BB Selection Process

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    I am looking for advice on the BB/GB selection process.  It seems critically important to me that our first wave of BBs (& GBs) are competent and successfull.  Any advice on the process or criteria used to select BBs for training?
    Thanks – Brian



    I would look for these:
    1. Biased for Action; A can do attitude willing to try something new
    2. People skills; able to get work done through others
    3. Ability to learn data analysis tools
    4. Good time management skills. A BB candidate should be one who delivers on specific tasks timely.
    Note: Education level would be dependent on type of projects needed for the business.



    Dear BPauquette,
    The key thing to keep in mind when selecting BB/GB candidates is that these people will be your CHANGE AGENTS! They must possess two things, Desire AND Readiness.  Desire is more qualitative…you want people who aren’t satisified with the status quo, who rely on facts to make decisions.  Their Readiness lies in their current skill sets (education, experience, etc.), the level of respect and cooperation they have in the workplace, etc. 
    If you view Six Sigma as both a Culture Change AND a Toolset, then select your candidates based on their ability to “Change the Culture” and apply the tools to the organization.
    Just my two cents…



    Here’s my advice: Hire the *very best* people from your organization into BB roles. These will be the leaders of tomorrow, so they should have the tools. BBs are leaders and change agents, they must have the ability to lead others, not just direct. Find the very best, train, promote them, and you’ll be fine.
    Good luck!



    Dear Brian,
    Here are some tips for selecting an effective and efficient Black/Green Belt. Only the degree of the traits vary from BB to GB. Hope you find these useful.
     1. Good time management skills.
    2. Ability to act as CHANGE AGENTS
    3. Those who value data as well, not just ‘experience’
    4. Tactful
    5. Possess leadership qualities commensurate with the role as Black Belt
    6. Should present himself/herself as friend, rather than Black Belt. Because, a human being can be won by heart, and not head. In other words, he/she should take people together, rather than command help from others.
    7. Belives in taking up challenges.
    8. Should primarily have developed more of ‘statistical thinking’ than the knowledge of statistical tools and techniques, which is secondary.
    9. Should not all the time try to dazzle people with his/her being a Black Belt, which may turn out to be counter-productive.
    10. Should possess out-of-the-box-thinking
    11. Should not jump to conclusions, based on little evidence in support or against the thinking
    12 Should be patient.
    13. Should be a good listener, apart from being a good talker.
    14. Should not have any presumptions whatsoever.
    Incidentally, I have trained 50 Black Belts, and guided as many projects.
    I shall be pleased to help you, if need be, in any matter concerning Six Sigma.
    Best of Luck



    There was a big discussion on this topic. Try searching that thread. However, a lot has been discussed here already.



    The BB selection process is different for company to company.The procedure we follow are
    1.He/she should have leadership quality
    2.He/she should have experince in development and implementation of systems and processes
    3.He should be people oriented
    4.He/she should be very flexible and should have very good interpersional relationship.
    5.He/she should have very good statistical knowledge.
    These are the few points .now you can deciede what your business needs to be there inside your people then you decide the criteria.



    We just finished selecting candidates for our newest wave of training. Here is the process we used:
    1)  Candidates had to meet minimum corporate requirements: at least one year with the company, “A” ratings on their last two annual reviews, fall within our professional grade levels.
    2)  In addition to supplying copies of their annual reviews and resumes, we had the candidates complete what basically equates to a college entrance essay. They had to answer a series of questions about their experiences in working with teams, problem solving, how they may have used data to make decisions, how they have dealt with difficult people, etc. We also asked for a writing sample, beyond the written questions. The idea was to assess their communication and other relevant skills (change leadership, facilitation, ability to think, etc.) This also was a good way to see how badly someone wanted the position. The questions initially were developed by our Six Sigma and behavioral consultants; we adapted to suit our business line.
    3)  After screening the written responses, the MBB interviewed all the candidates. The interview consisted of basically two questions: One was a scenario involving the first team meeting with a team that is (at best) not familiar with Six Sigma and (at worst) totally skeptical of it and not wanting to participate. The second question was what the person would do after a stint as a black belt. A lot of applicants washed out here because they either couldn’t think of how to deal with a team or because they do not indicate that they would continue practicing Six Sigma once they were finished being black belts. (We require a minimum two-year commitment.)
    4)   Finalists were then interviewed by our president, who is the executive sponsor. He made the final call based on recommendations forwarded from the process.
    Admittedly this is a lot, but we wanted to make sure that we got the right people and looking at resumes or relying on references (one reference was encouraging us to pick up a candidate because he was about to be laid off!) wasn’t going to get us there.
    So far our process seems to have worked.
    Good luck.



    Can I have your e-mail?
    I’m very interested to have contact with you…
    I’m practically new in Six Sigma, and the company that hired me wants me as a Black Belt..
    I have some question and it seems you have great experienced in this..
    Can you help me???
    By he way..I like very much your phrase: human being can be won by heart, and not head. GREAT TIP!


    A. S. K.

    We have a similar process as Sarah’s company.  One addition I have is that the best BBs we have and have had are those that were recruited — identified the right person based on their credibility, performance, leadership path, and social capital and then convinced them to enter the development.  Those that self-nominated or were obligatorily nominated did “OK.”  You want to do better than “OK.”  By the way, once you get the top recruits in as BBs, they will keep the pipeline filled with the right people – since they will recruit them as well!


