In a world where quality and customer perception of value matter, Six Sigma becomes an essential tool for business processes. Ensuring that there is consistent quality and continuous improvement in business processes can be a complex process given the several factors that go into the production of high-quality products or services. These factors include tools and technologies, manpower, processes, management, cost, raw materials, packaging and storage, product design, and many others.
Six Sigma is fundamentally a business strategy aimed at eliminating errors, reducing waste, optimizing resource use in business processes to ensure continuous quality improvement using statistical analysis. Ultimately, it creates a balance between profitability and customer satisfaction. Most organizations that employ the Six Sigma methodology require professionals who have achieved the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification.
The Six Sigma Green Belt Qualification
Where the quality of a company’s products or services is concerned, one of the crucial Six Sigma qualifications in an organization is the Green Belt qualification. This is the third of the Six Sigma skill levels after the white belt and the yellow belt. Green Belts typically work under the supervision of the Black Belts in resolving quality-related challenges and are usually the ‘main-man’ in quality improvement projects. Green Belts are considered to change agents in the organization as they are often at the forefront of quality improvement.
Roles of a Green Belt professional
The Green Belt is trained in Six Sigma and therefore has an in-depth understanding of this methodology including its concepts, techniques, and processes based on the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) model. The overall responsibility of a Green Belt certified professional in the organization is to steer Six Sigma process improvement teams/projects and support black belts through to the successful completion of projects. As such, a significant percentage of their time is spent making decisions, process planning, defining project charter and SIPOC (Supplier, Input, Process, and Output) diagram, and liaising with other project managers to deliver feedback on project performance. Unlike the black belts who work full time on cross-functional six sigma projects, Green Belts only work within their functional areas.
Their specific roles include:
- Guiding project team members during data collection and validating a measuring system.
- Designing data-driven solutions for achieving project goals.
- Using Six Sigma approach to identify, analyze, brainstorm solutions, and solve quality-related problems in system processes alongside other project team members.
- Heading projects within their functional designation.
- Coming up with a project progress evaluation and presentation standards using graphs or other visual formats.
- Help improve project performance and quality of project deliveries by employing the Six Sigma methodology.
- Developing a communication plan for relaying project information to other stakeholders.
The Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
The Six Sigma Green Belt certification is designed for professionals who are directly charged with the responsibilities of developing continuous improvement processes and defects reduction who desire to hone their Six Sigma skills. These may include:
- Project managers
- Process engineers
- Business process analysts
- Manufacturing engineers
- Compliance structural engineers
- Operating system professionals
- Warehouse operations managers
Why should you pursue Six Sigma Green Belt certification?
Overall, Six Sigma certifications enable organizations to round up their processes into one complete system that gives them control over input, costs, outputs, and other resources to reduce waste while also facilitating business growth and profitability.
- Statistical analysis and problem-solving skills
The Green Belt certification equips you with statistical analysis skills and helps you develop the discipline and competencies required to identify, analyze, and brainstorm solutions to problems that arise from business processes. This way, you will be adding value to the organization by reducing waste/defects, their root causes, and associated costs in processes on one hand and increasing efficiencies, customer satisfaction, and profits on the other. Secondly, you will be in a good position to identify and prioritize business processes that need improvement and work on upgrading their quality.
- Competency in using Six Sigma tools and techniques
An ability to use Six Sigma tools, techniques, and apply the best practices like the DMAIC methodology in business processes to improve the business processes making them more efficient, effective, agile, and lean.
- Professional development advantage
Green Belts are typically employed by organizations for mid-level management and higher responsibilities which gives them a higher start point compared to their entry-level counterparts. They work hand-in-hand with executive and senior management thus developing the competencies to communicate, present, and recommend solutions to problems confidently in a professional manner. This gives them broader experience and better standing for higher positions and responsibilities.
- Pitching for better job prospects
A Green Belt professional’s ability to apply Six Sigma is not only beneficial to the company during delivering sales pitches but also when pitching themselves to prospective employers. An ability to implement Six Sigma in real-life processes makes one a valuable asset that futuristic companies are willing to put their stakes in to stay ahead of the competition.
- Good understanding of customer expectations
Today’s market share is distinguished by the quality of products and services. For quality to be achieved, a good understanding of customer expectations is required. Green Belt professionals, in improving process quality, do so with the customer in mind. The output of improved processes is high-quality products that meet customer needs and expectations eventually giving an organization a competitive advantage.
- Cross-industry value
The Six Sigma principles and methodology are applicable across all industries. The Green Belt certification gives a professional an edge across several industries on matters of quality and business processes. In addition to building solid leadership skills, you will be building your portfolio as a change agent across different organizations.
- Globally recognized
Six Sigma is a globally recognized and accredited business practice with very high-quality standards. Among the organizations applying Six Sigma in their operations are oversight and compliance organizations for the purposes of evaluating products and services. Six Sigma Green Belt certification helps professionals build experience and working knowledge in quality management.
- Salary prospects
Professionals with Six Sigma qualifications earn more than their counterparts. According to PayScale, Green Belts earn averagely between $65,000 and $80,500 annually depending on their designation with the operations managers earning the highest. However, professionals with more years of experience command higher packages.
While a Green Belt certification comes with several benefits, a professional should aim at the more advanced black belt and master black belt levels that come with even better prospects. Secondly, it is important to develop requisite skills like an eye for detail, teamwork and leadership abilities, analytical skills, logical thinking, communication and presentation skills, as well as strategic thinking.
The Six Sigma Green Belt certification is offered by the Council of Six Sigma Certification. There are no prerequisites for taking this examination.