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Quality excellence to enhance your career

and boost your organizations bottom line
Certification from ASQ is considered a mark of quality
excellence in many industries. It helps you advance your
career and boosts your organizations bottom line through
your mastery of quality skills. Becoming certified as a
Six Sigma Black Belt confirms your commitment to quality
and the positive impact it will have on your organization.

Each certification candidate
is required to pass a written
examination that consists of
multiple-choice questions that
measure comprehension of
the body of knowledge.

2 Certified Six Sigma Black Belt


Certified Six Sigma Black Belt

The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) is a professional who can explain
Six Sigma philosophies and principles, including supporting systems and tools.
A Black Belt should demonstrate team leadership, understand team dynamics,
and assign team member roles and responsibilities. Black Belts have a thorough
understanding of all aspects of the DMAIC model in accordance with Six Sigma
principles. They have basic knowledge of lean enterprise concepts, are able to
identify nonvalue-added elements and activities, and are able to use specific tools.

CSSBB Experience Required

Computer Delivered - the CSSBB Six Sigma Black Belt requires two
examination is a one-part, completed projects with signed
165-question, four-and-a-half-hour affidavits, or one completed project
exam and is offered in English only. with a signed affidavit and three
One hundred and fifty questions are years of work experience, in one
scored and 15 are unscored. or more areas of the Six Sigma
Black Belt Body of Knowledge.
Paper and Pencil The CSSBB
examination is a one-part,
150-question, four-hour exam
and is offered in English only.

For comprehensive exam information on Six Sigma Black Belt certification,

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt 3
Minimum Expectations Will be able to use appropriate
techniques to overcome various
Organization-wide group dynamics challenges.
Planning and Deployment
Will understand how to deploy Define
Six Sigma within a project. Will be able to select data
Will be able to implement tools collection methods and collect
and techniques to deploy strategic voice of the customer data,
directions for initiatives. and use customer feedback to
determine customer requirements.
Will understand the roles and
responsibilities for Six Sigma Will understand the elements
projects and how each group of a project charter (problem
influences project deployment, statement, scope, goals, etc.)
and will be able to support and be able to use various tools
communications about the to track the project progress.
project deployment.
Will be able to apply operational
Will be able to define and use
change management techniques
process flow metrics and analysis
within their defined scope
tools to indicate the performance
or domain.
of a process.
Organizational Process Will be able to develop and
Management and Measures implement data collection plans,
Will be able to define various and use techniques in sampling,
types of benchmarking. data capture, and processing tools.

Will be able to describe various Will be able to define and describe

types of performance measures, measurement system analysis tools.
and select an appropriate financial Will apply basic probability
measure for a given situation and concepts and understand
calculate its result. various distributions.

Team Management Will be able to calculate

statistical and process
Will understand the components capability indices.
and techniques used in
managing teams, including time Analyze
management, planning and
decision-making tools, team Will be able to analyze the
formation, motivational techniques results of correlation and
and factors that demotivate a regression analyses.
team, and performance evaluation Will be able to define
and reward. multivariate tools.
Will be able to describe elements Will be able to perform
that can result in a teams success. hypothesis tests for means,
variances, and proportions,
and analyze their results.

4 Certified Six Sigma Black Belt

Will understand the components Will understand how to implement
and concepts for ANOVA, chi an improved process and how to
square, contingency tables, and analyze and interpret risk studies.
nonparametric tests.
Will understand the elements and
purpose of FMEA and use root Will be able to apply, use, and
cause analysis tools. analyze the various statistical
process control (SPC) techniques.
Will be able to identify and
interpret the seven classic wastes. Will understand total productive
maintenance (TPM) and visual
Will be able to use gap factory concepts.
analysis tools.
Will be able to develop control
Improve plans and use various tools to
maintain and sustain improvements.
Will be able to define and apply
design of experiments (DOE) Design For Six Sigma (DFSS)
principles, and distinguish among Framework and Methodologies
the various types of experiments.
Will understand common DFSS
Will be able to apply various lean and DFX methodologies, and
tools and techniques to eliminate elements of robust designs.
waste and reduce cycle time.

