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Black Belt Certification Sources

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  • #33655

    Tab
    Member

    There are a number of organizations involved with the “certification” of black belts and ASQ has a black belt certification as well.  Recognizing that the certification requirements can differ, how do employers who hire black belts distinguish between these different certification sources when evaluating candidates; are there some certifying organizations that should be considered suspect?

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    #91313

    Statman
    Member

    Most of them.
    Outside of ASQ, it is usually the company (client) that is determining certification requirements not the consultant.  I have yet to see two companys who’s requirements are exactly the same.  In fact, in some large companies, the requirments vary division to divison.  Once again, there is no controlling authority in Six Sigma.
    Rely, as mentioned in other posts, on the experience, background, and other traits of the individual, not the xBelt certification or the certifying body.
    We wouldn’t hire an MBA based on what school they graduate from would we?  Oh-I guess maybe we do.

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    #91390

    T N Goh
    Member

    Judge the person first.  Then judge the certificate by the organization or person that issued it.   Not all certification processes are equal.  That’s another lesson on VARIATION for you!…

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    #91403

    Shereen Amin
    Member

    I really beleive that the certification projects are of great importance too.
    Not only the exam or the certifying body.
    You have to assess his knowledge and level of expertise, and which tools he used in his prject. The main thing is application not only education.
     

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    #91404

    heaifi
    Participant

    I personally do not believe in certifications by passing the exams conducted by any of the reputed institution. You musy have read good comments about these certifications in one of the responses to questions posed to Dr. Mikel Harry. I absolutely agree with him that the certification only certifies “Knowledge” and not “Results”. I liked the following comments made by Dr. Harry:
    “Be recognized for what you accomplish, not for a “piece of paper” on the wall that says you passed some esoteric “certification” exam. As we all know, it is one thing to certify “knowledge,” it is quite another to certify “results.” Consequently, it is your results that should be documented, not what you know – your clients will be much more appreciative of the former. Document your business achievements, not your quality knowledge. “.
    ” Business executives need people who have been trained. They need people who can deliver “certifiable results,” not an acceptable test score — people capable of configuring, shaping, and applying knowledge – not just reciting it”.
    “Certification can be a very good personal motivator though”.
    We have following certification process which turns out to be practical and realistic. Expecting a lot from Black Belt without your organization being fit to execute Six Sigma program is the biggest mistake that organizations commit. You may look for a Black Belt with similar background. It all depends on employer’s strategy.
    Black Belt Certification Process
    ·         All potential Black Belts (BBs) must attend Six Sigma BB Training Program conducted in-house or externally by Six Sigma experts.
    ·         Each potential Black Belt (BB), prior to attending BB training, must be Green Belt (GB) Certified with at least two projects successfully completed in the organization he/she is working.
    ·         After the BB training, each potential BB must complete at least two Black Belt projects in database with a role as that of a leader in at least one of them. Other team members could be BBs or GBs.
    ·         All the projects are typically long-term projects (6-8 months each). Average savings would be $100,000 on each project.
    ·         All projects must result in breakthrough improvements in processes and products or performance of a system.
    ·         Each potential BB must mentor at least 5 projects in a year and guide GBs to a succesful institutionalization in the organization or the department he/she is working.
    ·         Measurements of key product/process attributes from improved products/processes must be gathered from pilots and recorded to demonstrate success with high confidence level (typically 90% – 95%).
    ·         Approval from finance and management must be obtained on project’s financial gains.
    ·         Each potential BB must then take BB test conducted internally or through institutions such as American Society of Quality (ASQ) or other (online or classroom) to add substantial weightage to his or her certification process in his/her organization
    ·         Upon passing such test and fulfillment of the criteria above, one would be eligible for Black Belt Certification in the organization.
    Also, look at the leadership skills, experience in deployment of Six Sigma, attitude reflected through some of his/her works within the company he/his is employed and eagerness and contagious enthusiam in leading Six Sigma projects, not just because Six Sigma is selling hot and an opportunity has opened the door to make more bucks! No Black Belt will succeed with only desire of making quick money.
    In addition to all above, management commitment is extremely important for success, not just BB hiring. I have seen organizations failing just because of management’s expectations of quick results and ignorance despite many of them undergoing Six Sigma champions training. That training seemed to be a waste and simply costed company. I am sure you are aware of the other six sigma deployment approaches. Just thought above points can support your decisions whether you are hiring Black Belts or giving a piece of advice to your senior management.
    Good Luck!
     

