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Black Belt Program Differences

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  • #28021

    Kim Niles
    Participant

    I recently met a Black Belt certified through a well-known consulting firm. I asked and was given a peek at his curriculum and found myself shocked that his training appeared to completely leave out all the controversial stuff such as the 1.5sigma shift, opportunity divisible customer focused cost oriented universally applicable defect metrics (DPMO; smile), competitive outcomes from DPMO, project management training, team guidance training, etc. I got the cold chilling idea that his curriculum was biased towards the software the consulting company sells (i.e. their software has no provisions for shifts, etc.).
    This prompted me to wonder how much and what kinds of variation there are between Black Belt training programs today. I am aware that there is a rush to standardize the body of knowledge but assume their are still very significant differences.
    See ASQ body of knowledge at: http://www.asq.org/cert/types/sixsigma/bok.html
    See iSixSigma body of knowledge at: https://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c010618a.asp
    See 100 things a Black Belt needs to know by Tom Pyzdek at: http://www.pyzdek.com/101.htm
    Am I right?
    What are the differences existing now?
    KN
    http://www.znet.com/~sdsampe/kimn.htm
    https://www.isixsigma.com/library/bio/kniles.asp
    http://www.asqsandiego.org/contacts.html

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    #69397

    Jaran S.
    Participant

    Don’t be surprised. It is normal to have variation.
    I have seen 4 training materials from different sources.
    They are different in such a way that first time I am not sure if it is the same Six Sigma.
    Again, don’t be surprised. It is normal.
    Jaran S.

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    #69400

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    This has been a real issue since about 1996 and is getting worse. When we started doing Allied Signal in 1995 we were about the only show in town and there was never an issue. As the Transaction thing grew with the constant issue that “they were different” you started to get the BB with the whole cirriculum  to transaction people with no DOE but they were all called BB’s.
    The problem is getting worse as we get the academics (without practical experience) and the authors who have never done a project to the people who are just statistics literate to some extent and feel they are equivalent. The program is getting side tracked by every selfserving group that wants to be the next quality guru.
    When we began the Allied deployment in 95 (as consultants) the focus was on results and the customer. Over the last 5-6 years we are seeing the focus shift to self agrandization.
    I am pretty sure if we trace why the door open for SS and some of the focus shifted from TQM you will probably see the same transitions. When you lose site of the customer and performing for the customer then you are running on borrowed time. There is a book called “The Deming Management Method” by Mary Walton which chronicles the same type of issue that deming faced way back (ref. Chapter 19).
    A dependence on case studies (which we see all the time- people to lazy to work at understanding the tools and looking for canned answers to application issues), we’re different, etc. it is all there and we are doing it over and over again.
    As aquality group we blew out Deming back in the 50’s and he helped train the Japanese and they kicked our butt. Now we spend nonvalue added time debating if SS is good/bad/ applicable etc. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter what the Quality community. academics, etc think. People like Welch, Bossidy, & Galvin don’t belong to these groups and don’t participate in inane discussions. They do hire us and their vote is in – they are paying money for the results. Everything else is noise. 

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    #69404

    Ken K.
    Participant

    I agree with Mike. A lot of effort is wasted on non value-added details.
    This issue is also very related to my distaste for the Black Belt standardization efforts. Each company has its own unique set of needs that demands its own type of organization and its own set of tools, methods, and solutions.
    My advice is to invest in two things first: 1. Top management understanding and buy-in, and 2. hiring/aquisition of competent expertise to define and implement the Black Belt initiative. For both of these, you can go a very long way by hiring a well known and experienced Black Belt consultant – such as Mike’s or others. iSixSigma lists many of these consultants at http://www.i6sigma.com/co/six_sigma/
    Don’t waste time worrying about the differences – worry about what YOUR business needs and how to have those needs met.

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    #69405

    Jim Johnson
    Participant

    This message thread has raised some very interesting questions and some equally interesting responses. For what it is worth, here is what I think:1. While I appreciate that everyone (ASQ, iSixSigma, SixSigma Academy, etc.) has tried to develop a unique “Body of Knowledge”, perhaps it is time that we as leaders in company’s stop relying on someone else telling us what we need and do our homework and conduct a sufficient due dilligence effort to determine what we need for ourselves. When we allow consultants to tell us what we need they naturally will tell us that we need what they do best. Consultants are, after all, are in this business to make money.2. I agree with Ken and Mike that the impetus for any Black Belt “program” needs to revolve around what the company’s goals are for Six Sigma. Many times, we tend to focus solely on “certification” and what body of knowledge a Black Belt possesses. I would prefer an approach that considers each Black Belt’s portfolio of projects (any BB worth anything should have a portfolio). If you are hiring this individual as a full-time position or if you are hiring them as a consultant, you then have the ability to determine if their experience aligns with your company’s goals for Six Sigma. If not, keep looking. If they don’t have a portfolio, run away as fast as you can!
    My bottom line position:1. Determine exactly what you company needs.
    2. Hire external Black Belts (full-time or consultants) based on a proven portfolio reflects real success and that aligns with your Six Sigma goals.I hope that this helps.Jim Johnson

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    #69435

    Erika
    Participant

    It is true that each company must emphasize what is important to know in their particular industry, but there are certain things every BB should know (i.e., most of the measure phase tools – proc. map, fishbone, C&E matrix, MSA, etc.).  Journal of Quality Technology just put out a very timely and relevant article and follow-up discussions last week.  GE’s Roger Hoerl points out what did and didn’t work for them in terms of curriculum, depth, soft skills, etc.  The respondents included folks from Motorola, Sigma Breakthrough Technologies, Pizdek Consulting, Honeywell, and Dupont.  An online version of the article is at : http://www.asq.org/pub/jqt/
    -Erika

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    #69442

    Ken K.
    Participant

    I’ll agree that some topics are fairly consistent across many companies, but not all. I would venture to guess that 50% or more of the skills are the same for all BB’s, based upon a solid foundation of statistics and quality practices, but the other half needs to be based upon the objectives of the business.
    Take for instance the Motorola program. It is quite different from the GE program in that Black Belts are not full time Black Belts in the GE sense. In Motorola their job is to utilize the skills in their own function and to encourage the use of the skills by others. In this case many of the project selection methods taught by GE are not necessarily applicable to Motorola Black Belts.Their projects develop more naturally based upon local objectives.
    That’s just one example, but there are others.

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    #69447

    Edwards
    Participant

    Since completing BB training over 1 year ago, I would suggest that the majority of my time has been spent doing LEAN type projects. Manufacturing lead time reduction, inventory reduction etc. We had 6 weeks of BB training, only one of these weeks was dedicated to Lean. Also MY BB training was very short handed on the financial side, this is an area where all BB’s need to have knowledge.
     
    David

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