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Requirements from BB

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  • #30516

    Kawaljeet
    Participant

    Hi all,
    I am doing a benchmarking study and would appreciate if you all could spend some time and explain what are expectations of your company from the Black belts.
    Typically:
    No of projects, Money saved per black belt, Cost to benefit ratio or some other metrics.
    If you feel you dont want to highlight companies name, its fine with me as long as we share right information.
    Thanks in advance

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    #79704

    Cooke
    Member

    I’m an MBB at a large US corporation.  Our requirements of Black Belts are 4 projects per year at an average of $250K per project (for a total savings of $1M per year per Black Belt).  Of course, there are always exceptions for those projects which are more foundational and have fewer direct financial benefits, but this should give you a basic idea of our requirements.  I’d be interested in knowing what the norm is at other companies as well.

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    #79709

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Tracy,
    It is more common to see 5 projects/year and $500,000 in total savings. Unless you have a continuous process sustaining a $250,000 average will blow up on you sooner or later – my best wave was a $175,000 average but it didn’t hold over time – either that or you have a seriously bad process.
    There is a basic problem to these metrics – they are a function of project selection which is done by Champions in most situations. It is probably the quickest way to demotivate or disempower a person – hold them to a metric they don’t control. Are there metrics on the Champions or whoever selects the projects that hold them to identifying projects worth over $250,000 and having a backlog in place so they don’t miss the 4 projects per year while they wait for the pellet to drop out of the project selection process.
    If you want to measure a BB try something they can control such as time to complete a project (this assumes you can differentiate between types of projects).
    If you read the posts fairly regularly you will see there are more issues with the organization and environment we put BB’s & GB’s in than the actual BB’s & GB’s themselves. We continue to put all kinds of metrics on the people in the process when the inputs to the process are a bigger issue.
    You want performance from your SS program – start there. Process map it, do a SIPOC, Ishakawa Diagram, etc before you select the metrics. Someone has already made the decision it is a function of the BB’s. I would seriously doubt it. They don’t operate in a vacuum – actually they frequently do – that is part of the problem.
    Good luck.
     

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    #79715

    RT
    Member

    Putting $$ requirements on projects is not always the best path to improvement.  Don’t forget the customer perspective.  Are these savings being rolled out to customers?  Not likely.  Also putting unreasonable ROI requirements on projects forces BB/Project Managers to fluff up the business case.  If you don’t think it’s happening in your business do a deep dive on the numbers.  I like to see projects that meet the criteria of good ROI i.e. 3:1 or 4:1 in the first year.  Some businesses can achive much higher ROI’s but they probably haven’t been at the SS game that long.  A better way to set standard improvement goals would be 90% DPMO reduction etc.  This way your not forcing your team to only look at $$.  Quality and customer satisfaction make an excellent business case even when they are not tied to VCP.  Also when Champions select the projects the business case always seems to come on the back of a napkin.  I’ve seen more projects die because the negitive productivity was not included in the calcs.

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    #79718

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    RT,
    I don’t object to you ROI statement in particular since we have offered an ROI guarantee for years. There is a part of how we apply ROI to SS that does bother me considerably.
    If you cruise on down to the accounting folks and ask them what the payback period or ROI is on a capital investment – what will they respond? For some reason we have come to expect ROI from BB’s and BB projects to be 2,3, or more than what we do for other investments. Why?
    Why do we hold a BB to a particular $ savings in a year when nobody else in the organization is measured. They aren’t even asked to return their salary or even try to figure out if they came close.
    Just a curiosity.
    Good luck.

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    #79721

    RT
    Member

    Mike:
    Anyone who is not contributing to the VCP drive is back office fodder.  But you are so right, why do BB’s and MBB’s carry the load?  My guess is that it is a rewarded position to those who can carry that load.  But why do we have a headcount restriction on these outstanding individuals?

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    #79722

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Rt,
    I don’t get it either. You train someone for 4-5 months and they get a metric we don’t put on people who have 4 years of training. Granted the company didn’t pay for it (in most cases) but I don’t think that is the issue. You can frequently see performance metrics on top athletes and high salaries. Those are business decisions based on ROI. WE can’t see to get it as a culture that ROI should work across the board.
    I am missing the logic.

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    #79724

    Jamie
    Participant

    I’m in the “I don’t get it camp”. Hold someone to $1 million a year when they often can’t control what projects they get, what resources are available, or how much the organization supports them (not to mention uninterrupted time)? Thats 10 to 20 times the salary of the employee, while the rest of the organization doesn’t justify their salary alone. Sounds like we hold Six Sigma analysts to a different standard.
    Let’s say $200k for salary, benefits, admin, office, tools, etc per black-belt are your costs. I think $500k goal is a much more reasonable expectation…. and even that is probably higher return than any other aspect of an organization.
    Jamie
     

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    #79728

    Terry
    Member

    In our practice we use to be very conscious about BB project savings as a prerequisite to certification.  We used a bogie of $100K as we also felt that was a lot more reasonable than the hyped ups stories in the textbooks.  Personally, most of the published Six Sigma guidelines (e.g., savings, # BBs/revenue $, #GBs/BB, etc.) serve the consultants and trainers more than they do anyone else.
    After 4 years into certifying candidates I believe that results are very important but I place less emphasis on the first project.  It’s not the only thing that matters.  I’m more concerned about developing the longer term technical expertise and how Six Sigma is “sticking.”  Mike Carnell hit on a more important topic – How do you internalize Six Sigma, embed it into the culture and make it a way of life.  If we have a great candidate that demonstrates great leadership, technical expertise, and a great deployment but only saves $70K he’s not a flunkie.  These are the individuals that go on and do a dozen more projects and make the cash register really ka-ching.
    Believe me, you’re not going to see a consistent $500K-$1 million per project, that’s a fantasy.  But you will see millions and billions if you deploy Six Sigma correctly with thousands of people who complete hundreds of projects.  You need to look beyond the first project because the real returns are in the multiplier effect – When people begin to do this over and over as a way of life. Culture and the soft stuff matters.
    Terry

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    #79732

    Deployment Champion
    Participant

    We use following guidelines to rate our black belts:
    Number of projects by the black belt: atleast minimum expectation 3 per year
    Savings per black belt
    Project management: Cost to benefit ratio per project
    Soft skills: feedback from the team members and the customer for each project.

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    #80190

    Lisa
    Participant

    I have read and understand the points made by both sides of the fence, and have one more measurement method to add to the mix.
    Our black belts mentor the entire organization when needed, but specifically mentor the first project of a ‘newly graduated’ Green Belt class (chosen mostly for the potential financial impact and business objectives) and all other projects that a black belt is fully engaged in must be over 250K potential financial IMPACT.  That doesn’t mean savings to the bottom line, it means impact.  We have a Black Belt TEAM goal each year and assist each other in meeting and exceeding that goal, but one individual is not asked to make a certain financial amount based on the variation in the impact a project can have.

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    #80193

    HH
    Participant

    I work for a small to mid size US company, and have just recently asked to become a BB. I have been a certified GB for about a year, and this is one of the first things I wanted to know. Fortunately we do not base our BB metric on $ but specifically # of project per year.

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    #80525

    Kawaljeet
    Participant

    Thanks for your inputs. This discussion is slowly picking up. So far, we suggested metrics, which have some drawbacks. So why do companies still go for these metrics? Over and above what should be the metric, because if I cant measure, I cant improve..!!
    Thanks again
    Regards
    Kawaljeet

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