Belt Ratios

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    I need some help understanding what the proper ratio of MBB to BB to GB should be in a given organization. Any data from other companies would be very helpful.



    The answer is the great “it depends.” Depends on the strength of your MBB’s the experience of the BB’s etc. As a MBB i’ve had as high a mentorship ration of 14BB’s reporting to me. However we had a strong training program and kept our project to BB ration manageable (about 4 per BB). Each BB had 2-4 Green belts that they assisted. That depended though on the BB’s experience, if they were rookies they had none.


    Adam L Bowden

    No more than 10:1 – but as “MBB stated” it depends


    Mike Carnell

    It has been a while since I was in the military but it is what we used to call “span of control.” The width of the span is dependant on a couple things. The maturity/experience/aptitude of the person and the maturity of the organization. The more experienced and/or mature the wider the span can go with less risk.
    When we are training a BB or MBB we do not have anyone mentoring under them so they can focus on training.
    Normally we begin at a 1:4 ratio when we have tight control. We do this in the beginning od a deployment – because the organization is typically trying to adjust or figure out how to internalize what is happening. We also start a new BB here to figure out if they are any good at mentoring. There are people who are just poor mentors and they should have 0 (check out the book “Break all the Rules” about trying to fix people). There are people who are mediocre belts (not necessarily a bad thing) but are fantastic mentors. They get up to but no more than 10 (as Adam said).
    MBB’s we begin at 1:4 because they have BB experience and should not be struggling with the training that badly. You may stress them when they mentor, train and do a project but if they are going to break you might as well do it before you get a lot of money invested in training them to do something they can’t do. They should be able to run up to 1:10 as well but we never really stretch them that far. We stay around 5 or 6:1 and have them spend more of their time mentoring up into the organization i.e. GM’s, VP’s, etc.
    You basically have the “it depends” response but I hope that gave you some help in deciding what the correct levels would be for your organization.
    Good luck



    Approx 6BB’s to 1MBB however it is affected by a multitude of variables that need to be analysed and factored before arriving a figuresSo…. “it depends”

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