1.1
Enterprise View

Value of
six sigma
Understand the
organizational value of six sigma and its philosophy, goals,
and definition. (Comprehension)

Business
systems and processes
Understand and
distinguish interrelationships between business systems and
processes. (Comprehension)

Process
inputs, outputs, and feedback
Describe how
process inputs, outputs, and feedback of the system impact
the enterprise system as a whole. (Comprehension)
1.2
Leadership

Enterprise leadership
Understand
leadership roles in the deployment of six sigma (e.g.,
resources, organizational structure). (Comprehension)

Six sigma
roles and responsibilities
Understand the
roles/responsibilities of black belt, master black belt,
green belt, champion, executive, and process owners.
(Comprehension)
1.3
Organizational Goals and Objectives
1.4
History of Organizational Improvement/Foundations of Six Sigma

Improvement/Foundations of Six
Sigma Understand origin of continuous improvement tools used in
six sigma (e.g., Deming, Juran, Shewhart, Ishikawa,
Taguchi). (Comprehension)
2.
Business Process Management
2.1
Process vs. Functional View

Process
elements
Understand process
components and boundaries. (Analysis)

Owners
and stakeholders
Identify process
owners, internal and external customers, and other
stakeholders.(Analysis)

Project
management and benefits
Understand the
difference between managing projects and maximizing their
benefits to the business. (Analysis)

Project
measures
Establish key
performance metrics and appropriate project documentation.
(Analysis)
2.2
Voice of the Customer

Identify
customer
Segment customers
as applicable to a particular project; list specific
customers
impacted by project within each segment; show how a project
impacts internal and external customers; recognize the
financial impact of customer loyalty. (Analysis)

Collect
customer data
Use various
methods to collect customer feedback (surveys, focus groups,
interviews, observation, etc.) and understand the strengths
and weaknesses of each approach; recognize the key elements
that make surveys, interviews, and other feedback tools
effective; review questions for integrity (bias, vagueness,
etc.). (Application)

Analyze
customer data
Use graphical,
statistical, and qualitative tools to understand customer
feedback. (Analysis)

Determine
critical customer requirements
Translate customer
feedback into strategic project focus areas using quality
function deployment (QFD) or similar tools, and establish
key project metrics that relate to the voice of the customer
and yield process insights. (Analysis)
[NOTE: The analysis of QFD
matrices is covered in section X. A.]
2.3
Business Results

Process
performance metrics
Calculate DPU, RTY,
and DPMO sigma levels; understand how metrics propagate
upward and allocate downward; compare and contrast
capability, complexity, and control; manage the use of sigma
performance measures (e.g., PPM, DPMO, DPU, RTY, COPQ) to
drive enterprise decisions. (Analysis)

Benchmarking
Understand the
importance of benchmarking. (Knowledge)

Financial
benefits
Understand and
present financial measures and other benefits (soft and
hard) of a project; understand and use basic financial
models (e.g., NPV, ROI); describe, apply,
evaluate, and interpret cost of quality concepts, including
quality cost categories, data collection, reporting, etc.
(Application)
3.1
Project Charter and Plan

Charter/plan elements
Compare, select,
and explain elements of a project’s charter and plan.
(Analysis)
2. Planning tools
Plan the project using tools such as Gantt chart, PERT
chart, planning trees, etc. (Application)

Project
documentation
Create datadriven
and factdriven project documentation using spreadsheets,
storyboards, phased reviews, management reviews,
presentations to the executive team, etc. (Synthesis)

Charter
negotiation
Create and
negotiate the charter, including objectives, scope,
boundaries, resources, project transition, and project
closure. (Analysis)
3.2
Team Leadership

Initiating teams
Know the elements
of launching a team and why they are important: clear
purpose, goals, commitment, ground rules, roles and
responsibilities of team members, schedules, support from
management, and team empowerment. (Application)

Selecting
team members
Select team
members who have appropriate skills sets (e.g.,
selffacilitation, technical/subjectmatter expertise), and
create teams with appropriate numbers of members and
representation. (Application)

Team
stages
Facilitate the
stages of team evolution, including forming, storming,
norming, performing, adjourning, and recognition.
(Application)
3.3
Team Dynamics and Performance

Teambuilding techniques
Recognize and
apply the basic steps in team building: goals, roles and
responsibilities,
introductions, and both stated and hidden agendas.
(Synthesis)

Team
facilitation techniques
Apply coaching,
mentoring, and facilitation techniques to guide a team and
overcome
problems such as overbearing, dominant, or reluctant
participants; the unquestioned
acceptance of opinions as facts; groupthink; feuding;
floundering; the rush to accomplishment; attribution;
discounts and plops; digressions and tangents; etc.
(Application)

Team
performance evaluation
Measure team
progress in relation to goals, objectives, and metrics that
support team
success. (Analysis)

