White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt:
Lean Six Sigma (LSS) courses build robust skills in opportunity analysis and project delivery, creating measurable impact. Students learn how to uncover hidden potentials and systematically improve performance. By doing so, champions not only build critical skills, but also create tangible benefits from systematically reducing waste and variability.
- The White Belt is a Lean Six Sigma course for beginners to learn basic tools and techniques with simple applications.
- The Yellow Belt is an intermediate Lean Six Sigma course with focus on processes to improve quality and efficiency.
- The Green Belt is an advanced Lean Six Sigma course with focus on value streams to improve cross-functional performance.
- The Black Belt is a Lean Six Sigma course for experts to deliver critical projects and high-impact transformation programs.
Lean Six Sigma Course: How to Build Skills and Benefit from New Knowledge
How it works:
The program consists of three parts: training, application, certification. During the training, participants learn about principles, tools, and techniques. Right after the training, they apply what they have learned in practical improvement projects to build real skills and create measurable benefits. By doing so, they are building value-adding skills by applying their new knowledge, while getting peers and direct reports on board to join the journey.
How long it takes:
The time to become a White Belt is 2 days effort over a 1-month period. A Yellow Belt takes 10 days over a 2-month period. A Green Belt requires 20 days effort during 4 months, and a Black Belt is certified after implementing a transformation program, requiring at least 30 days effort over a 6-month period.
Who is involved:
The four key roles are sponsor, learner, trainer, and controller. The sponsor initiates the program, provides context and allocates resources. Learners invest their time to read the material, complete exercises, and implement improvements. The trainer leads learners through the program, providing theory, exercises, and coaching support. For Yellow Belt and above, the controller validates financial benefits created from the improvement projects.
What you can expect:
Certified champions are able to see and act upon opportunities where they could not before. By improving quality, efficiency, and flexibility they generate benefits from faster delivery and lower cost.
How much it costs:
Courses are profitable, assuming skills actually applied and improvements implemented. Most projects achieve full payback even within the short implementation period and typically deliver a financial benefit of 5-10x over tuition fees (ROI) within the project lifecycle.
Purpose: build certified capability at «Beginner» level.
Attendees: the White Belt is an introductory course for all employees, from janitor to executive.
Prerequisites: students can start anytime after recording a problem and taking a photo of their workplace.
Schedule: 2 days effort within a 1-month period to learn the theory, organize a workplace, solve a problem, and attain certification.
Exit competencies: organize workplace with 5S, identify and reduce the 8 wastes, solve simple problems with PDCA.
Benefit: spot-improvement to create a visible or even measurable benefit, worth $500 (self-certified).
Purpose: build certified capability at «Intermediate» level.
Attendees: the Yellow Belt course is ideal for anyone working with a computer, machine, or process.
Prerequisites: students must be certified as a White Belt to register for the Yellow Belt course.
Schedule: 10 days effort within a 2-month period to learn the theory, implement a small improvement project, and attain certification.
Exit competencies: improve process quality and efficiency by reducing waste, solve basic problems, train and certify White Belts.
Benefit: functional improvement to deliver at least 10% performance gain or $5,000 financial benefit.
Purpose: build certified capability at «Advanced» level.
Attendees: the Green Belt course is ideal for managers and specialists, responsible for teams or assets.
Prerequisites: students must be certified as a Yellow Belt to register for the Green Belt course.
Schedule: 20 days effort within a 4-month period to learn the theory, implement a major improvement project, and attain certification.
Exit competencies: map value streams, implement flow and pull, solve advanced problems, train and certify White and Yellow Belts.
Benefit: cross-functional project to deliver at least 20% performance gain and $20,000 financial benefit.
Purpose: build certified capability at «Coach» or «Expert» level.
Attendees: the Black Belt course is ideal for program leaders and organisational change agents.
Prerequisites: students must be certified as a Green Belt to register for the Black Belt course.
Schedule: 30 days effort within a 6-month period to learn the theory, implement a transformation project, and attain certification.
Exit competencies: lead cross-site transformation programs, solve complex problems, train and certify White, Yellow, Green Belts.
Benefit: transformation project to deliver at least 30% performance gain and $50,000 financial benefit.
