewise, every Master Black Belt should have roughly half a decade or more of business experience. This may include business analysis, data mining and sorting, but most importantly, project management.
  3. In addition, a Master Black Belt must know how to properly manage cross-functional projects. With this experience, there is also strong leadership of employees, business processes, and functionality.

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The Technical Points

  1. Next, every Master Black Belt should be able to offer training to Six Sigma Black, Green, and Yellow belts. Additionally, training may also be offered to employees who have no experience with the methodology and require such. This is a key role of the Six Sigma Master Black Belt professional as they are commonly the first to train others within the same company. Their experiences over the years at each level of certification are necessary for adequate training techniques.
  2. In any case, Master Black Belts must have a complete and thorough understanding of the Six Sigma tools. These include Root Cause Analysis, Value Stream Mapping, and Linear Regression. In addition to other tools, this professional must know how and when to use these as if they were second nature.
  3. Furthermore, every Six Sigma Master Black Belt should be comfortable using DMAIC, Lean, and other process improvement methodologies. These methods should be more than familiar professionals at this level, using them throughout the course of projects.
  4. More importantly, Master Black Belts must know how to adapt to new project requirements on short notice. For most, the title of ‘Master Black Belt’ is awarded for a specific project for a designated period. As a result, this professional may move on to another project after completing all the requirements.

The Distinction from Others

  1. Of course, a Master Black Belt must know how to network with others within his own industry and others. This ability to meet and share experiences with other Six Sigma professionals is an absolute must for the higher levels of certification.
  2. Likewise, every Master Black Belt must prove exemplary communications skills. This may be between clients, consultants, other project managers, or higher level managers. The ability to effectively communicate with multiple individuals is a skill every Master Black Belts learns and perfects over time.
  3. Finally, as a Master Black Belt, you should have an instinctive nature to lead. As the lead project manager, course trainer, and liaison, your job is to lead others towards the same goal. The Six Sigma methodology seeks constant improvement by statistical data and analysis. Your leadership should come naturally and your desire to seek innovations and advances should be prominent.