Team
tools
Define, select,
and apply team tools such as nominal group technique,
forcefield
analysis, multivoting, and conversion/diversion.
(Application)
3.4
Change Agent

Managing
change
Understand and
apply techniques for facilitating or managing organizational
change through change agent methodologies. (Application)

Organizational roadblocks
Understand the
inherent structures of an organization (e.g., its cultures
and constructs) that present basic barriers to improvement;
select and apply techniques to overcome them. (Application)

Negotiation and conflict resolution techniques
Define, select,
and apply tools such as consensus techniques, brainstorming,
effort/impact, multivoting, interestbased bargaining to
help conflicting parties (e.g.,
departments, groups, leaders, staff) recognize common goals
and how to work together to achieve them. (Application)

Motivation techniques
Define, select,
and apply techniques that support and sustain team member
participation and commitment. (Application)

Communication
Use effective and
appropriate communication techniques for different
situations to overcome organizational
3.5
Management and planning tools

Define, select, and use:

affinity diagrams;

interrelationship digraphs;

tree diagrams;

prioritization matrices;

matrix diagrams;

process decision program
charts (PDPC);

activity network diagrams.
(Application)

Project Scope
Determine project
definition/scope using Pareto charts, toplevel process
(macro) maps, etc. (Synthesis)

Metrics
Establish primary
and consequential metrics (quality, cycle time, cost).
(Analysis)

Problem Statement
Develop problem
statement, including baseline and improvement goals.
(Synthesis)
5. Six Sigma Improvement Methodology And Tools—Measure
5.1
Process Analysis and Documentation

Tools
Develop and review
process maps, written procedures, work instructions,
flowcharts, etc. (Analysis)

Process
inputs and outputs
Identify process
input variables and process output variables, and document
their relationships through causeandeffect diagrams,
relational matrices, etc. (Evaluation)
5.2
Probability and Statistics

Drawing
valid statistical conclusions
Distinguish
between enumerative (descriptive) and analytical
(inferential) studies, and distinguish between a population
parameter and a sample statistic. (Evaluation)

Central
limit theorem and sampling
distribution of
the mean Define the central limit theorem and understand its
significance in the application of inferential statistics
for confidence intervals, control charts, etc. (Application)

Basic
probability concepts
Describe and apply
concepts such as independence, mutually exclusive,
multiplication rules, complementary probability, joint
occurrence of events, etc. (Application)
5.3
Collecting and Summarizing Data

Types of
data
Identify, define,
classify, and compare continuous (variables) and discrete
(attributes) data, and recognize opportunities to convert
attributes data to variables measures. (Evaluation)

Measurement scales
Define and apply
nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio measurement scales.
(Application)

Methods
for collecting data
Define and apply methods for
collecting data such as check sheets, coding data, automatic
gauging, etc. (Evaluation)

Techniques for assuring data accuracy and integrity
Define and apply techniques for
assuring data accuracy and integrity such as random
sampling, stratified sampling, sample homogeneity, etc.
(Evaluation)

Descriptive statistics
Define, compute,
and interpret measures of dispersion and central tendency,
and construct and interpret frequency distributions and
cumulative frequency distributions. (Evaluation)
[NOTE: Measures of the geometric
and harmonic mean will not be tested.]

Graphical
methods
Depict
relationships by constructing, applying, and interpreting
diagrams and charts such as stemandleaf plots, boxandwhisker
plots, run charts, scatter diagrams,
etc., and depict distributions by constructing, applying,
and interpreting diagrams such as histograms, normal
probability plots, Weibull plots, etc. (Evaluation)
5.4
Properties and Applications of Probability Distributions

Distributions commonly used by black belts
Describe and apply
binomial, Poisson, normal, chisquare, Student’s t, and F
distributions. (Evaluation)

Other
distributions
Recognize when to
use hypergeometric, bivariate, exponential, lognormal, and
Weibull distributions. (Application)
5.5
Measurement Systems

Measurement methods
Describe and
review measurement methods such as attribute screens, gauge
blocks,
calipers, micrometers, optical comparators, tensile
strength, titration, etc. (Comprehension)

Measurement system analysis
Calculate,
analyze, and interpret measurement system capability using
repeatability and reproducibility, measurement correlation,
bias, linearity, percent agreement,
precision/tolerance (P/T), precision/total variation (P/TV),
and use both ANOVA and
control chart methods for nondestructive, destructive, and
attribute systems. (Evaluation)

Metrology
Understand
traceability to calibration standards, measurement error,
calibration systems, control and integrity of standards and
measurement devices (Comprehension)
5.6
Analyzing Process Capability

Designing
and conducting process capability studies
Identify,
describe, and apply the elements of designing and conducting
process capability studies, including identifying
characteristics, identifying specifications/tolerances,
developing sampling plans, and verifying stability and
normality (Evaluation)