White Belt Topics
- 8 Wastes Identification
- 5S Method and Audit
- Fishbone 6M Categories
- 5 Why, simple Problems
- PDCA Process, Template
Quotes from course participants:
- “I can see things clearly now!”
- “This is totally common sense!”
- “Everyone should learn this!”
- “A new way of working.”
- “This was practical and fun!”
- “Why haven’t we thought about this before?”
Yellow Belt Topics
- 5S as a System
- 8W “DOWNTIME”
- Abnormality Signals
- Batch and Queue
- Cellular Concept
- Continuous Flow
- Cycle Time Basics
- Downtime and Efficiency
- Error-Proofing, Poka-Yoke
- First-In First-Out FIFO
- Fishbone Ishikawa 6M
- Kaizen Principles, Project
- OPL One Point Lesson
- Problem Solving PDCA
Green Belt Topics
- Cycle, Takt, Tact, Pitch
- Inventory Optimization
- Just-in-Time JIT
- Lean Manufacturing
- Lean Admin & Service
- Load-Leveling, Heijunka
- Management Boards
- Product and Service Matrix
- Pull Systems: A and B
- Setup Reduction SMED, RTS
- Spaghetti Chart
- Standard Operating Procedure
- Total Productive Maintenance
- Value Stream Mapping VSM
Black Belt Topics
- Control Charts
- Cost of Poor Quality COPQ
- Profit Per Hour PPH
- Zero-Based Budgeting ZBB
- Flexibilizing, Balancing
- Flow Production, Service
- Non-Performance Cost NPC
- Process Capability Cp, Cpk
- Pull Systems: A, B, C
- Risk Analysis FMEA
- Roadmap Design
- Metrics, Scorecards
- Strategy Deployment, X-Matrix
- Cycle Time, Takt, Pitch
- First Pass Yield FPY
- Rolled Throughput Yield RTY
- Variability Reduction Methods
How to Take Advantage of Lean Six Sigma Skills to Systematically Improve Organization and Results
How the Model works
- The training program establishes a Skill Pyramid to cascade knowledge from expert down to the frontline, involving people at all levels of the organization, including senior management; like one CEO puts it: “we are taking our own medicine”.
- Employing a Train-the-Trainer model means that certified Yellow Belts, Green Belts, and Black Belts train and certify people below them.
- Each Black Belt supports 5 Green Belts, each Green Belt supports 5×5 = 25 Yellow Belts, each Yellow Belt supports 5x5x5 = 125 White Belts.
- At full leverage of the model, one Black Belt supports an organization of 200 people, of which 160 or 80% participate in the training program.
How the Organization works
- The Skill Pyramid is a professional support structure that allows people to connect with each other, exchange experiences, develop new ways of working, and provide coaching support.
- A customer service agent for example, who is working on a Yellow Belt project might get support from an accountant, who is a certified Green Belt and worked on a similar project before.
- Leanmap provides coaching and implementation assistance to transfer skills and build such professional support structure.
- As Master Black Belt (MBB) or Project Management Officer (PMO) we ensure that the program delivers the desired change and impact.
Course Examples: 4000+ Graduates from 20+ Countries
Building problem-solving skills for Automotive to systematically identify cause-effect relationships and effectively eliminate underlying root causes. By doing so, preventing costly product and process failures.
With focus on warehouse and back-office operations, over 600 people completed their Lean projects, improving response time to customers and on-time-in-full (OTIF) performance to vessels.
After a one-year project implementation phase champions from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands and Switzerland completed the Lean training and received their Black Belt certificates.
Performance Improvement Program (PIP) was kicked-off by Wrist Ship Supply with an initial training of the leadership team in Aalborg, Denmark to build critical skills.
Lean champions who attained Black Belt level are now proficient in value stream mapping in manufacturing and service, root-cause identification and elimination, process-redesign and standardization.
Trainees at all levels of the organization learned how to effectively reduce waste, variability, and inflexibility (3 losses), while getting certified as Lean Yellow Belts.
Removing causes to prevent repeat problems is a foundational skill for key people, such as managers, supervisors and specialists to systematically improve right-first-time (RFT) rate.
Executive Lean Training (ELT) helps senior managers gain a solid understanding of Lean management principles and practices to become more effective sponsoring and steering change-programs.