This respected Six Sigma Black Belt Body of Knowledge represents the minimum required standards set by the Management and Strategy Institute (MSI) for understanding of Six Sigma principles at the Black Belt level.
Elements do not necessarily need to be presented in the order shown below. Trainers and organizations are encouraged to teach additional information above and beyond these standards at each level. All knowledge levels should be taught/demonstrated to the Bloom’s Taxonomy level of Apply, unless otherwise noted.
The MSI Six Sigma Standard has been adopted by organizations around the world. These standards are completely independent of other standard-setting bodies. Practitioners involved in continuous improvement should be familiar with the following standards:
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Body of Knowledge
The following components are required for Lean Six Sigma certification. This only applies if Lean methodology is being taught.
The following recommendations apply to Six Sigma initiatives within the healthcare sector.
The following recommendations apply to Six Sigma initiatives within the Federal/State Government.
The following recommendations apply to Six Sigma initiatives related to Human Resources departments. These apply to projects being implemented within an HR department, as well as the role that HR plays within the broader organization to support a Six Sigma project.
The following recommendations apply to Six Sigma within Information Technology departments.
Body of Knowledge Area Breakdown:
History of Six Sigma
Should be able to define Six Sigma and have an deep understanding of the history of Six Sigma and continuous improvement methods like Lean, 5S and Total Quality Management. How and why they were developed and for use in which industries.
y = f(x)
Although Six Sigma talks a lot about statistical analysis and measurements and various other mathematical applications, at the core of the process is one simple equation. Understand the basic function of y=f(x)
Should have a basic understanding of identifying where variances are occurring in a function. It is recommended that this topic should be taught/demonstrated to the Bloom’s Taxonomy level of Analyze for Black Belt.
TQM & others
Have an understanding of the other process improvement methodologies and how they differ from Six Sigma.
Understand Six Sigma philosophies and how to recognize opportunity.
Understand how to frame quality into what is important to the customer.
Deciding to start a Six Sigma project
Understand the “how and why” regarding a company launching a quality improvement initiative like Six Sigma.
Organizational Roles and Responsibilities
Understand how team are formed and the role of each belt level within the Six Sigma project.
The DMAIC Method
Understand and define DMAIC. Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. It is recommended that this topic should be taught/demonstrated to the Bloom’s Taxonomy level of Analyze for Black Belt.
Why is DMAIC used
Understand why the DMAIC process is utilized.
Understand the basis of DMADV (Design for Six Sigma) when you do not have an existing system or process to improve upon.
Understand why continual communication is critical to the success of the project.
Understand the critical role that a Yellow Belt, or “Subject Matter Expert” plays within the Six Sigma team.
Defining a process
Determine how to define a process. Process owners, scope and boundaries.
Critical to Quality Characteristics
Understand Critical to Quality (CTQ) measures. It is recommended that this topic should be taught/demonstrated to the Bloom’s Taxonomy level of Evaluate for Black Belt.
Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ)
The Cost of Poor Quality is the sum of internal and external failures. Understand the cost of poor quality.
Six Sigma Metrics
Understand the Sigma level, RTY, DPU, DPMO, FPY. Consequential metrics, Quality Metrics, Cost Metrics, Scheduling Metrics.
Estimating the Baseline
Understand the process to estimate the baseline.
The Define Stage
The Project Definition and scoping of goals and objectives. How the process is defined in terms of stakeholders, and the functionalities of the process.
The Measure Phase
Getting more detail into the process, what metrics and measurements are involved as well as estimating the baseline of the current “as is” process.
Six Sigma Tools
Understand the different tools that may be useful throughout the many parts of the Six Sigma project.
The Analyze Phase
Understand the value stream proposition and analysis. Determination of the factors that influence the process output. It is recommended that this topic should be taught/demonstrated to the Bloom’s Taxonomy level of Analyze for Black Belt.
The Improve Stage
Understand how the new process is defined, potential benefits examined and verification of the new process determined. It is recommended that this topic should be taught/demonstrated to the Bloom’s Taxonomy level of Analyze for Black Belt.
The Control Stage
Understand the standardization of new practice, verifying the impacts /savings, and how to document lessons learned.
Valuing Six Sigma
Understand the role, like activities of a Green Belt and how that differs from a Black Belt. Understand the communication project tasks that a Green Belt will likely be asked to undertake.
What is Lean
Understand the history of Lean and how it is used in conjunction with Six Sigma. Understand lean tools such as 5S, Kaiban, TIMWOOD, 5 Why, 7S, and others.
Selecting Lean Six Sigma Projects
Understand how to create a project charter and build the business case.
Six Sigma Statistics
Have an understanding of Six Sigma Statistics.
Measurement Systems Analysis
Have a basic understanding of Measurement Systems Analysis. This includes Gage R&R, Bias Linearity, & Stability.
Have a basic understanding of process capability. System design, Parameter design, and tolerances.
Have a basic understanding of statistical theories which involve inference.
Have a basic understanding of Hypothesis Testing.
Simple Linear and Multiple Regression Analysis
Have a basic understanding of regression analysis.
Have a basic understanding of design of experiments and factorial experiments.
Statistical Process Control
Have a basic understanding of design of control tools and statistical process control tool usage.
Leading Six Sigma Teams
Have an understanding of Project Management and the role it plays in Six Sigma for a Black Belt.
Ending Six Sigma Projects
Understand when and how to end a Six Sigma project.
Making the Change
Understand change management principles. Understand the Black Belt role in facilitating change.
Six Sigma Black belt Certification:
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification:
All MSI Black Belt Subcategories:
Six Sigma Lean Black Belt in Healthcare (LBBH)™
Six Sigma Lean Black Belt in Government (SSBBG)™
Six Sigma Black Belt in HR (BBHR)™
Six Sigma Lean Black Belt in IT (LBBIT)™
Six Sigma Lean Black Belt in Education (LBBE)™