White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt:
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 approach, means that certified champions (“Belts”) move up one level in the pyramid, and by doing so, they become the trainers for people below them.
- Each Black Belt supports 5 Green Belts, who support 5×5=25 Yellow Belts, who support 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 the training courses to transfer skills and also the implementation assistance to build such professional support structure.
- As Master Black Belt (MBB) we deliver the training and as interim manager we lead the Project Management Office (PMO) to ensure the program contributes to the bottom line.
Lean Course Description
How it works:
The program consists of three parts: training, project, and certification. During the Training Camp, 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 a tangible benefit for the company sponsoring the program. Champions present their work at the Certification Camp to get formally certified, learning additional skills and getting ready to train others. By doing do, they are setting in motion a “cascade of knowledge” to get their peers and direct reports on board.
How long it takes:
The total time for learning, application, and validation takes 1 week for White Belt (WB), 2 months for Yellow Belt (YB), 6 months for Green Belt (GB), and 12 months for Black Belt (BB). During this period, participants must have enough time available to apply their skills and create the impact required for certification. The minimum fully dedicated time is 1 day for White Belt, 5 days for Yellow Belt, 30 days for Green Belt, and 100 days for Black Belt. After attaining certification, participants must deliver one more project before they can apply for the next level, e.g. completing 2 Yellow Belt projects before starting Green Belt training.
Who is involved:
There are four roles to be assigned: sponsor, learner, trainer, and controller. The sponsor initiates the program, provides context and allocates resources. Learners invest their time, including some personal 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. Financial benefit from a single program is typically $0.6M to $1.2M per year, assuming a $50M addressable cost base and visible support from the top.
How much it costs:
The program is self-funding, as most projects achieve full payback within the implementation period and typically deliver a financial benefit of 5 to 10x over cost (ROI) within the project lifecycle. To ensure effective skill transfer, the trainer must be able to spend quality time with each participant. We therefore limit the group size per trainer and session to 20 people, whereas the ideal size is half of the limit. The amount our clients spend on Leanmap support for training, project setup, coaching during the implementation period, and certification is typically 1/5 to 1/10 of the delivered impact. It’s money well spent.
White Belt: Beginner
- 1-month program
- 3 WB modules
- Identify the 8 wastes
- Solve simple problems
- Organize workplaces
- Perform 5S audits
Yellow Belt: Intermediate
- 2-month program
- 6 YB modules
- Reduce process waste
- Solve basic problems
- Deliver process Kaizen
- Train and certify WB
Green Belt: Advanced
- 4-month program
- 6 GB modules
- Map value streams
- Implement flow and pull
- Solve advanced problems
- Train and certify WB+YB
Black Belt: Expert
- 6-month program
- 6 BB modules
- Lead cross-site programs
- Deliver transformations
- Solve complex problems
- Coach/certify WB+YB+GB
White Belt Course Description
The White Belt course is a one-day workshop to introduce Lean principles, basic tools and techniques. In practical simulation games, students learn how easy it is to reduce waste and improve their daily work. Certification requires completing four parts:
- attend a full day classroom training session,
- participate in a simulation game,
- analyze a problem using the PDCA form, and
- assess housekeeping level, using the 5S checklist.
The White Belt course is suitable for all anyone in any profession, working at any level, to learn the basic principles and practices.
White Belt Modules
- 8 Wastes Identification
- 5S Method and Audit
- Fishbone 4M Categories
- 5 Why, simple Problems
- PDCA Process, Template
After the course we frequently hear comments like: “I can see things clearly now”, “This is totally common sense!”, “Why haven’t we thought of this before?”. The course is practical and fun; it helps people at all levels to get informed, overcome fears, and open up to a new way of working that benefits customers, employees, and owners.
Yellow Belt Course Description
The Yellow Belt course is a two-month program where students learn how to apply Lean to their area of responsibility. By improving process performance, they not only develop new skills, but also create a tangible benefit for their sponsor. Certification requires completing four parts:
- attend two classroom sessions for training and certification,
- implement an improvement project and achieve a traceable benefit,
- formally solve a problem using the PDCA method, and
- create a work standard in OPL or SOP or SLA format.
The Yellow Belt course is ideal for anyone working with a computer, being responsible for people, knowledge, workflow, or machines.
Yellow Belt Training Modules
- 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 4M
- Kaizen Principles, Project
- OPL One Point Lesson
- Problem Solving PDCA
Green Belt Course Description
The Green Belt course is a six-month program to build advanced skills by applying Lean to interfaces and value streams, improving cross-functional performance. Certification requires completing five parts:
- attend two classroom sessions for training and certification,
- get proficient in value stream mapping VSM,
- implement an improvement project and achieved a tangible benefit,
- solve an advanced problem using the PDCA method, and
- create an advanced work standard in SOP or SLA format.
The Green Belt course is ideal for managers and functional specialists.
Green Belt Training Modules
- 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 SOP
- Total Productive Maintenance TPM
- Value Stream Mapping VSM
Black Belt Course Description
The Black Belt program builds expert capability over a 12-month period by applying Lean principles to products, processes, and systems. Students learn streamlining manufacturing and service processes, optimizing products and product portfolios, and reconfiguring value streams for higher efficiency and flexibility. Supported by a coach, a Black Belt student transforms an end-to-end process, from order to fulfillment, creating a step-change in performance. Certification requires completing seven parts:
- attend two one-week workshops for training and certification,
- deeply understand the 20 keys of world-class operations and lean audit techniques,
- become proficient in value stream mapping for factory and office,
- perform operations cost analysis using cost-driver tree,
- implement a transformational project and achieved a step-change in performance,
- solve a complex problem using failure-tree and multi-PDCA, and
- create a business-level work standard in SOP or SLA format.
The Black Belt course is ideal for anyone responsible for an organization, critical projects, or a large asset base.
Black Belt Training Modules
- 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
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.