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt 5

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)
Topics in this body of knowledge (BoK) include additional detail
in the form of subtext explanations and the cognitive level at which
test questions will be written. This information will provide guidance
for the candidate preparing to take the exam. The subtext is not
intended to limit the subject matter or be all-inclusive of what might
be covered in an exam. It is meant to clarify the type of content to
be included in the exam. The descriptor in parentheses at the end
of each entry refers to the maximum cognitive level at which the
topic will be tested. A complete description of cognitive levels is
provided at the end of this document.

I. Organization-Wide 3. Relationships among

business systems and processes
Planning and Deployment Describe the interactive
(Questions 12) relationships among business
systems, processes, and internal
A. Organization-wide Considerations and external stakeholders, and the
1. Fundamentals of Six Sigma impact those relationships have on
and lean methodologies business systems. (Understand)
Define and describe the value,
4. Strategic planning and
foundations, philosophy, history,
and goals of these approaches, deployment for initiatives
and describe the integration and Define the importance of strategic
complementary relationship planning for Six Sigma projects
between them. (Understand) and lean initiatives. Demonstrate
how hoshin kanri (X-matrix),
2. Six Sigma, lean, and continuous portfolio analysis, and other tools
improvement methodologies can be used in support of strategic
Describe when to use Six Sigma deployment of these projects.
instead of other problem-solving Use feasibility studies, SWOT
approaches, and describe the analysis (strengths, weaknesses,
importance of aligning Six Sigma opportunities, and threats), PEST
objectives with organizational analysis (political, economic,
goals. Describe screening criteria social, and technological)
and how such criteria can be and contingency planning
used for the selection of Six Sigma and business continuity planning
projects, lean initiatives, and other to enhance strategic planning
continuous improvement methods. and deployment. (Apply)

6 Certified Six Sigma Black Belt

B. Leadership C. Business Measures
1. Roles and responsibilities 1. Performance measures
Describe the roles and Define and describe balanced
responsibilities of executive scorecard, key performance
leadership, champions, sponsors, indicators (KPIs), customer loyalty
process owners, Master Black metrics, and leading and lagging
Belts, Black Belts, and Green indicators. Explain how to create
Belts in driving Six Sigma and a line of sight from performance
lean initiatives. Describe how measures to organizational
each group influences project strategies. (Analyze)
deployment in terms of providing
or managing resources, enabling 2. Financial measures
changes in organizational Define and use revenue growth,
structure, and supporting market share, margin, net present
communications about the value (NPV), return on investment
purpose and deployment of (ROI), and cost benefit analysis
the initiatives. (Understand) (CBA). Explain the difference
between hard cost measures
2. Organizational roadblocks (from profit and loss statements)
and change management and soft cost benefits of cost
Describe how an organizations avoidance and reduction. (Apply)
structure and culture can impact
Six Sigma projects. Identify
common causes of Six Sigma
III. T eam Management
failures, including lack of (18 Questions)
management support and lack
of resources. Apply change A. Team Formation
management techniques, including 1. Team types and constraints
stakeholder analysis, readiness Define and describe various
assessments, and communication teams, including virtual, cross-
plans to overcome barriers and functional, and self-directed.
drive organization-wide change. Determine what team type will
(Apply) work best for a given a set of
constraints, e.g., geography,
 rganizational Process technology availability, staff
schedules, time zones. (Apply)
Management and
2. Team roles and responsibilities
Measures (10 Questions)
Define and describe various
A. Impact on Stakeholders team roles and responsibilities
Describe the impact Six Sigma projects for leader, facilitator, coach, and
can have on customers, suppliers, and individual member. (Understand)
other stakeholders. (Understand)
3. Team member selection criteria
B. Benchmarking Describe various factors that
Define and distinguish between influence the selection of team
various types of benchmarking, members, including the ability to
e.g., best practices, competitive, influence, openness to change,
collaborative, breakthrough. Select required skill sets, subject matter
measures and performance goals for expertise, and availability. (Apply)
projects resulting from benchmarking
4. Team success factors
activities. (Apply)
Identify and describe the elements
necessary for successful teams,
e.g., management support, clear
goals, ground rules, timelines.

