Lean Six Sigma Yellow, Green, and Black Belt Difference


Six Sigma is a data-driven system that offers proven techniques and tools for helping organizations simplify their operations. By simplifying their operations, businesses will be in a position to provide customers with the best-quality services and products. 

The fundamental focus of Six Sigma is to get rid of variation and defects in organizational processes. When it comes to the successful implementation of Six Sigma practices, training and certification are highly important.

Know the Colors in Six Sigma Training:

Six Sigma is a complex methodology. So, training is offered at different levels. Each level is specified and denoted by a particular color belt. From white to Yellow belts, the belts range in ascending order. From the basic level training at the White Belt Level to the Master Black Belt level as the highest level of training, there are other levels as well in the middle. The belts provide learners with increasingly higher expertise and knowledge in Six Sigma Techniques and Strategies. The picture below will help you gain a better knowledge of the levels:










A Basic Knowledge:

Before you delve into details about the differences between Yellow, Green, and Black Belt Six Sigma, it is better to gain a fundamental understanding of what these belts mean:


  1. White Belt: This is the basic level of a beginner’s belt. When you take up the basic working knowledge of Six Sigma practices, you will get the white belt certification. From this course, you will also learn how these methodologies impact a business.
  2. Yellow belt: After completing the white level certification, you can take up the education that will get you Yellow belt certification if you wish to gain further knowledge. When you reach this level, you will learn more about Six Sigma principles. You will learn how to create process maps and gather data in a project setting at this level.
  3. Green belt: The third level in Six Sigma Certification in Green belt. As a Green belt Holder, you will already be an expert in the concepts and tools of Six Sigma.
  4. Black Belt: On completing training for a Black Belt certification, you will have a mastery of the Six Sigma Tools. Further, you will be a master in data analysis and Six Sigma techniques. With this certification, you can prove to an employer that you are capable enough of leading project teams. When passing a multiple-choice test is enough for Green belt Certification, you will have to both get through an exam and complete a project to gain a Black Belt in Six Sigma practices.
  5. Master Black Belt: This is the highest level of Six Sigma Master. When you are a Master Black Belt, you will often mentor Black Belt holders and even you will start influencing projects at the enterprise level and not a single project. However, to get this certification, you should have at least five years of experience working as a Black Belt or Master Black Belt. Otherwise, you should have completed a minimum of 10 Six Sigma Black Belt Projects. Also, to get this certification, you should get through an examination.

Now, you have a basic idea of different belts in Six Sigma Certification. But, you are here to know the Six Sigma Yellow, Green, and Black Belt difference. You can gain a better understanding of the differences from the table below:

Point of Difference

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Lean Six Sigma Green belt

Lean Six Sigma Yellow belt

Who are they?

Black Belts are leaders and executors of Lean Six Sigma Projects. They use advanced statistics along with the best Six Sigma tools and techniques for executing projects. 


Lean Green belts are a level below Black Belts. They function with the help of fundamental statistics and soft skills when it comes to project execution. They work on the basis of instructions from either Black Belts or Master Black Belts.

Yellow belt holders are regarded as prime candidates to take part in Lean Six Sigma Teams in an organization. The reason is that they are certified and trained with general knowledge of the Lean Six Sigma approach and fundamental tools and methodologies.

Key Role

The key role of Six Sigma Black Belts is to  ensure overall process success. They mentor Green belts using the right Six Sigma techniques and tools.

The key role of a Green belt holder is to carry out the responsibilities assigned by a Black Belt or master Black Belt. Further, they are responsible for preparing the team leader to address the initial chances for improvement

Yellow belt holders are responsible for providing meaningful assistance through dedicated projects. They contribute toward achieving the performance goals of their organization.

What Will They Learn?

The training for Black Belts will provide trainees with a fundamental overview of improvement and quality. Further, they will learn the DMAIC project approach and how to approach the lean Six Sigma methodology. They will get an overview of different phases like control, improve, analyze, measure, and define phases.

They will learn how to apply DMAIC Methodology and also they will learn how to apply root cause analysis techniques. They will learn how to work with a Black Belt in a Six Sigma improvement team. Most importantly, they will understand the ways to improve customer satisfaction. Further, the training will teach them how to apply the tools for improving the functional area.

Yellow belt training will teach the basics of quality and Six Sigma concepts and philosophy. They will learn fundamental lean concepts and philosophy. Even, they will learn the lean approach basically.

Now, you know the Lean Six Sigma Yellow, Green, and Black Belt difference. The difference lies not only in the way training is provided and concepts covered but lies with the responsibilities they take up in organizations as well. 

In addition to Black, Green, and Yellow belt training and roles, Lean Six Sigma encompasses other roles as well. They are the Lean Six Sigma White belt, Lean Six Sigma Champion, and orange belt. When you are understanding the Six Sigma Yellow, Green, and Black Belt comparison, it is better to be aware of other belts as well. But, before that, it is better to learn what DMAIC means as you came across this term in the differences between the belts above.


Here is what DMAIC stands for in Lean Six Sigma Roles:


  • Define: D stands for Define, which involves defining challenges and developing a case for how and why they should be changed.
  • Measure: M in the DMAIC stands for Measure, which involves not only goal setting but also the calculation of performance standards and making sure of new processes. All these are done to make sure that the new process contributes to the overall effectiveness of the organization.
  • Analyze – It involves sifting data to identify problem areas like redundancy in the process.
  • Improve: It involves the creation, implementation, and sustaining measures related to improving processes. It also involves the creation of standards for measuring the effectiveness of the processes.
  • Control: Here, the belt holder will do adjustments to new processes to make sure that all goals are rightly met.

Now, you know the difference between Yellow, Green, and Black Belt Six Sigma and what DMAIC Stands for. It is time for you to learn about the other belts in Six Sigma and their roles.

Orange Belt:

When you take the case of the Six Sigma hierarchy, the orange belt is at the lowest position. However, it has its own functionality and identification. Most members in the top-tier levels of Six Sigma methodology see the orange belt as the Apex part. It means that they work in supporting roles and do not lead the Six Sigma projects. 

An orange belt holder will manage the quality of change with expertise. A person with orange belt certification should be open to new ideas and should try innovative things. The good thing about the workspace of an orange belt holder is that there is constant scope for improvement. 

White Belt:

The white belt is the least position that is very next above the orange belt in the Six Sigma methodology. At this level, individuals are mentored for the required methods and tools needed to perform tasks related to the management. As it is the lowest, many even do not consider the white belt to be part of the Six Sigma Tier. People with this certification with their basic knowledge of Lean Six  Sigma should have a proper understanding of the methods that the organization uses for improving manufacturing practices.

Six Sigma Champion:

This level is the top-most of all levels and so it is hardly part of the Six Sigma tier. However, people with this certification are crucial for the entire Six Sigma initiative in an organization. After they get all the skills, they pass them on to the people in the lower tiers like master Black Belts and Black Belts.


So, from this understanding of the difference between the Yellow, Green,  and Black Belt Six Sigma, you know that each tier has its own value and responsibility for implementing Six Sigma practices successfully in an organization.




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