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Questionable Master Black Belt skills and behaviors

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  • #33605

    jdh
    Participant

    This message is for anyone familiar with the skills expected by a MBB. I do not know a great deal about the qualifications for this job, but I am familiar and have used quality management and leadership concepts presented by Deming, Juran and Crosby for 14 years. I know someone how states he/she is a MBB, but my observations of this individual raise some concerns. First, in a goal setting session, I noted this person could not draft or propose business goal statements that were quantifiable, relative or even measurable. Further, this individual has stated emphatically that process change is not a democratic endeavor. But, maybe most confusing, this person has proposed a “hammer approach” to implementing quick changes to company processes across the company without piloting or any form of measurement. This is completely inconsistent with my training, and would like to know what others’ thoughts are on this. Is it possible that this person is truly trained as a MBB, and does these behaviors conflict with expected MBB strategies for change?
    I would also can respond directly to my email address: [email protected]
    Thank you for your thoughts!

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    #91154

    DaveG
    Participant

    Trust your judgement.  If it looks like s*** and smells like s***, it is probably s***.  How sad that your management hires that way.

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    #91158

    Jamal
    Participant

    You are right; I don’t believe that he is a qualified MBB.  There are a lot people call themselves MBB and they are very far from it.  With my experience about 20% of MBB’s are actually good and 80% are not qualified. MBB should be able to provide training, coaching and mentoring in Six Sigma tools and concepts. Most of the people who post messages in this forum actually had six sigma training and rely heavily on this site for coaching and mentoring.  Where are the MBB’s? Why they are not helping these people? Or where are the six sigma consultants who are helping the company implement six sigma?  Well most of them are not qualified and could not answer a lot of questions. Thank goodness for this site.
    Jamal
     

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    #91179

    Statman
    Member

    If you go to the ASQ web site (just click on the box at the right of this page) and search on “Master Black Belt”.  You will pull up a series of article under what is called Your Opinion on What does it take to be a Master Black Belt?
    These are quite good in terms of laying out the expectations, skills and behaviors of an MBB.  One, that I find particularly good, talks about the variation and evolution of the role due to the rapid growth of Six Sigma.  This has been my concern for some time as there is no controlling authority  in Six Sigma and the variation in the role continues to grow.  As a hiring manager, I would not, at this point use MBB certification as a criteria, or for that matter, a requirement to fill a MBB position due to the state of the variation in the role.

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    #91184

    Bob M.
    Participant

    Yes, and like any other rapid growth field there are a number of “express” courses offered in Six Sigma certification where they promise full belt certification in compressed days instead of paced weeks. This dilution of the method dumbs down Six Sigma and offers the quacks out there the opportunity to say they are BB or MBB qualified when really they are just poor imitations. It would be a process improvement, in itself, for industry to have a recognized, standardized, qualifying body to resolve this issue of Six Sigma accredtitation.
     

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    #91187

    Spiderman
    Member

    Statman hit the nail on the head….there is no controlling authority…and a variety of standards.  Ironic …the amount of variation in an industry whos goal is to limit variation. 
    I would agree with DaveG and Statman…titles can be misleading, the hiring process must be thorough in ensuring you are getting what you want. 

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    #91190

    Statman
    Member

    At the risk of over staying my time on the soap box, I would like to make one more comment on this topic because it does raise my blood pressure.
    The well trained and experienced impovement/quality professional pays the price for the current state of affairs. And I mean all improvement/quailty professionals not just Xbelts.  The experience and knowledge level take a back seat to titles and slogans.  The written material is put out in books that are not subjected to strict peer reveiw.  Sometimes I think that I am watching late night fad diet commericals when a see some of the stuff that is spewed out.
    This movement (Six Sigma) is too dominated by the consultantancy industry that has more interest in making a buck than moving us forward.   The dilution will eventually catch up to us all.
    Thank you isixsigma for this forum – a saving grace
    There, I feel better

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    #91193

    mauro
    Participant

    I believe the credibility of Six Sigma will be greatly shaken by the lack of formal guidelines for instruction and certification. Due to this flaw a lot of people lacking the required skills will trash the name of Six Sigma. In my own oppinion we will see the same kind of scenario the IT world is experiencing right now where ceretification means very little and can be easily obtained by paying for practice tests. I remember 6 years ago when being a CNE ” Certified Novell Engineer” or a MCSE ” Microsoft Certified System Engineer ” meant something. On the same token it makes my blood boil when I see people posting for advise on how to score well on the ASQ BB certification test………..You want to know how to get certified..???  Learn how to perform the damm JOB !!!! 

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    #91197

    Doc
    Participant

    This brings up a point that has been on my mind . . .
    I attended the ASQ Six Sigma conference last January and noticed that the MBB role in most presentations seemed to be quite different from that of GE and other earlier Six Sigma implementations. The trend seems that the MBBs have more of a manager/roadblock-remover role, rather than a teacher/mentor/expert role.
    I got the distinct impresion that it was OK if a MBB didn’t have much more experience/skills than a BB (maybe less), as long as they could manage a group of BBs and make sure the BBs get results.
    I’m not saying it is wrong, just that I thought it was different.

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    #91202

    marklamfu
    Participant

    What you described seem be Champion rather than MBB.

