Should All Black Belts be Green Belt Teachers?

In my opinion they should. After going though mindblowing and overwhelming Black Belt training sessions and doing the first Black Belt projects I was at times not sure what to do with respect to DMAIC. During those first training projects I was lucky to be mentored and coached by a great Master Black Belt.

My personal big breakthrough improvement in DMAIC application came when I went through a train the trainer session to become a Green Belt trainer. During one week we focused on the pedagogic approach how to make other people understand the coherence of DMAIC, the logic flow in an improvement project.… By focusing on this and consequently delivering my first Green Belt training I understood the bigger picture and full power of the methodology a lot better then before, as if the parts of a 5000-piece puzzle fell in place. You can say that this experience convinced me forever.

If not made to by his or her superior, every Black Belt should at least make the personal effort to deliver Green Belt training once in his Six Sigma career. It’s not only a great development to your organisation (because of the formed Green Belts) but also very much a great personal development. You’ll be amazed how much more profoundyour DMAIC knowledge and understanding will be after this.

Comments 4

  1. eric

    Variation exists in everything, you may not want to propogate Black Belt variation into an already fertile ground for misunderstanding (i.e Greenbelts). Interaction, teamwork and sharing are very important aspects of creating a knowledge community but you may want everyone to hear a fairly consistent message from a trusted source of information.

    Letting BB teach can cause misunderstandings. MBBs then have to spend time going around correcting BB information transmission errors. You may well end up playing the equivilent of the kindergarten game of telephone.

  2. Prithesh Prabhu


    You are absolutely right. Training hours should be a part of every Black Belt’s Roadmap. As you have mentioned, DMAIC is an enormous puzzle and one begins to make true sense of it only when one starts training. The tremendous learning gained through interaction with the participants is a big plus as well.

  3. Dan

    These comments about black belts being teachers presupposes that every black belt also has the skills to be a teacher. They are two distinct skill sets. A great black belt may be a poor teacher and an average black belt may be a great teacher. I do agree that all black belts should be able to coach GBs through their project, but platform instruction is entirely different.

  4. Marc


    I don’t think it "presupposes that every black belt also has the skills to be a teacher." Instead, I think it sets a clear requirement to the organization that:

    1. Black Belts, who are the future leaders of the organization, need to understand this stuff inside and out. Teaching helps make that a reality. Nothing helps you learn something more than having to teach it.


    2. Leaders of an organization need to know how to teach. It’s something that everyone should have practice in, whether they are formal teachers or not. It just makes you a better, and more well-rounded leader. Is it uncomfortable for some? Sure. But if they’re truly leaders, they’re going to have to get out of their comfort zone many times in the future anyway.

Leave a Reply