Belt System Issues - Six Sigma

Goh (2010) comments on the ‘obsession with personal attainment’ associated with the Six Sigma belt system. Too many practitioners, the feels focus on this as an end in itself. There are also issues around reward systems which sometimes give bonuses to Black Belts based on savings made. This may encourage game playing and over - claiming of benefits.

The second issue with the ‘Belt’ system is that by creating a parallel structure in the organization responsible for (and often rewarded based on) improvement activities the rest of the organization is largely isolated from Six Sigma, except as occasional seconded on projects or as ‘victims’ of experts parachuted into their area. This may cause resentment in the wider organizational context. Further than that, it can lead to improvement being seen as the preserve of the Six Sigma elite and discourage others from making (perhaps simpler, lower level) improvements to their processes as they are not experts.

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