We ask businesses to be fair in setting the scope of improvement projects. But how can they do this if there is no effective and easily consumable description of where the boundaries are likely to be?
I was talking recently to a group of people attending a Black Belt certification course. And this question came up more than once: “what sort of projects should I take on?”. The simple answer for this is: “the projects that have the best chance of achieving a substantial shift in on time with minimum variation in the delivery of value for your customers.”
But here’s the problem: if answering the question for a Green Belt project I’d say the same thing. We do not wish to introduce arbitrary cut-offs into a continuum of skills and abilities. So what is a Black Belt project compared to a Green Belt? It’s quite hard to define.
The more I prodded at this question the less clear the answer became. In the Lean Six Sigma community, we pride ourselves on effective, non-arbitrary, operational definitions. Yet our very own “belt-by-belt structure” seems to be creating an unhelpful confusion.