Better organizational efficiency is a common goal across most industries. What business doesn’t stand to benefit from reducing administrative overhead, less consumption of resources, and fewer procedural defects? This hunger has led to the rise of the Six Sigma model of data-driven enhancements to infrastructure and methodologies of business practices. Experts in this field are Black Belts—yet often have unique and varied skill sets to meet various goals. Remember the following traits if you’re in the market for a Six Sigma process evaluator:
1. Business Comprehension
Six Sigma Black Belts must understand the procedures, imperatives, and goals of their industry. Projects based around improvement initiatives must be implemented by those who know where inefficiencies lie. Previous industry experience is helpful here, providing Black Belts with insight into where improvements can be made to increase a business’s competitive advantage.
2. Interpersonal Skills
Aside from understanding the general principles that drive the industry, Black Belts must have a blend of personal and professional organizational skills. These begin with a positive, motivational attitude that telegraphs energy to other workers involved in improvement processes. Don’t underestimate the value of these soft skills—organizations who prioritize administrative ability over leadership and social aptitude find that their process evaluator rarely meshes well with the corporate culture they’ve created. This leads to inefficiency, resistance to change, and even resentment from other workers. Proper communication skills across oral and written fields are essential to project management.
3. Project Management Ability
But project management relies on more than just a charming personality. Certified Black Belts should have familiarity with Change Acceleration Process (CAP) tools to guide their decision making during the improvement process. These tools are a critical part of the Six Sigma business model of driving change, igniting financial commitments from stakeholders, and overall project governance.
4. Technical Ability
The wealth of analytics and data-driven initiatives present in today’s business world makes technical aptitude a necessary part of a Black Belt’s skill set. Familiarity with analytic and data management software tools like MS Excel, Minitab, or JMP provides evaluators with the technical tools they need to meaningfully extract and apply the data they find. Flawed technology is rarely to blame for inefficient project management; user error is usually the culprit when technology falls short. This makes a working knowledge of data analysis software an important part of maintaining efficiency for all project leads.
Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization
Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.