Calculating process performance vs. specification
Distinguish
between natural process limits and specification limits, and
calculate process performance metrics such as percent
defective (Evaluation)

Process
capability indices
Define, select,
and calculate Cp, Cpk, and assess process capability
(Evaluation)

Process
performance indices
Define, select,
and calculate Pp, Ppk, Cpm, and assess process performance
(Evaluation)

Shortterm vs. longterm capability
Understand the
assumptions and conventions appropriate when only shortterm
data are collected and when only attributes data are
available; understand the changes in relationships that
occur when longterm data are used; interpret relationships
between longterm and shortterm capability as it relates to
technology and/or control problems. (Evaluation)

Nonnormal data transformations
(process
capability for nonnormal data) Understand the cause of
nonnormal data and determine when it is appropriate to
transform. (Application)

Process
capability for attributes data
Compute sigma
level and understand its relationship to Ppk (Application)
6.1
Exploratory Data Analysis

Multivari
studies
Use multivari
studies to interpret the difference between positional,
cyclical, and temporal variation; design sampling plans to
investigate the largest sources of variation;
create and interpret multivari charts. (Application)

Measuring
and modeling relationships between variables

Simple and multiple
leastsquares linear regression
Calculate the regression equation; apply and interpret
hypothesis tests for regression statistics; use the
regression model for estimation and prediction, and
analyze the uncertainty in the estimate. (Models that
have nonlinear parameters will not be tested.)
(Evaluation)

Simple linear correlation
Calculate and interpret the correlation coefficient and
its confidence interval; apply and interpret a
hypothesis test for the correlation coefficient;
understand the difference between correlation and
causation. (Serial correlation will not be tested.)
(Evaluation)

Diagnostics
Analyze residuals of the model. (Analysis)
6.2
Hypothesis Testing

Fundamental concepts of hypothesis testing

Statistical vs. practical
significance
Define, compare, and contrast statistical and practical
significance. (Evaluation)

Significance level, power,
type I and type II errors
Apply and interpret the significance level, power, type
I and type II errors of statistical tests. (Evaluation)

Sample size
Understand how to calculate sample size for any given
hypothesis test. (Application)

Point and
interval estimation
Define and
interpret the efficiency and bias of estimators; compute,
interpret, and draw
conclusions from statistics such as standard error,
tolerance intervals, and confidence
intervals; understand the distinction between confidence
intervals and prediction intervals.(Analysis)

Tests for
means, variances, and proportions
Apply hypothesis
tests for means, variances, and proportions, and interpret
the results.
(Evaluation)

Pairedcomparison tests
Define, determine
applicability, and apply pairedcomparison parametric
hypothesis
tests, and interpret the results. (Evaluation)

Goodnessoffit tests
Define, determine
applicability, and apply chisquare tests and interpret the
results.
(Evaluation)

Analysis
of variance (ANOVA)
Define, determine
applicability, and apply ANOVAs and interpret the results.
(Evaluation)

Contingency tables
Define, determine
applicability, and construct a contingency table and use it
to determine statistical significance. (Evaluation)

Nonparametric tests
Define, determine
applicability, and construct various nonparametric tests
including Mood’s Median, Levene’s test, KruskalWallis,
MannWhitney, etc. (Analysis)
7.1
Design of Experiments (DOE)

Terminology
Define independent
and dependent variables, factors and levels, response,
treatment, error, and replication (Comprehension)

Planning
and organizing experiments
Describe and apply
the basic elements of experiment planning and organizing,
including determining the experiment objective; selecting
factors, responses, and
measurement methods; choosing the appropriate design, etc.
(Evaluation) ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt BOK
(continued)

Design
principles
Define and apply
the principles of power and sample size, balance,
replication, order,
efficiency, randomization and blocking, interaction, and
confounding. (Application)

Design
and analysis of onefactor experiments
Construct these
experiments such as completely randomized, randomized block,
and Latin square designs, and apply computational and
graphical methods to analyze and evaluate the significance
of results. (Evaluation)

Design
and analysis of fullfactorial experiments
Construct these
experiments and apply computational and graphical methods to
analyze and evaluate the significance of results.
(Evaluation)

Design
and analysis of twolevel fractional factorial experiments
Construct
experiments (including Taguchi designs) and apply
computational and graphical methods to analyze and evaluate
the significance of results; understand
limitations of fractional factorials due to confounding.
(Evaluation)

Taguchi
robustness concepts
Apply Taguchi
robustness concepts and techniques such as signaltonoise
ratio,
controllable and noise factors, and robustness to external
sources of variability. (Analysis)

Mixture
experiments
Construct these
experiments and apply computational and graphical methods to
analyze and evaluate the significance of
results. (Analysis)
7.2
Response Surface Methodology

Steepest
ascent/descent experiments
Construct these
experiments and apply computational and graphical methods to
analyze the significance of results. (Analysis)

