Selecting Six Sigma Black Belts



Does anyone have any information on how best to select candidates to become Black Belts? We're about to start an program and need to develop 2 at our plant....


I don't have any definitive information, but here are a couple of rules-of-thumb that I have seen work well before.
  • Pick out the the workers who are the loudest and most frequent complainers about the way things are now, and ask them to volunteer to help improve things. If they buy in, then it is likely that everyone else will as well.
  • If you have anyone who is an ASQ CQE, ask them. They already have the knowledge, experience, training and professional certification -- everything except Six Sigma Academy's marketing stuff. (And ASQ CQT's are great material for "Green Belts".)

Graeme C. Payne
ASQ Certified Quality Engineer
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by Graeme (edited 16 November 2000).]

Rick Goodson

Approximately 20 years ago we had a different name for black belts, we called them Senior Quality Engineers. I would start exactly as Graeme suggests, with the CQE's.


Hi there,
It was quite enlightening from the various messages that how different organization pursue and interprete differently in the "Six-sigma or Belter Program". Perhaps, I would share my experience in this journey.
I am now into the foruth-year "Belter program" journey in my organization. Th eobjective of this program was to drive the company into a world class organization. During the start up stage, we did not really understanding the "Belter program" too well and we have "created" not less than 30 belters in almost 25 companies within our organization. Most of the belters, by the way, are QC personnel (Engineer or executive ). Though there are some who are head of department.
Beginning of this year, we did a self assessment of belter program to understandg why the belter program is not working too well. We examined and appreciated the approach taken by GE who is the "founder of Sig-Sigma with Belter" as a benchmark. Our experience is that the Six-Sigma or Belter program is more effective if it starts with management team members whose main role is to drive the program all the way down systematically ( at different phases of implementation ). In addition, the success of this program largely depending on the level of commitment and involvement from the management.
Well, depending on the size of the organization and the objective of this program, a CQE to start with as a belter may work (and like to sustain) if he/she is one of the management team. Otherwise, this belter may faced lots of obsticles from others in supporting the program.
You may also refer to some books written about the "Sig-sigma program" to enhance your implementation of your belter program. E.g.
1) "The Six sigma Way" by Peter S.Pande, published by McGraw Hill
2) "The GE Way Fieldbook" by Robert Slater, published by McGraw Hill

Best of luck to your Belter program

Thanks and Best Regards

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