JUNE 2007  
  Click here for the Web version of the current issue  

MiC Quality


Past Issues
April 2007
February 2007



Topic: Revised ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt

In this issue:

To unsubscribe please use the contact form and select "Unsubscribe from Updates".

:: Specials

Enroll in any course or package by the end of July and receive...
2 weeks EXTRA FREE by quoting SV2
in the Promotional Code field of the enrollment form.

:: Revised ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) has completed a major revision of the Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Body of Knowledge, to apply to certification examinations from October 20, 2007.

Probably the most important change is that 'Lean' has been expanded and is integrated into each of the DMAIC stages rather than being a separate section 'Lean Enterprise'. This makes 'Lean' an integral part of Six Sigma and reflects the reality that many organizations are using Six Sigma to reduce costs, waste and lead times rather than to reduce defects.

The second important change is that the design of experiments content has been much reduced. Taguchi designs, Response Surface Designs, Mixture Designs and EVOP have been removed. I'm rather disappointed that Response Surface Designs have gone because they are not much more difficult than factorial designs and a lot more powerful. I'm not an advocate of Taguchi designs, but I'm surprised they were removed because they were always popular.

Multivariate Analysis has been added. It is roughly equivalent in depth and complexity, to the removed DOE content. Multivariate Analysis isn't covered in many texts, including those aimed at CSSBB certification.

There are numerous other small changes. The free MiC Quality Six Sigma Glossary contains all the terms in the old version and we are now adding all the terms that have been added to the new version.

:: Topic: Six Sigma Terms
  • Six Sigma
  • Black Belt
  • Big Y
  • Champion
  • Change Agent
  • Charter
  • COPQ
  • Cost of Poor Quality
  • Critical to Quality
  • CTQ
  • Design for Six Sigma
  • DFSS
  • Green Belt
  • Internal Customer
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Little y
  • Project Charter
  • Storyboard
Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology pioneered by Motorola (initiated by engineer Bill Smith, known as the 'father of Six Sigma'). It became prominent through the success of General Electric, during the tenure of CEO Jack Welch who was an advocate for Six Sigma.

The methodology uses process improvement methods, with an emphasis on statistics to achieve a quality level of better than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Key elements are:

  • the organizational structure, including the roles of Champion. Master Black Belts, Black Belts and Green Belts
  • the DMAIC/DFSS structured problem solving approach

In its classical form, Six Sigma is a project based approach, tackling projects that will return $100,000+ savings and take several months. Many companies now use an approach that involves more, but smaller, projects, and is less statistically intensive. These are often led by Green Belts rather than Black Belts.

Black Belt

The Black Belt is the team leader responsible for the operation and outcomes of major Six Sigma projects. To achieve Black Belt status it is necessary to demonstrate mastery of the tools, through an examination and completing a project in industry.

Big Y

The important high level business result that the Six Sigma project seeks to improve. The 'Big Y' should be linked to the critical customer requirements.

The Big Y is often used to generate 'little y' operational objectives that must be improved to achieve Big Y improvements. The Big Y might be to reduce lead times, the Little y could be the inventory performance at the warehouse.


Senior managers who champion the project, ensure that they are properly resourced and obtain support in the organization.

Change Agent

A person who leads change within an organization, by championing the change, and managing and planning its implementation. The role can be official or voluntary.

See more Six Sigma definitions in Mic Quality Six Sigma Glossary

:: Statistical Process Control (SPC), Advanced Statistical Process Control
:: Design of Experiments (DOE), Advanced Design Of Experiments
:: Primer in Statistics, Advanced Statistics
:: Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA)/ Gage R&R
:: FREE Excel Primer
:: FREE Sample Module "Introduction to Statistics"
FREE Statistics Reference Booklet
DOWNLOAD Brochure for All Courses


440+ terms Six Sigma Glossary
(includes all terms in the ASQ SSBB Six Sigma Black Belt Body of Knowledge)


Sigma Calculator


Book Reviews

:: Reference Tables
:: Next Update

Next update will come out at the end of August.