My organization is embarking on a new frontier: teaching our own version of DMAIC to new Green Belts and Black Belts. For our first three waves, we used the material provided by our consultant.Now we’re ready (we think) to customize it with our own organization’s goals and culture.

The original training focused on the DMAIC process and included 17 days over six months – the same training for both Green Belts and Black Belts. Each Black Belt was assigned a training project with 1 – 3 Green Belts on the team. In this model, the BB was responsible as team leader and project facilitator, with GBs assisting.

We have made two major changes for this next wave of training. We now wish to include more elements of Lean throughout the training, and we are preparing Green Belts to be team leaders with a Black Belt mentor/coach helping several Green Belts on their various teams.

In order to do this, we’ve split the classes so that Green Belts get the essentials of the project structure and emphasis on what they need to know to lead an effective project team. This training will take 9 days total, with both GBs and BBs in attendance. We’ve included tools for scoping the project and preparing the charter; Customer and Process CTQs; Value Stream Mapping; data collection; descriptive statistics and lean metrics such as Process Cycle Efficiency; classic Lean tools such as 5S, Takt time, and pull; planning for Rapid Improvement Events; use of Failure Mode Effects Analysis; facilitating the Control phase; and measurements needed for the sustaining the improvement.

In addition, we have planned some additional days of “Black Belt technical training” to include more of the technical and statistical knowledge that the BBs will need to effectively coach the Green Belts – MSA, sample size calculations, process capability, statistical analysis, design of experiments, etc.

This feels risky to me, because I’m concerned about (a) taking too much out of the Green Belt/Black Belt combined courses, so that the material becomes watered down; and (b) leaving too much in that doesn’t pertain to the type of projects the Green Belts will be leading, so the educational material isn’t value-added.

If any of you have made this transition, to teaching your own versions of the DMAIC/Lean material, I’d welcome your insights and suggestions.

About the Author