The Different Belt Colours in Lean Six Sigma and their Roles

There are different belt color in Lean Six Sigma and each one signifies a role that the holder has to play within an organization. Lean six sigma has been around for over 10 years now and has been helpful in services and distribution and also manufacturing.

The Different Belt Colours in Lean Six Sigma and their Roles

For their belts, special positions have been created for the Black Belt, Green Belt, and Yellow Belt, though they were reached via trial and error. These roles differ based on the organization, however, the belts are deployed for the following roles in an organization.

Black Belts.
This position is a dedicated one that requires full time, with the holder focused always on how to improve the processes of production. He/she can achieve this by using various problem-solving equipment that is used in the project cycles. Black belts belong to those who are highly skilled in handling Lean six sigma tools. The channel of report differs but usually, this role requires you to directly report via a different function that is responsible for deploying Lean Six Sigma with a dotted-line duty to process owners or Champions.
The projects for black belts are usually broad in terms of scope and most of the time depends on the support of both yellow and green belts. The black belt position in an organization is most of the time an important one, as it is career development plan for the high-potential employees. They are often required to mentor and support those with Green Belts or Yellow Belts.

Green Belts.
Lean six sigma doesn’t actually have a unique job description. Rather using its tools is a matter of internal certification. Green belts individuals usually work Six Sigma projects that are directly related to their area or functional role. They are tasked with the role of maintaining functional responsibility and are found within the company’s reporting structure.
The projects for this set aren’t as based as those with black belts and they don’t exceed the normal scope of what the green belt’s practical role and influence can handle. When black belts are broken down into different roles, then they usually assume similar roles like the green belts. Green belts are charged with supporting and developing the lower yellow belts in their functional activities.

Yellow Belts.
This is the team members who are working in the projects headed by black belts and green belts individuals. Yellow belts are expected to be the ones that are effective and participate on the projects. This is because they are familiar with the techniques, tools, and language of the Lean six sigma. They are tasked with documenting and measuring the processes involved. Their efforts help in establishing a process management infrastructure. There is no specific job title for yellow belts, similar to that of green belts.

The use of the different roles over the years in manufacturing has been key to creating a robust and stable production process in most organizations. They have been utilized in several industries such as Marketing, Sales, Operations, Human Resources, Distribution, IT (mostly), Finance and other support functions.

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