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    #91204

    Elena Averboukh
    Participant

    Exactly this situation is happenning particularly in Germany/Europe, where there are neither standards defined nor any sound de-facto standards grown up within the big corporations.
    Training is now offered by individuals who themselves just have made a 3-5 days accelerated Green Belt course, the books on the market are coping each other to a great extent etc.
    It takes years of training and practical experience to become an efficient Black Belt and it is important that during this *growth* time the Black Belt has somebody to be supported and mentored with higher level of skills.
    It is certainly difficult to believe, that any company could have such level of mentors,as there are not that many on the market.
    I believe therefore more and more in the future of virtual (via the internet) supervision/mentoring services for black belts and *functional* MBBs by high qualified mentors. It works good already with available, e.g. e-Class or e-Meeting technologies.
    Elena
    [email protected]
     

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    #91239

    Ex Ex MBB
    Participant

    There are 3 broad areas of proficiency that an MBB must possess:

    Technical proficiency: MBBs must have technical proficiency with the Six Sigma methodologies and tools. Please note the plural for Six Sigma methodologies — they need to understand not only how to use the methodologies and tools, but when to use them.  And these methodologies include the traditional improvement, as well as design, lean, and we cannot forget the JUST DO ITS.
    Tactical proficiency: MBBs must be able to mentor the Belts (Green and Black) as well as Champions to successfully complete projects. Successful completion means the projects meet their chartered objectives on time. The tactical level of proficiency also requires the ability to effectively deliver training.  MBBs also need to understand the business processes as well as process performance measurement for the functions that they are supporting.
    Strategic proficiency: MBBs must be able to work with the senior levels of management in identifying meaningful projects that can be completed by the current pool of resources. This includes working with these managers in establishing what meaningful actually means for the business.  Thus, the MBB should be saavy relative to their supported function’s strategic goals and objectives, and providing on-going emphasis with all layers of management the need to cascade this strategy in a process-focused, data-driven manner.
    In essence, MBBs are technical leaders for their supported organization.  Some other comments:

    An organization can view MBBs as force multipliers for strategic deployment and execution.  If an organization is effectively using Balanced Scorecards, then it should consider assigning key performance measures to MBBs as well as the appropriate functional manager to identify opportunities — these can definitely be considered as meaningful projects with this BSC linkage!
    MBBs should be excited about what they do! And they should infuse this excitement to all layers within the organization.
    When hiring MBBs — hiring authorities need to make sure they know exactly what they want.  A title alone does not ensure that an MBB is technically, tactically, and strategically proficient! Give some serious thought to required competencies that the MBB must and should have, and then ensure the interview process is designed to challenge the MBB candidate relative to these competencies. AND, do not just focus solely on the technical component — ensure that the MBB candidate will fit within your organization.  I like to handle a majority of the technical interview during the phone screen. If all goes well there, then I schedule a site interview with pertinent members of the organization to assess fit.
    There are a lot of false prophets out there — make sure your interview process can screen them out! They tend to crater during the technical interview, so make sure you have the right folks asking the right questions during the interview.
    There are also some burn-outs — these are the folks who like to say that their organization is not ready for Six Sigma, or some other form of rationalization. This may even be the reason that they are seeking another job and interviewing with your company. Though they are not near as bad as the false prophets, they offer potential issues with a lack of technical leadership. An earlier posting on iSixSigma had a great term for these folks: tool zombies. These folks tend to do well during the technical interview… the challenge will be to design your interview process to assess fit. Will this MBB candidate fit within this organization (including culture) to provide the technical leadership? Again, you need the right people asking the right questions for this assessment.  Give some serious thought as to who these people should be, as well as what questions best challenge fit.
    Once you have the established core competencies for the position of MBB, use that to develop internal MBB candidates. This provides a technical ladder for the existing (and internal) Six Sigma personnel.
     

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    #91259

    Mikel
    Member

    How does one become an Ex Ex anything? Isn’t that a double negative? Must make you a current MBB.

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    #91268

    sandrine berthet
    Member

    Congratulation for your excellent  (franc) point of view.I agree with you.
                                                       Sandrine

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    #91286

    Ex Ex MBB
    Participant

    Hi Jamal,
    In your posting, you indicate that the MBBs and consultants do not contribute to this forum. I would have to disagree: there are several folks that do contribute:  Mike Carnell and Gabriel are regular contributors to this forum. I have even seen several postings from Mario Perez-Wilson and Pyzdek.
    I believe that you are expressing an unrealistic expectation for the MBBs — true, they train, coach, and mentor; but they do this as a full-time (some would argue even more, like time and a half) profession supporting a company (that signs their paychecks). It is not fair to consider these folks as community property. Or to question their training/coaching/mentoring abilities due to nonparticipation in this forum. On that note: big KUDOS to the MBBs that do take the time to assist others within this forum.
    One last comment — when I started out, I did not have this marvelous forum.  In fact, I thought I was state of the art with a “386” computer. When I did encounter questions/issues, I addressed them the old-fashioned way rather than having somebody deliver me the answer. This built both competence as well as confidence in the Six Sigma methodology and tools.

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    #91289

    Dr. Steve W.
    Participant

    how you really learn. Read those statistics books and books on process tools! There is no short cut if one really wants to learn.

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    #91296

    Jamal
    Participant

    Ex-Ex-MBBYou misunderstood my post.  I do believe that Excellent MBB contribute to this site and thank God for this.  What I meant that there are a lot of people who work for companies call themselves MBB and  some consultants who are helping companies implement Six Sigma are really not qualified to be MBB.  A lot of Six Sigma candidates, who post on this site, went through 4-weeks of BB training are relying on this site to have their technical questions answered instead of asking the people who trained them, the MBB’s out there. I met many incompetent six sigma consultants from a wide range of Six Sigma consultant firms (I am not going to mention names to protect the guilty) who in my opinion would not even pass for BB.   On the other hand, I do read this site posts and believe that there few (20%) Excellent and impressive MBB’s who are contributing to this forum. Thanks,Jamal     

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