Lean Six Sigma Structure : Roles and Responsible

Lean Six Sigma deployment is not something new to the industry. We heard about Lean Six Sigma belters; Green, Black and Master Black Belt. But do you know, the belters are not the only role in Six Sigma organization structure? Most of organizations deploy the Lean Six Sigma are not run only by the belters. There are several different roles played by different individuals supporting the Lean Six Sigma structure.

Below are the generic Lean Six Sigma structure in organization with several roles with explanation of their responsibilities in supporting the Lean Six Sigma deployment.

six sigma structure

  1. Steering Team – These are the leadership team that foresee the Lean Six Sigma initiatives within the organization. They are responsible to:


  • Review overall deployment progress
  • Select and prioritize the projects
  • Ensure strategic alignment between the lean six sigma initiatives and company’s vision
  1. Lean Six Sigma Leader – The leader normally is one of the Lean Six Sigma experts in the management team and they have the final accountability of the lean six sigma deployment. The role is like Master Jedi Yoda in Star Wars franchise. The responsible of the lean six sigma leaders are to:
  • Oversee deployment progress as custodianLead Master Black Belts
  • Facilitate Leadership Team on project selection
  • To assess the project closure


  1. Project Champion – The champions preferably are from the middle management team and above. They are the ice breaker for the belters to ensure the projects are progressing well. The other responsible of the champions are:


  • Assess financial impact of projects
  • Breaking project’s barriers with the management’s authority
  • Support project selection and execution


  1. Process Owner – The process owner is from the management team that own the process of the projects. Sometime the process owner can be Project Champion, it will ease the process of breaking the barrier in the project. The responsible of project owner in supporting Lean Six Sigma structure are to:


  • Manage the improved process once team is done
  • Maintain dashboard
  • Support of the project audit process


  1. Master Black Belt (MBB) – The Master Black Belt is the Lean Six Sigma Jedi in the organization. Thus, normally the Master Black Belts are the Jedi Council in creating, advising and reviewing the technical parts (syllabus, tools etc) of Lean Six Sigma to meet the organizational needs. The Master Black Belts also responsible to:


  • Train and coach the Black Belts and Green Belts
  • Help with advanced statistical tools


  1. Black Belt – Since the MBB is the Jedi, the Black Belt supposedly the junior Jedi or Knight. Their technical skills might be on the par, but the ‘people skill’ is growing. Black Belts are the heart and soul of the Lean Six Sigma organization. Their main purpose is to lead quality projects and work full time until they are complete. Other traits that differentiate between the Black Belts and Green Belts are


  • Black Belts require to complete more complex projects that might involve across division projects and high impact (more than RM500,000 saving etc)
  • Black Belts supposed to complete more projects in a year (4-6 projects) in their KPI


  1. Green Belt – This is the Padawan of the Lean Six Sigma, the part time project leader in the organization. They trained in Lean Six Sigma who spend a portion of their time completing projects but maintain their regular work role and responsibilities. The Green Belts are required to:


  • To complete the less complex projects that involve statistical tools. Normally the score of the project is within their department/division to avoid time consuming.
  • Expected to complete at lease 1-2 projects per year in their KPI.


  1. Yellow Belt- The Yellow Belt normally play roles as team member in Black Belt or Green Belt’s projects. Sometimes, they can lead the small improvement projects within their areas (e.g 5S, Visual Control) and it is not expected in their KPI.


The journey of the Lean Six Sigma is not an easy one. But Obi Wan Kenobi once said,

“Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”