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The 6 Sigma is not just a series of statistical tools to solve problems. The 6 Sigma was conceived as a full-fledged approach to implementing a culture change in the company and improving overall performance.


The 6 Sigma is not just a series of statistical tools to solve problems. The 6 Sigma was conceived as a full-fledged approach to implementing a culture change in the company and improving overall performance.

The objective of this approach is that each person thinks:

  • Customer’s expectations through accurate identification of needs.
  • A control of the input and output indicators of the processes and their variability.
  • is focused on root cause research.
  • To set up Gemba tests of causes and effects.

Role and responsibility of the Sigma 6 teams

To support this approach, the creators of the 6 Sigma have set up a system of qualification of the facilitators of the approach according to a very clear structure. This organization is now recognized in the ISO 13053-1 standard.

Source: Italian Association of Quality Culture (2012)-the ISO 13053-1 standard

Six Sigma Deployment Manager

The Six Sigma Deployment Manager Is the guarantor of the deployment of the process. Preferably it will be the site manager or the company. It should be trained at the 6 Sigma basics as well as the Champion or the Sponsor and is convinced of the need for the approach.

The Champion

THE Champion is a person from the management of the company (Quality director, Production Manager…). Formed at the basic 6 Sigma, the Champion Has the role of assisting in the construction of the deployment plan and assists in the good coordination of 6 Sigma activities.

The Sponsor

THE Sponsor is the person in charge of the area where the 6 Sigma project will take place. He is the “client” of the results of the project. Sometimes project proponent, it helps to initiate and coordinate the project.

Master Black Belt

THE Master Black Belt Is the guarantor of the 6 Sigma expertise. A true expert of the 6 sigma, he controls all the tools of the 6 sigma, assists and coordinates all the operational teams (Green Belt, Black Belt…) For the smooth running of the projects. The Master Black Belt has a special role in the Training And the maintenance of the achievements of all those involved in the process.

Black Belt

THE Black Belt is a 6 Sigma project leader. As a guarantor of the methodology, he animates the project team in achieving the objectives. He’s reporting directly to the Master Black Belt.

Dedicated full-time to the 6 Sigma, it is more experienced than the Green Belt and mastered the complex statistical tools, allowing it to pilot projects with a larger perimeter and objectives.

Green Belt

Accompanied by a Black Belt, the Green Belt is a part-time project leader. Trained in the main tools of the 6 Sigma, it has the mission to pilot projects with perimeters and stakes of acceptable dimensions.

Yellow Belt

THE Yellow Belt Is trained in problem solving and initiated at DMAIC. He is convinced of the process, actively participates in the 6 Sigma projects driven by the Green Belt and helps with the change of culture. It is only part-time on this type of activity.


Some companies are putting in place an extra level, the White Belt. Lowest level of the 6 Sigma Pyramid, the White Belt only has 6 sigma information and problem solving. It acts on reduced perimeters and problems requiring a DMAIC approach. They are mainly used to help with culture changes.

Finally, more rare, some companies have developed the Orange belt, intermediate level between the Green and Yellow belt.

Case of multi-branch companies2

A multi-branch organization is denoted by the fact that in the same company or group, we have a multitude of different branches in each of which we find various stages of management. This is the case with most multinationals. We find for example Valeo, car company for which we find 4 separate poles with each a specific organisation…

In this type of case, we find, by branch, a team as defined above (Champion, Master Black Belt…).

Then, in central, directly attached to the general management of the company, we have a team composed of corporate Champion and Deployment Manager In charge of ensuring the general coordination of the 6 Sigma actions within the group as a whole.

RACI matrix of roles in a 6 Sigma step

The causes of success and failures

Success or failure in the process does not depend only on the establishment of resources and organization. There are many sources of chess3 :

  • In 87% of failures: the first reason is that of a lack of clear objectives. Although the branch has the necessary vision to start the program, it has not fully articulated the annual plan of operations.
  • In 79% of failures: the need for change was not understood by staff, as the Directorate-General had not given itself the wrong, communicating the needs of the change, or explaining its reasons.
  • The third reason for chess: There is a quasi absence from the summit of the mobilization andcommitmentcompany needed to start programs. However, the strong involvement of the leaders was the very first reason for the success of the programs that actually led to such an extent that the President’s personal commitment is mentioned in 78% of successes. In these cases, the leader was able to mobilize the company around the deployment, get everyone’s membership and share their vision and will.
  • The fourth reason for failure: The resistance fighters were allowed to win. The resistance is always very strong against the deployment of change programs. The management must know how to keep the distance from this one: it must clearly identify the poles of resistance and make it clear that these actors endanger the very future of the company.


1 – H. Akpolat (2004) – Six Sigma in transactional and service environments

2 – S. Taghizadegan (2006) – Essentials of Lean Six Sigma

3 – G. Eckes (2001) – Making Six Sigma Last

C. Foster (2005) – Implementing the 6 Sigma

J. N. George (2007) – Business process Management

N. Volck (2009) – Deploy and operate Lean Six Sigma

B. Gillespie (2007) – How to increase the adoption of the lean Six Sigma and ensure the sustainability of a continuous improvement initiative

T. Pyzdek (2000)-Business Administration classic renditions management professional general textbook series: Six Sigma Handbook

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