Six Sigma is a process improvement method that was developed at Motorola. The Six Sigma approach to continuous improvement focuses on reducing errors and increasing customer satisfaction. Six Sigma is highly adaptable across business environments, and it has proven popular in various industries. Six Sigma Green Belt training introduces an overview of the key concepts necessary to be a successful member of a Six Sigma project team.
Green Belt training and certification courses are offered through a number of certifying agencies. Courses can be tailored to meet the needs of just about any student, and are offered in online, onsite, remote and self-paced formats. Cost and completion times vary by provider, but a passing exam grade and demonstrable results of at least one quality improvement project are typically required for certification.
Green Belts are responsible for leading Green Belt projects or teams, and they are also often called upon to provide assistance in the areas of data collection and analysis on Black Belt project teams. Green Belt project teams typically solve lower level project specific problems, such as reducing variations in the quotes provided by employees, as opposed to program level ones like increasing overall manufacturing capacity, which require Black Belt guidance.
Body of Knowledge
Though the training curriculum varies among providers, Green Belts must possess the core body of knowledge common to all Six Sigma practitioners. Green Belts are generally instructed on how to use Six Sigma's five phase Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) method to resolve Six Sigma projects. In addition, Green Belts should also be well versed in project tools such as Gantt charts, histograms and pareto diagrams.
According to the 2003 book "Six Sigma Team Dynamics," "the benefits of improving processes, and ultimately the bottom line, through Six Sigma project teams are felt not only by the organization, but also by the people who work within the organization." According to iSixSigma, Green Belts benefit from increased marketability and additional job prospects.
Not all Six Sigma Green Belt training courses are equal in quality, and unfortunately no official accrediting body exists for Six Sigma. To ensure that Green Belts are certified according to an organization's quality standards, internal Six Sigma executives and champions should thoroughly review a provider's course content and not be afraid to ask for references.
- Motorola: Six Sigma Green Belt Program Brochure
- ASQ: Belts, Executives and Champions--What Does It All Mean?
- ASQ: Six Sigma Green Belt
- "Six Sigma Team Dynamics"; George Eckes; 2003
- Six Sigma Online: Choosing the Best Six Sigma Training Provider
LaToya J. Murray has been a writer for over 7 years. She has served as a technical and freelance writer, project manager, training & development program manager, and as a process improvement and quality assurance consultant for select Fortune 500 companies. Murray is also a behavioral analytics certified trainer and holds a yellow belt in Six Sigma.