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What is a six sigma master black belt?

If you're looking to get ahead in the world of manufacturing, one way to do so is to become a six sigma master black belt. While it may sound like this has something to do with karate, it's actually a term coined by Motorola and used to identify someone who has received the highest level of technical and organizational proficiency - and it doesn't involve and kicking or punching!

What is Six Sigma?
In order to fully understand what a six sigma master black belt is, it's important to become familiar with the concept of six sigma. In a nutshell, six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company's profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

What is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt?
Some businesspeople choose to become certified in various levels of the six sigma process, which sets them apart from their peers and recognizes them as highly capable and knowledgeable in regards to Six Sigma. These levels are similar to that of martial arts.

The levels are green belt, black belt, and master black belt. The highest level one can attain in terms of Six Sigma is the master black belt. The master black belt exhibits a number of qualities that pertain to sound business practices, including technical and organizational proficiency. The master black belt has a keen understanding of the six sigma mathematical process used to analyze data and come up with statistics. This is necessary because the Master Black Belt also trains those at the black belt level.

One of the major duties of the master black belt is to train those at the black and green belt levels. It is frowned upon for green or black belts to do any kind of training, and if they must, it is recommended that a master black belt at least be available to observe and guide the lower level. This is especially true with regards to statistical training.

Who Is a Candidate for the Master Black Belt?
In order to be considered as a master black belt, an individual must first obtain the levels of green belt and black belt. Each level progressively takes on more responsibility. A green belt is a team leader and coordinates six sigma projects. A black belt has more technical knowledge than a green belt and typically has a background in math and statistics. Once these levels have been obtained, an individual can strive for the master black belt.

There are some concerns with master black belt certification, however. There are no certification standards; rather, the master black belt and other levels of certification are obtained by attending pricey training seminars. These seminars are certainly useful, but with no set standards it is hard to determine what the master black belt actually "knows," as different trainings can result in different principles taught.

With the knowledge they hold and their commitment to quality and service, a Six Sigma Master Black Belt is an asset to any company.

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