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Six Sigma Black Belt Vs. Master Black Belt

Six Sigma Black Belt Vs. Master Black Belt

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When it comes to Lean Six Sigma Development and Implementation, Black Belts & Master Black Belts get  important positions. Most organizations these days understand the importance of eliminating defects. So, they wish to follow the Lean Six Sigma methodology. The reason is that they are aware of the fact that this data-driven technique promotes an atmosphere of ongoing process improvement with special attention to waste, variation, and defect elimination.

In practicing Lean Six Sigma, the proficiency of professionals is evaluated by a long-established belt system. The ranking system that Six Sigma uses has been designed following the system used in martial arts. Each color in this ranking system denotes the level of expertise in Six Sigma practices that the certification holder has achieved in Six Sigma strategies, techniques and tools. 

When the first three belts are colored white, yellow and green, the final two belts are black and master black belts. Both master black belt and black belt indicate the mastery of professionals in Six Sigma practices and techniques. Nevertheless, there are differences between these two. Before the comparison of master black belt vs black belt, let us get a general overview of these two levels of Six Sigma:

Six Sigma Black Belt – A Basic Understanding:

A person with Six Sigma black belt certification is a professional, who will be in a position to explain the principles and philosophies of Six Sigma. Also, this professional can support tools and systems. 

A person with black belt certification in Six Sigma should be in a position to lead the team. He should be in a position to understand the dynamics of the team. Also, he should be able to comprehend the dynamics of the team. Further, this professional should be able to assign roles and responsibilities to team members.

Master Black Belt – A Basic Understanding:

Master black belts are professionals within the organization responsible for teaching, yellow, green and black belts the techniques of Six Sigma. These professionals are responsible for organizing Six Sigma projects within an organization that follows the Six Sigma approach.

A person with Master Black Belt certification is an expert in the entire Six Sigma Body of Knowledge. These professionals show their expertise in Six Sigma principles through the execution of DMAIC and DMADV projects. A person would be certified a Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma practices only after he demonstrates his thorough expertise both in Six Sigma practices and philosophies.

When a person has this certification, it is an indication of his expertise in the grasping of team dynamics, team leadership and the ability to profitably allocate members of teams with appropriate roles. Further, this certification indicates a master-level understanding of the DMAIC model in accordance with the knowledge of lean enterprise concepts, Six Sigma principles and skills to swiftly spot activities that do not add any value.

With a fundamental knowledge of these two belts, it is time to get into the Six Sigma black belt vs master black belt comparison. Here is a table to show the comparison of these two:

S. No

Point of Comparison

Black Belt

Master Black Belt


Organizational Order

In the Six Sigma belt hierarchy, Black Belts holds the second position following Master Black Belt. 

The Master Black Belt is the highest position in the Six Sigma Hierarchy.


Key Roles

The Black Belts are responsible for leading problem-solving projects in any organization. They take the role of training the projects teams functioning under them.

The Master Black belts coach and train the green and black belts. They play their role at the Six Sigma Program Level.


Key Responsibilities

  • Black belts continue to share the best practices

  • They act as mentors to green belts and people in other lower-level belts

  • Black belts aid with  structuring the project and team.

  • They assist with getting rid of hindrances at the project level.

  • Black belts guide and assist with project material.

  • Black belts guide and assist the team.

  • They take care of project execution.

  • Six  Sigma Black Belt not only develops but also rolls out the Six Sigma Strategy.

  • Master belts aid with the removal of hindrances, thereby ensuring the right project execution.

  • They ensure that the teams harness the advantages of Lean Six Sigma

  • They play a key role in mentoring the team.

  • They take care of the task of organizing the project.

  • They aid with the development of the Six Sigma approach and roll-out strategy in any business.


Benefits to the Organization

  • Black belts can play a major role in bringing the operation  efficiency of the organization to another level.

  • Black belts get extensive training in the evaluation and statistical analysis of Six Sigma technologies. So, they can bring better benefits to the organization with their skillset.

  • Master black belts can play a key role in establishing the Six Sigma culture across the organization. In turn, they can help reduce waste across different departments in the organization.

  • With their mentorship efficiency, Master black belts provide the best guidance to black belts.


Personal benefits

  • The best skillset that a candidate gains during the Six Sigma Black belt training will help him get better job opportunities. So, personal growth in career becomes possible.

  • When a person becomes Master Black belt certified, he can bring better results to the organization. In turn, they can grow in their career from business analysts to process improvement specialists.


Reporting Pattern

  • Black belts reports to Master black belt holders

  • Black belts function as teachers, mentors and coaches and project leaders to project teams.

  • Master black belts works directly with organizational leaders

  • They not only lead projects but also supervises, teaches, mentors and coaches black belts.

  • With their knowledge and expertise, they bring the best organizational growth.

Why Take Lean Six Sigma Training?

Six Sigma Black Belt Training:

When you work for an organization following Six Sigma approach or if you lead such an organization, taking Six Sigma Black Belt training can be beneficial in the following ways:

1. You can create an ongoing improvement culture in your organization

2. As a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, you can make your team service oriented

3. You can become efficient in solving more complex issues.

4. With the course, you can improve your leadership skills

5. You can deliver an improvement project during your training session. This session will be of great help in improvement projects in your organization. 

Master Black Belt:

With Six Sigma Master Black Belt training, you can:

1. Gain expertise in advanced data-analytical and problem-solving tools. This expertise will help you carry out the best data analysis and you can solve issues as they come up to ensure project success.

2. Achieve facilitation and training skills

3. With this course, you will gain confidence to lead and mentor complex cross-functional projects

4. You can plan and establish organizational dashboards and metrics

In any organization, Master Black Belts are experts in strategic deployment. They play a major role in supporting and promoting improvement activities in all areas of the organization including customers and suppliers.


Even though from this Six Sigma black belt vs master black belt comparison, you might have understood the difference between these two roles, both hold considerable value in any organization. Taking these two positions is not only helpful for the personal development of a professional but will also having professionals in these positions will help organizations as a whole.

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