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Six Sigma Roles and Responsibilities

Six Sigma has a martial arts convention for naming many of its professional roles. The chart below describes how these roles are typically defined.

Leaders and Champions usually receive high-level training on the technical aspects of Six Sigma and specific training on how to lead an initiative. At the “Belt” level, each candidate is assigned an initial “training project” that he/she will work on during the formal training period. Candidates attend classroom training for a week, work on their projects for three weeks, return to class for another week, and so on until they have acquired all the skills appropriate to their role.

Six Sigma Roles and Responsibilities

Sponsor Senior executive who sponsors the overall Six Sigma initiative.
Leader Senior-level executive who is responsible for implementing Six Sigma within the business.
Champion Middle- or senior-level executive who sponsors a specific Six Sigma project, ensuring that resources are available and cross-functional issues are resolved.
Black Belt Full-time professional who acts as a team leader on Six Sigma projects. Typically has four to five weeks of classroom training in methods, statistical tools and sometimes team skills.
Master Black Belt Highly experienced and successful Black Belt who has managed several projects and is an expert in Six Sigma methods/tools. Responsible for coaching/mentoring/training Black Belts and for helping the Six Sigma leader and Champions keep the initiative on track.
Green Belt Part-time professional who participates on a Black Belt project team or leads smaller projects. Typically has two weeks of classroom training in methods and basic statistical tools.
Team Member Professional who has general awareness of Six Sigma (through no formal training) and who brings relevant experience or expertise to a particular project.
Process Owner Professional responsible for the business process that is the target of a Six Sigma project.

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