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    #91406

    DaveG
    Participant

    Heaifi,
    The link doesn’t work.  What is the source of your list of BB qualifications?
    Thanks.

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    #91412

    heaifi
    Participant

    DaveG,
    We may find various suggestions/recommendations in evaluating BB qualifications in several books from good authors. While we can take help from them, there is no strict rule/checklist available (and should not be) for BB hiring. My suggestions are purely based on personal experience of working for more than 5 years now in six sigma in 3 equally very large organizations, developing six sigma leadership through BBs, deploying the six sigma initiative, managing over 60 projects, analyzing for company’s requirement for BBs, credentials required based on value addition to the company, systems and processes followed, their complexity in the organization. Also, having worked with various people with varying skill sets, including statisticians, I could estimate their effectiveness in delivering results as BBs. The process that I have mentioned was develolped solely on the basis of this experience and is yielding good results. How? that will lead to response to another probable question that may appear in future in this forum…
    Regards,
    heaifi

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    #91413

    Hartshorn
    Participant

    As previously mentioned being able to demonstate results versus activities of projects is key. Equally important is understanding the environment where a person has utilized BB skills. Some companies pave the way for BBs and they are readily accepted into the arena where they are working, making project execution quite easy. However, most company cultures have some degree of change resistance and being able to be sussessful depends on initiative, interpersonal skills, selling, and communication. It is important to identify the environment where a BB will be functioning and identify the needed skill set beyond the basic SS tools.
    Guy

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    #91419

    DaveG
    Participant

    Heaifi,
    Thanks for the reply.  Lessons learned from experience are invaluable;  yours in particular show a refreshing lack of BS.
    Sadly, if your list was codified and used, many companies would still fail due to not “getting it”.  To paraphrase Samuel Clemens, “My dear, you have the words, but not the music.”

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    #91420

    DaveG
    Participant

    “As previously mentioned being able to demonstate results versus activities of projects is key.”

    True.  Still, I have found that it helps to divide focus between better short-term results and improving the organizations capabilities so that better results can be more easily obtained over time.  Unfortunately, too many “leaders” love quick fixes (read:  suboptimize);  and I know of no bottom-up improvement initiative that can fix a leadership problem.

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    #91643

    heaifi
    Participant

    DaveG,
    Looks like you are more experienced and have made significant amount of “valuable” contribution to the company you are working or business you run.
    While I respect your earlier reply, but underestimating the power of accumulated knowledge and experience is not a healthy way of expressing, or loading your views through this forum.
    We have seen several discussions about “success and failure of six sigma” that already and I do not need to talk about. This was on BB hiring. As I had mentioned very clearly, to evaluate BBs, the process we implemented was the process which we found useful. You may suggest a different way for evaluating BB credentials, and I do not know how you have hired and found useful. Please let us have your checklist. And teachings on BS.
    You may have certainly expressed your negative views, but our results talk opposite, especially for the software industry. I am glad that we have words and music to. And we do celebrate !
    By the way, I again reiterate that the criteria for BB hiring is flexible from company to company and what we implemented was found to be good. We are very much aware of the commercialization of Six Sigma, and faced so called self-claimed “Six Sigma Black Belts-experts” who claim they have certification and years of experience. To save the reputation of BB position there is a need to have some criteria, otherwise there will no credibility left for BBs. Hope there is no explanation required.
    Good luck!

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    #91644

    heaifi
    Participant

    Guy,
    I agree. Need to understand the environment where BB has used his/her skills. Few years ago it was challenging since I was switching from manufacturing and systems development to software. But could get through them well due to skills acquired that came handy.  And now in position to contribute in BB hiring. Right attitude, positive approach, skills applied and results demonstrated are key. We certainly need to identify a skill set, application experience beyond just basic Statistical tools and certification from reputed institute.

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    #91651

    DaveG
    Participant

    I didn’t challenge any of your good work, and I don’t have a hiring model to show you.  Should I have an opportunity to hire BBs, I will probably consult your checklist, then let you know how it works out.
    Teachings on BS:  don’t step in it.

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