    Mike Smith

    The following are guidelines we have used for candidate selection.
    The Candidate is someone who has a work history that shows he or she has many of the following characteristics:
    q       Welcomes change and new ideas
    q       Receptive to and uses feedback
    q       Self-motivated (Doesn’t need reminders)
    q       Someone who WANTS to be accountable for work output
    q       Analytical in approaching problems
    q       Able to work well with others
    q       One who does not give up easily (perseveres)
    q       Establishes standards and metrics around whatever tasks she/he is involved with
    q       Willing to commit to extra effort (Does what it takes)
    q       Naturally looks for improvements
    q       Smart / intelligent
    q       Able to work independently
    q       Able to work on multiple tasks without sacrificing any
    q       Some previous knowledge in group dynamics
    q       Some facility with math
    Level of the candidate is not an issue-all levels may be successful GB.
    It is best if the Project is in the GB’s functional area.



     Dear GVC,
    Thanks for your response, and also for expressing your appreciation for the phrase. I do believe in, and practice, the same.
    Going by your spontaneous response, I must say you have keen desire to do something different and grand. Probably thats the reason you have chosen the role of a Black Belt. I wish you great success in your role as Black Belt.
    Following is my e-mail ID: [email protected].
    Incidentally, could you please give your full name, if you do not take it otherwise. I shall be pleased to give you tips from time to time, if I am able to. 
    Here is my background:

    I am a senior faculty with the Indian Statistical Institute, and live in the city of Pune, India.
    I have done my post-graduation in statistics, with specialization in Statistical Quality Control & Operations Research.
    The Division of the Institute, to which I belong, has been practicing six sigma for the last more than 50 years in India, when no brand called ‘six sigma’ existed!. My experience is 25+ years’.
    You may please send your background too.
    With best wishes,



    We use a matrix rating each individual on skills.  These ranks are compiled into a total score.  Those scoring above the minimum are then put through our leadership selection process, an interview by Gallup.  There are certain combinations that we have learned make for outstanding performance as a BB and others that have consistently produced poor results.  Other leadership selection can be used successful.

    BB Skills Ranking
    Team Facilitating:
    5-Consistently motivates team to produce both high quality & quantity of work to achieve or exceed goals.
    3-Generally effective in use of facilitation skills.  Team meets requirements for quality & quantity of work.
    1-Lack of facilitation skills results in unacceptable quality & quantity of work.  Team behaviors are unacceptable and goals are not met.
    Problem Solving:
    5-Consistantly implements creative solutions to problems.  Is exceptional at recognizing applications to meet or exceed goals.
    3-Generally introduces & implements creative solutions to problems to achieve goals.
    1-Is unable to suggest or implement methods to achieve goals without help.
    Process Orientation:
    5-Superior ability to understand customer requirements and consistent accurate application to broad process perspective.
    3-Effective in ability to understand customer requirements and apply to broad process perspective.
    1-Struggles with broad view of end-to-end process, hampering satisfaction of customer requirements.
    Change Facilitation:
    5-Extremely effective in dealing with others.  Can persuade others to adopt change on a regular basis.
    3-Has credibility with peers for persuading others.
    1-Is successful in persuading others to change less than 50% of the time.
    Communication Skills:
    5-Consistenly effective, clear, and concise presentations / directions / communications appropriate to audience with desired outcome (>90%).
    3-Communications are adequate, but could be more concise and professional.
    1-Communications are either lacking or somewhat confusing and deliver desired results less than 50% of time.
    Computer Knowledge:
    5-Displays exceptional knowledge and know how sufficient to handle any computer related tool.
    3-General knowledge is sufficient to handle required tasks.
    1-Knowledge is limited to specific areas, insufficient to handle many tasks.  Requires frequent help.
    Program & Project Management:
    5-Plans work in an exceptional manner.  Defines goals clearly, anticipates and plans for potential problems.  Follows up effectively.
    3-Develops work plan, exhibits daily work behavior consistant with goals and priorities.
    1-Does minimal planning.  Is unable to identify objectives without help.
    Analyze Costs & ROI:
    5-Consistently superior identification and documentation of 90%+ of cost and benefit sources prior to Analyze gateway.
    3-Successful at identification and documentation of additional benefits in more that 60% of projects.
    1-Identifies and documents most obvious costs and benefits prior to Control phase.
    Employee Interest:
    5-Extremely interested, highly motivated.
    3-Desires job.
    0-Not interested.
    6 Sigma Project Experience:
    5-Certified Green Belt and/or GB on more than one project.
    4-Graduate Green Belt.
    3-Experience as a team member on at least one project.
    2-Experience as a subject matter expert on more than one project.
    1-Experience as a subject matter expert on only one project.
    0-No experience with any 6 Sigma project teams.
    Leadership Summary:
    4-Low to Mod
    3-Mod / Mod+
    1-Mod+ to High
    MBB Informational Interview Comments:
    5-High chance of success.
    3-Can succeed.
    1-May not succeed without large amount of support.



    You rock! :) Thanks for providing the matrix; it’s _exactly_ what I was looking for, and I have interviews with BBs next week.

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