green belt ?

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    Ron Olson


    Can you please explain the title/designation “Green Belt” ?
    Thank you.



    Jim Parnella

    Here’s my understanding of “green belt”. Six Sigma “Green Belts” study much of the same material as “Black Belts” but in not as much depth. While BB’s generally take 4 weeks of classes and are expected to work full time on a project that can deliver in excess of $100,000 per year to the bottom line, GB’s take 2 or less weeks of classes, and work on the project part-time only, one that will generally deliver significantly less to the bottom line than the BB project.

    In addition, some GB’s are team members on a team led by a BB, and some GB’s lead their own team.

    I teach the Air Academy Associates (AAA) version of the Green Belt course (they refer to the the GB course as the “Specialist” Course and the BB course the “Expert” Course).

    From what I see in the AAA GB training material, the courses are very similar with two exceptions. The AAA BB course uses two full weeks for everything up to but excluding Regrssion and DOE. My GB course covers this in one week, but at less depth. AAA BB’s get 2 full weeks of Regression and DOE. My GB course only offers 3 full days of Regression and DOE. I’m not sure how many days AAA recommends for GB Regression and DOE but anything more than 3 days is probably not a good use of time. The greatest difference (my opinion) is in the amount of DOE provided. Also my opinion – many, many projects can be tackled effectively by a GB since DOE is always not required, and when it is, support can be provided by a BB or other specialist. AAA recomends 1-2 BB’s per 100 employees and 5 GB’s per 100 employees. I think this is a recognition of the fact that you don’t need BB’s for every project.

    One other thing. Because BB training is four weeks, one month apart, the BB usually has to give a presentation during week 2,3, and 4 on his/her progress (at least the courses I’m familiar with operate that way). GB’s ont he other hand only have one such break between weeks and only have to give one presentation if they have to do any at all.

    I hope this helps you.


    P.S. I’d like to hear how GE does this. A relative of mine in Virginia went through the GB course and I think she siad it was 2 full weeks.



    The way the Six Sigma Organisation is Structured is as follows .. Champion / Master Black Belt / Black Belt/ Green Belt.. now this doesnt mean that the GB’s are the lowest level employees of the Traditional Organisation Structures that we are used to.. GB’s are people who have taken up Six Sigma projects in the areas that they have chosen. The GB could be a junior Engineer or a Senior Manager in that organisation, but essentially since he is doing a Six Sigma project.. they are known as Green Belts.BB’s besides doing Six Sigma projects also have the responsibility for maintaining a healthy Engagement and Effectivess Index of the Six Sigma initiative besides helping Green Belts with their projects..
    Hope this answers your query
    Regards and have a great day


    Chris Walker

    Ron, I hope this helps.
    DEFINITION: A Green Belt will be a member of the Black Belt’s project team and will support and assist the Black Belt during all phases of the project. Project team members will be trained, as appropriate, on specific Six Sigma tools. It is conceivable that not all project team members will receive the same training, depending on his/her own role within the project. This reinforces “just-in-time” training and the relevance of the training.
    The potential Green Belt candidate will be considered a Green Belt once he/she has met deliverables and achieved mastery of tools for all phases. It may be necessary for the Green Belt candidate to participate on several project teams before he/she is trained on all identified tools and is considered certified.
    Once an individual is a Certified Green Belt, they may support other Six Sigma projects as a team member and/or lead enabling projects under the guidance of a Black Belt.
    ROLE: The Green Belt will play an important role within the organization, not only by supporting a Black Belt as a project team member, but by also being an advocate of Six Sigma.
    The Green Belt will support the Black Belt only during the duration of the project. However, some Green Belts, depending on his/her own normal organizational responsibility, may sustain control of a project once it is transitioned from the Black Belt.
    RESPONSIBILITIES: The primary responsibilities of a Green Belt will include: Assisting Black Belt in facilitating the project by serving as a project team member and completing assigned tasks, Gathering data using Six Sigma tools and methodology, Providing “as-is” process maps and assisting Black Belt in developing process maps, Assisting Black Belt identify possible root causes by participating in focus groups, fish-boning and brainstorming sessions, Assisting with the implementation of the control, Sustaining/Maintaining the control of the improvement by collecting post implementation data and monitoring sigma value, depending on the Green Belt’s own normal organizational role, and Assisting Black Belt in identifying viable Six Sigma projects.
    REQUIRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS: The key to the success of the Green Belt role will be in the selection process of the Green Belt candidate. Potential Green Belt candidates should possess the following skills: Analytical, Communication, Thought leadership, Problem solving, Negotiation; and meet the following qualifications: Expert in current role in order to lend viable support as a project team member, Experience with working on cross-functional teams, preferred.



    The role of a green belt (much more so than a black belt) can and does differ greatly from industry to industry.  I tend to agree with Jim Parnella’s post for a general “roles and responsibilities description” than with Praneet’s or Chris’ (even though I believe theirs to be good, specific descriptions of green belt roles within their specific areas).
    Typically, the variation that you will see in green belt’s roles and responsibilities from industry to industry deal with project size (dollar value and time frame), training depth and support from/to a black belt.
    For instance, our green belts go through 6 days (~48 hours) of training, work on projects that typically are between $50,000 and $100,000 per year value and mostly receive support from (as opposed to give support to) a designated black belt.


    Las Moen

    In addition to what was discussed regarding the difference between Green Belts and Black Belts I would like to mention that a Black Belt can work on projects that crosses division boundries, but in order for a Green Belt project to be completed in a timely fashion (working part time) it is important to have the GB project defined as close to the daily work responsibilities of the Green Belt as possible.


    B. Krishna

    Dear Ron
    Green belts are one who assist BB’s in addressing the micro level of projects, which are identified by Flow down / Levarage up of the projects
    Also I would like to emphasize that, we cannot assign a value limit to BB and GB’s.
    B. Krishna


    Eero Laak

    In our company what we do is that we give Green Belts and Black Belts exactly the same training. The only difference is that BB’s work full time in Six Sigma.
    Eero Laak

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