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt 7

B. Team Facilitation coaching, mentoring, intervention)
to overcome negative group
1. Motivational techniques
dynamics, including dominant and
Describe and apply techniques to reluctant participants, groupthink,
motivate team members. Identify rushing to finish, and digressions.
factors that can demotivate team (Evaluate)
members and describe techniques
to overcome them. (Apply) 2. Meeting management
Select and use various meeting
2. Team stages of development
management techniques, including
Identify and describe the classic using agendas, starting on time,
stages of team development: requiring pre-work by attendees,
forming, storming, norming, and ensuring that the right people
performing, and adjourning. and resources are available.
(Apply) (Apply)
3. Team communication 3. Team decision-making methods
Describe and explain the elements Define, select, and use various
of an effective communication tools (e.g., consensus, nominal
plan, e.g., audience identification, group technique, multi-voting) for
message type, medium, frequency. decision making. (Apply)

4. Team leadership models D. Team Training

Describe and select appropriate 1. Needs assessment
leadership approaches (e.g., Identify the steps involved to
direct, coach, support, delegate) implement an effective training
to ensure team success. (Apply) curriculum: identify skills gaps,
develop learning objectives,
C. Team Dynamics prepare a training plan, and
develop training materials.
1. Group behaviors
Identify and use various conflict
resolution techniques (e.g.,

8 Certified Six Sigma Black Belt

2. Delivery 3. Project scope
Describe various techniques Develop and review project
used to deliver effective training, boundaries to ensure that the
including adult learning theory, project has value to the customer.
soft skills, and modes of learning. (Analyze)
4. Goals and objectives
3. Evaluation Identify specific, measureable,
Describe various techniques actionable, relevant, and time
to evaluate training, including bound (SMART) goals and
evaluation planning, feedback objectives on the basis of the
surveys, pre-training and post- projects problem statement and
training testing. (Understand) scope. (Analyze)

5. Project performance measurements

IV. Define (20 Questions) Identify and evaluate performance
A. Voice of the Customer measurements (e.g., cost, revenue,
delivery, schedule, customer
1. Customer Identification
satisfaction) that connect critical
Identify and segment customers and elements of the process to key
show how a project will impact outputs. (Analyze)
both internal and external customers.
(Apply) 6. Project charter review
Explain the importance of having
2. Customer data collection
periodic project charter reviews
Identify and select appropriate with stakeholders. (Understand)
data collection methods (e.g.,
surveys, focus groups, interviews,
C. Project Management (PM) Tools
observations) to gather voice of
the customer data. Ensure the Identify and use the following PM tools
data collection methods used are to track projects and document their
reviewed for validity and reliability. progress. (Evaluate)
1. Gantt charts
3. Customer requirements 2. Toll-gate reviews
Define, select, and apply 3. Work breakdown
appropriate tools to determine
structure (WBS)
customer needs and requirements,
including critical-to-X (CTX when 4. RACI model (responsible,
X can be quality, cost, safety, accountable, consulted,
etc.), CTQ tree, quality function and informed)
deployment (QFD), supplier, input,
process, output, customer (SIPOC), D. Analytical Tools
and Kano model. (Analyze) Identify and use the following
analytical tools throughout the DMAIC
B. Business Case cycle. (Apply)
and Project Charter 1. Affinity diagrams
1. Business case
2. Tree diagrams
Describe business case justification
used to support projects. 3. Matrix diagrams
(Understand) 4. Prioritization matrices
2. Problem statement 5. Activity network diagrams
Develop a project problem
statement and evaluate it in
relation to baseline performance
and improvement goals. (Evaluate)

