The course is part of Quality and Operations Management (QOM) international master program at Chalmers University of Technology. We also invite a small number of companies/organizations to send participants. The Black Belt Course will be based on traditional Black Belt course material, see e.g. Magnusson, Kroslid and Bergman (2003). It is necessary that participants solve real organizational problems during the course. Thus, the industrial participants work in groups together with a number of master students. This arrangement is a win-win solution – the companies/organizations get access to a number of problem-solving tools, get some of their employees trained as Black Belts, and get important problems solved; from the point of view of the QOM program we get access to real organizational problems and get valuable input to the program from the company representatives and Black Belt candidates.
As most other Black Belt courses this course will be planned according to the DMAIC (Define – Measure – Analyse – Improve – Control) cycle. In each course session, the DMAIC cycle will be followed. Illustrations will be taken from manufacturing environments and it would be advantageous if the participating companies provide illustrations in order to increase participant engagement. Graphical methods will be emphasised and a critical attitude will be taken in order to avoid some easily avoidable pitfalls. Facilitation and support for the selection of projects and feedback in the DMAIC process will be provided within the frame of the course.
In most cases, the QOM students have more basic training and theoretical knowledge within the quality field than the industrial participants. It is important that this knowledge is taken care of in supporting participants with less theoretical knowledge in the field. We expect an interesting synergy considering the mixture of theoretical knowledge on the part of the QOM students and the industrial experience and expertise on the problems to be solved on the part of the industrial Black Belt candidates.
Company Black Belt Candidates
It is important that the industrial participants have some basic mathematical and statistical knowledge. Also, they should be prepared to devote time not only to study the course material between course sessions, but also to apply the ideas to problems within their company. The industrial participants should have suggestions of possible Black Belt projects before the first session. These projects should have the potential to reduce costs and customer complaints considerably. Furthermore, in the interim between the first and second session, one of the suggested projects should be chosen in co-operation with the QOM students (facilitated by the teachers of the Black Belt course).
Requirements for companies
The participating companies are required to provide their selected Black Belt candidates the time and resources needed to successfully work with the Six Sigma projects where considerable cost savings and increasing customer satisfaction could be gained, if the project is successful.
Also, the participating companies will provide the group of QOM students (3-4 per company) possibilities to work together with the industrial Black Belt candidate within the company and pay for additional expenses (e.g. travel costs) of the QOM students
Centre for Healthcare Improvement, Avdelningen för Industriell kvalitetsutveckling, Institutionen för Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Chalmers tekniska högskola