Version 13.0, effective July 12, 2013
Six sigma is about results. It is a customer-centered, systematic, data-driven way of doing things better.
Six sigma puts tools and responsibility into the hands of people throughout the organization, and empowers them to make useful changes.
Six Sigma projects should naturally flow from the objectives of the organization. Approved projects should be those that provide the highest possible returns to the organization. As much as possible, they should also be free from pre-committed solutions, so that the tools and the data can drive the actual solution to the problem.
“Customer-centered” means that six sigma projects begin with, and measure themselves by, customer satisfaction. Note that process customers are often internal to the organization.
Evidence of being customer centered:
“Systematic” means that it follows a roadmap that logically links tools in a way that makes them much more powerful than they are by themselves.
Evidence of being systematic:
“Data-driven” means facts, data and analysis are used to make decisions and measure progress toward goals.
Evidence of being data driven:
“Doing things better” means in some measurable way improving the lot of customers, shareholders, or workers.
Evidence of success at doing things better:
Body of Knowledge
Six sigma may include any number of useful tools. No list can be exhaustive, but all practitioners should be competent in at least these core tools. Tools marked with * appear in practically all successful projects. A project should use only the tools that provide relevant insight.
Organizations may substitute alternate titles for these levels of competence. Each level includes the body of knowledge for the levels below it.
Green Belt Body of Knowledge:
Principles of Six Sigma
Principles of Lean/Toyota Production System
Project Definition *
Taguchi Loss Function
Individuals and Moving Range Charts *
Pareto Charts *
Process Map, showing the logical connection between process input and output variables *
Cause and Effect Matrix *
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis *
Green Belt Project Competencies:
Green Belts are competent to lead many types of projects that do not require the more advanced tools, but which benefit from the tools listed for the level.
Advanced Green Belt Body of Knowledge:
Measurement System Analysis
Graphical methods, including at least
Data Analysis (Regression, ANOVA, ANOM, or similar tools)
Advanced Green Belt Project Competencies:
Advanced Green Belts are competent to lead many types of projects that do not require the Black Belt tools, but which benefit from the basic tools, plus Measurement System Analysis and multi-factor regression and ANOVA.
Black Belt Body of Knowledge:
Central Composite Experiments
Capability Study based on rational subgrouping
Tests of Proportions
Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility
Tests of Equal Variance
Chi Square Test
As needed, specialty Tools for Design for Six Sigma
Black Belt Project Competencies:
Black Belts are competent to lead complex projects that require advanced tools for testing measurement systems, analyzing complex historical data, and planning and executing designed experiments.
Green Belt, Advanced Green Belt, and Black Belt candidates may certify by either of two paths.
They may certify by attaining a score of 75% or more correct on a proctored, comprehensive examination covering the body of knowledge for the level of certification sought.
They may certify by submitting a satisfactory report of a completed project to a Master Black Belt who was certified to this standard. The level awarded is determined by the tools that were appropriately and productively used in the project. Those who certify through this path are not required to take the examination, and are also awarded a Project Manager endorsement. To be successful, the completed project must present evidence that the project:
Directly relates to one or more of the organization's overarching goals.
Productively used the Six Sigma tools in concert, according to a roadmap such as Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.
Demonstrates that the process is better than its predecessor, or, in the case of a new process/product, demonstrates that the process/product meets its design objectives.
Where feasible and productive, shows that the new process is:
Satisfies the process owner.
Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) projects relate to the design of new processes or products. The criteria for certification are the same as for Green Belt, Advanced Green Belt or Black Belt. A DFSS project will often relate to just a portion of a product design.
A candidate may be certified as a Six Sigma Champion on evidence that:
Master Black Belt: A candidate who has been certified to this standard as both a Black Belt with Project Manager endorsement, and as a Champion, may be certified as a Master Black Belt.
This standard is based on the document produced by industry experts attending the Iomega Benchmarking Conference in 2001.
Darrell Bethune, Senior Editor, Iomega, Roy, Utah
Judy Bland, Master Black Belt, Acadia Polymers, Ligonier, Indiana
Denton Bramwell, Senior Master Black Belt, Iomega, Roy, Utah
Allen Brill, Executive VP, Six Sigma Jobs, Prosperity, South Carolina
Bill English, Senior Master Black Belt, Iomega, Roy, Utah
Scott Weyburn, President, Axeon Inc., Roy, Utah
Dr. Donald J. Wheeler, President, Statistical Process Controls Inc., Knoxville, Tennessee
Lynda Williams, Executive Director, ISSSP, Scottsdale, Arizona
The document has been maintained and revised by:
Denton Bramwell, Sr. Master Black Belt, author of the QuikSigma® and Advanced QuikSigma® textbooks, and co-author of the QuikSigma® software.
Wayne Stewart, CEO of Promontory Management Group, Inc.