Organizations invest in Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training for employees because of the high return on investment it offers. By exposing more employees to the philosophy and strategy contained in process improvement methodologies, organizations stand a better chance of accomplishing ambitious goals related to operational efficiency and quality improvement.
Yellow Belt training teaches the basics of Lean Six Sigma, expanding the number of employees familiar with the language of the methodology and keeping an organization from dividing into those with quality improvement knowledge and those without. The more people who understand the fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma, the easier it is to promote the benefits of the program throughout an organization.
Those benefits include a company culture that focuses on saving costs, increasing profits and providing products and services that better meet the needs of clients and customers.
What Is a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt?
Lean Six Sigma is a quality improvement methodology that focuses on taking a data-driven approach to challenges. It combines the concepts of Six Sigma and Lean. Six Sigma focuses on reducing process variation that leads to defects and errors. Lean focuses on eliminating waste by removing any action from a process that does not lead to a benefit for the customer.
Those who earn a Yellow Belt learn the foundational elements of Lean and Six Sigma, preparing them to work with Lean Six Sigma teams. While they don’t reach the level where they can lead teams, as with a Black Belt, they learn enough to apply some elements of Lean Six Sigma to their daily work. Examples of what Yellow Belts learn include:
- An introduction to Six Sigma terminology
- Basic strategies in collecting and analyzing data to reach actionable conclusions
- Measuring the results of actions taken
- Proven methods to use Lean Six Sigma in achieving strategic goals
- Methods for eliminating wasted time and effort in work processes
The Lean Six Sigma Belt Hierarchy
Lean Six Sigma has a color-coded belt system to designate the level of knowledge a person has obtained. The list of belts includes the following.
White Belt: Learn basic Lean Six Sigma concepts and terminology. They typically do not take part in projects.
Yellow Belt: Learn enough advanced knowledge to participate on Lean Six Sigma teams, often helping with gathering data.
Green Belt: Assist Black Belts with data analysis and may lead their own project teams.
Black Belt: Lead problem-solving Lean Six Sigma teams, mentor and train other team members and work with executives to get buy-in and support for projects.
Master Black Belt: A MBB focuses on strategic direction for all projects, ensuring they support business goals. These professionals oversee Black Belts and provide direction for projects.
How Yellows Belts Benefit Businesses
Many organizations find Yellow Belt training for their employees worthwhile because it’s better to have a workforce where many people know the basics of Lean Six Sigma rather than one where only a handful of people have deep knowledge.
Yellow Belts support Green Belts and Black Belts in implementing Lean Six Sigma strategy. They often work on project teams under the supervision of Green Belts. They come from all areas of a company and help provide a culture that makes continuous process improvement a priority.
Lean Six Sigma training also benefits businesses by teaching a large number of employees how to take a structured approach to finding the root causes of organizational challenges. Yellow Belt training increases the chances of improving processes across an organization, instilling in employees the idea that small improvements lead to big results over time.
The Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt program from SMU CAPE provides working professionals the skills they need to take their first step into the world of Lean Six Sigma. The 100% online program explores the most common tools from Lean and Six Sigma that can improve operational efficiency and eliminate waste, giving businesses a competitive advantage. Professionals leave the program understanding how to use the DMAIC strategy (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) in process improvement, as well as identifying potential Lean Six Sigma projects within their own organization.