Higherorder experiments
Construct
experiments such as CCD, BoxBehnken, etc., and apply
computational and graphical methods to analyze the
significance of results. (Analysis)
7.3
Evolutionary Operations (EVOP)
8.1
Statistical Process Control (SPC)

Objectives and benefits
Understand
objectives and benefits of SPC (e.g., controlling process
performance,
distinguishing special from common causes). (Comprehension)

Selection
of variable
Select critical
characteristics for monitoring by control chart.
(Application)

Rational
subgrouping
Define and apply
the principle of rational subgrouping. (Application)

Selection
and application of control charts
Identify, select,
construct, and apply the following types of control charts:
xbar and
R, xbar and s, individual and moving range (ImR / XmR),
median, p, np, c, and u.
(Application)

Analysis
of control charts
Interpret control
charts and distinguish between common and special causes
using
rules for determining statistical control. (Analysis)

PREcontrol
Define and explain
PREcontrol and perform PREcontrol calculations and
analysis.
(Analysis)
8.2
Advanced Statistical Process Control
8.3
Lean Tools for Control

Apply appropriate lean tools
(e.g., 5S, visual factory, kaizen, kanban, pokayoke, total
productive maintenance, standard work) as they relate to the
control phase of DMAIC
(Application) [NOTE: The use of lean tools in other areas of
DMAIC is covered in section
8.4
Measurement System Reanalysis

Understand the need to improve
measurement system capability as process capability
improves; evaluate the use of control measurement systems
(e.g., attributes, variables, destructive); and ensure that
measurement capability is sufficient for its intended use.
(Evaluation)
9.1
Lean Concepts

Theory of
constraints
Describe the
theory of constraints (Comprehension)

Lean
thinking
Describe concepts
such as value, value chain, flow, pull, perfection, etc.
(Comprehension)

Continuous flow manufacturing (CFM)
Describe the
concept CFM. (Comprehension)

Nonvalueadded
activities
Identify these
activities in terms inventory, space, test inspection,
rework, transportation, storage, etc. (Application)

Cycletime reduction
Describe how
cycletime reduction can be used to identify defects and nonvalueadded
activities using kaizentype methods to reduce waste of
space, inventory, labor, and distance. (Comprehension)
9.2
Lean Tools

Define, select, and apply tools
such as visual factory, kanban, pokayoke, standard work,
SMED, etc., in areas outside of DMAICControl. (Application)
[NOTE: The use of
lean tools in DMAICControl is covered in section VIII. C.]
9.3
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Quality
Function Deployment (QFD)
Analyze a
completed QFD matrix. (Analysis)

Robust Design
and Process

Functional
requirements
Understand functional requirements of a design.
(Comprehension)

Noise strategies
Develop a robust design using noise strategies.
(Application)

Tolerance design
Understand the concepts of tolerance design and
statistical tolerancing. (Analysis)

Tolerance and
process capability
Calculate tolerances using process capability
data. (Analysis)

Failure Mode
and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
Understand
the terminology, purpose, and use of scale criteria
(RPN) and be able to apply it to a process, product,
or service; understand the distinction between and
interpret data associated with DFMEA and PFMEA
(Analysis)

Design for X (DFX)
Understand
design constraints such as design for cost, design
for manufacturability and producibility, design for
test, design for maintainability, etc.
(Comprehension)

Special Design
Tools
Understand
the concept of special design tools such as the
theory of inventive problemsolving (TRIZ), axiomatic
design (conceptual structure robustness), etc.
(Knowledge)

In addition to content
specifics, the subtext detail also indicates the
intended complexity level of the test questions for
that topic. These levels are based on “Levels of
Cognition” (from Bloom’s Taxonomy, 1956) and are
presented below in rank order, from least complex to
most complex.

Knowledge
Level
(Also
commonly referred to as recognition, recall, or
rote knowledge.) Be able to remember or
recognize
terminology, definitions, facts, ideas,
materials, patterns,
sequences, methodologies, principles, etc.

Comprehension Level
Be able
to read and understand descriptions,
communications, reports, tables, diagrams,
directions,
regulations, etc.

Application Level
Be able
to apply ideas, procedures, methods, formulas,
principles, theories, etc., in jobrelated
situations.

Analysis
Be able
to break down information into its constituent
parts and recognize the parts’ relationship to
one another
and how they are organized; identify sublevel
factors
or salient data from a complex scenario.

Synthesis
Be able
to put parts or elements together in such a way
as to show a pattern or structure not clearly
there before;
identify which data or information from a
complex set
are appropriate to examine further or from which
supported conclusions can be drawn.

Evaluation
Be able
to make judgments regarding the value of
proposed ideas, solutions, methodologies, etc.,
by using
appropriate criteria or standards to estimate
accuracy,
effectiveness, economic benefits, etc.
