Goals for Black Belts

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    Vinnie Brigandi

    Can anyone give me some examples of quantifiable goals that you set for your Black Belts or that you have as part of your annual evaluations?
    In the process of setting goals as part of our middle manager evaluation process?



    Number of projects completed.
    Savings per project.


    F man

    # mentored Green Belts
    # of completed business improvements (not necessary projects)
    # Business Improvement completed on time
    We also ask each assignor/sponsor to fill in a evaluation form containing info about the Black Belt, project selection process and the VBLSS in general.
    We also follow up our assignors, how engaged they have been. This is strongly correlated to projects completed on time


    Titus Osikoya

    Try and make it simple
    (1) Number of Green Belts Mentored
    (2) Percentage improvement of the impact of Greenbelts under the back belt’s supervision
    (3) Percentage Improvement in quality of critical SKUs
    (4) Perecntage Cost Saving in determined product lines
    (5) Percentage improvement in Customer Satisfcation  Index on the organization
    (6) Customer Feedback Management System Rating



    Why do we want to measure individuals? Is that fair to measure one black belt against
    another – when they are not the ones making the
    improvements – the whole team is. Measuring this way can be very unhelpful – the best,
    worst and average results are from the system, and
    processes – not necessarily from the black belts
    themselves. Sure, there are differences in
    effectiveness – but it is wrong to attach this to
    the black belt – there are many other variances,
    blockers etc – many of which could be outwith the
    black belts control.I’d suggest not measuring them – stick to measuring
    business KPIs, not people.Davy T


    Vinnie Brigandi

    Thanks for the feedback.  We have to measure our effectiveness as Black Belts in some fashion.  The issue in question is that some members of our organization believe that operational measures (i.e. goals that are tied to projects we work on) should be part of our evaluation.  My argument is that as Black Belts, we have no control over the implementation or execution of suggested recommendations to reach those goals and should not be penalized if they are not met.
    I am trying to define goals that define the responsibilities of the Black Belt in ther day to day work (i.e. projects completed, Sponsor assessment of their ability to facilitate/grasp the material or understanding of the project, etc)



    Hi Vinnie – perhaps we can agree to disagree on this
    then, and there’s nothing wrong with that…Here’s my thoughts:
    You are thinking of measuring project completion –
    this for me is not about giving someone a list of
    recommendations. It’s about implementing those
    solutions, and being able to get stakeholders to
    sustain the changes. Otherwise, you only go half way
    through DMAIC.
    The Improve and Control stages are about
    implementing, and then being able to track/sustain
    improvement and benefits.
    So – the first point I disagree with is that for me,
    black belts DO have control over implementation and
    execution, that’s what should be making the
    difference between a “black belt” and any other
    willing worker who makes suggestions, but does not
    understand how to get things done. The problem is
    that there are many other influences on the
    organisation which will affect this implementation –
    so you are right, it is unfair to penalize
    individuals. But does that not mean it’s also unfair
    to reward individuals if things go well? How does
    that make the other stakeholders feel, if they are
    the ones involved in identifying opportunities, and
    helping implement solutions?The 2nd point I perhaps disagree with is – What good
    to your business does measuring completed projects
    make – if the results are minimal or trivial?
    How about we do 5 projects that make a difference of
    $10,000 this year? That black belt get’s a merit
    raise (in the words of Deming)as he’s hit his target
    of 5 projects.
    Or how about 1 project that makes a difference of
    $100,000? which would you choose?
    Does projects being finished on time really matter
    that much, if because of time schedules/targets, the
    quality and content of the project suffers?I guess I’m trying to make the point that measures –
    particularly on individuals – can and will drive the
    wrong behaviours. These often take away the
    effectiveness of black belts, that in the beginning
    was the very thing that was planned to measure. They
    also reduce the emphasis on team ethics that will
    take your organisation to the next level.However, good luck in your efforts. Davy T


    Vinnie Brigandi

    Can you explain to me how you go about settting a target on number of completed business improvements?


    Vinnie Brigandi

    By # completed business improvements, do you mean items/ recommendations?



    Would you be willing to share a copy of your evaluation form?


    F man

    Sorry for late answer,
    I like to use “business improvements” in order to avoid the discussion “What is a project”-discussion that seem to never end.
    I also strongly disagree that one should be measured of how many Kaizen one has completed.
    By combining “# of completed business improvements” and a target of how much a  Black Belt should save per year ($) one can get an rough measurement of the Black Belt.
    However, I strongly want to point out that a Champion should be very careful to evaluate a Black Belt based on this since the Black Belt is often given projects, Kaizen events etc. and therefore it is not fair to be evaluated against this. It is more of an input of which type of business improvements the Black Belt has been given.
    The measurement I think is the best one is the evaluation form that are sent to each assignor after completed project. We are also thinking of starting an evaluation of the assignors that we will keep internally within the VBLSS organization
    CJ: I can post the evaluation form. Currently I am not at the office but I will do that when I return.


    F man

    Good questions.
    If the improvement initiative (project, Kaizen event etc) pass the last tollgate it is marked as ”completed”.
    You raise an interesting point. I do not think it is fair to measure a Black Belt if the improvement is implemented or not since it is the assignor that takes that decision.
    I am not sure I understand your last question.
    The evaluation of a Black Belt we send to assignors after project are completed. We do this to see what our assignors think of our Black Belts, what they did good and what they could improve.
    Of course one have to keep in mind that the evaluation is done by one person and that persons opinion and that it is not necessary true.


    Vinnie Brigandi

    Thanks for the response.  How do you define “completed business improvement”?  Does that mean the goal was met or recommendations implemented?  Do you think it’s fair to tie a Black Belt evaluation to the success of the project or meeting of a certain business metric? (i.e. reduce throughput or defects)

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