Six Sigma Roles
The sponsor is the ultimate owner of a project. He or she dedicates project leaders (Green Belts or Black Belts) and members to work on the project. The sponsor will review and approves projects and recommendations that are within his/her authority. A sponsor will also facilitate project progress by providing guidance, resources and removing obstacles.
The Green Belts are people who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to effectively execute the project. They also help the Black Belt identify and prioritise opportunities in their function and act as change agents for the quality and fact driven culture. The Green Belt often holds a regular line position and will, from time to time, lead process improvement projects within a division or department of an organisation.
The Black Belts are key change agents and they are usually leaders for large and complex projects. They may help the Master Black Belt train and coach Green Belts and transfer best practices across the organisation. They work with senior leaders of the organisation to iidentify and prioritise project to drive key business initiatives. The Black Belt is usually a full time position charged with process management.
The CEO acts as the organisation sponsor. He assigns sponsors/champions and work with them to identify organisation-level issues, review performance, set targets and identity key business initiatives. He also acts as a role model, provide resources at the organisational level and establish policies to promote the initiative.
The Finance function acts as the gate keeper. They work with project teams to analyse and translate project benefits into the P&L. They may also identify opportunities for iimprovement projects by reviewing the organisation’s financial performance.
The HR function acts as the catalytic agent. They are responsible for the design of the organisation structure and policy to support and promote the initiative. In some organisations, the HR function may coordinate and execute training plans that are required to support the initiative. The HR function also plays a key role to ensure that performance management is aligned to improvement efforts.
The quality office is headed by an expert in quality and process management, usually a champion or a Master Black Belt. He acts as the advisor to the senior leaders to spearhead the initiative. The quality office may provide mentorship to projects and manages the overall project portfolio to ensure higher degree of integration and resource optimisation. They also conduct benchmarking and transfer of best practices.