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt 9

V. Measure (25 Questions) C. Measurement Systems
1. Measurement system
A. Process Characteristics
analysis (MSA)
1. Process flow metrics Use gauge repeatability and
Identify and use process flow reproducibility (R&R) studies
metrics (e.g., work in progress and other MSA tools (e.g., bias,
(WIP), work in queue (WIQ), correlation, linearity, precision
touch time, takt time, cycle to tolerance, percent agreement)
time, throughput) to determine to analyze measurement system
constraints. Describe the impact capability. (Evaluate)
that hidden factories can have
on process flow metrics. (Analyze) 2. Measurement systems
across the organization
2. Process analysis tools
Identify how measurement systems
Select, use, and evaluate various can be applied to marketing,
tools, e.g., value stream maps, sales, engineering, research and
process maps, work instructions, development (R&D), supply chain
flowcharts, spaghetti diagrams, management, and customer
circle diagrams, gemba walk. satisfaction data. (Understand)
3. Metrology
B. Data Collection Define and describe elements of
1. Types of data metrology, including calibration
systems, traceability to reference
Define, classify, and distinguish
standards, and the control and
between qualitative and quantitative
integrity of measurement devices
data, and continuous and discrete
and standards. (Understand)
data. (Evaluate)

2. Measurement scales D. Basic Statistics

Define and use nominal, ordinal, 1. Basic statistical terms
interval, and ratio measurement Define and distinguish between
scales. (Apply) population parameters and sample
statistics, e.g., proportion, mean,
3. Sampling standard deviation. (Apply)
Define and describe sampling
concepts, including representative 2. Central limit theorem
selection, homogeneity, bias, Explain the central limit theorem and
accuracy, and precision. Determine its significance in the application of
the appropriate sampling method inferential statistics for confidence
(e.g., random, stratified, systematic, intervals, hypothesis tests, and
subgroup, block) to obtain valid control charts. (Understand)
representation in various situations.
(Evaluate) 3. Descriptive statistics
Calculate and interpret measures
4. Data collection plans and methods
of dispersion and central tendency.
Develop and implement data (Evaluate)
collection plans that include
data capture and processing 4. Graphical methods
tools, e.g., check sheets, data Identify various elements of audit
coding, data cleaning (imputation closure and any criteria that have
techniques). Avoid data collection not been met and would prevent an
pitfalls by defining the metrics to audit from being closed. (Evaluate)
be used or collected, ensuring
that collectors are trained in the 5. Valid statistical conclusions
tools and understand how the Distinguish between descriptive
data will be used, and checking and inferential statistical studies.
for seasonality effects. (Analyze) Evaluate how the results of
statistical studies are used to
draw valid conclusions. (Evaluate)
10 Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
E. Probability opportunities (DPMO), defects per
unit (DPU), throughput yield, rolled
1. Basic concepts
throughput yield (RTY). (Evaluate)
Describe and apply probability
concepts, e.g., independence, 7. Short-term and
mutually exclusive events, long-term capability
addition and multiplication
Describe and use appropriate
rules, conditional probability,
assumptions and conventions when
complementary probability, joint
only short-term data or only long-
occurrence of events. (Apply)
term data are available. Interpret
2. Distributions the relationship between short-term
and long-term capability. (Evaluate)
Describe, interpret, and use
various distributions, e.g., normal,
Poisson, binomial, chi square, VI. A
 nalyze (22 Questions)
Students t, F, hypergeometric,
bivariate, exponential, lognormal, A. Measuring and Modeling
Weibull. (Evaluate) Relationships Between Variables
1. Correlation coefficient
F. Process Capability Calculate and interpret the
1. Process capability indices correlation coefficient and its
Define, select, and calculate confidence interval, and describe
Cp and Cpk. (Evaluate) the difference between correlation
and causation. (Evaluate)
2. Process performance indices
2. Linear regression
Define, select, and calculate Pp,
Ppk, Cpm, and process sigma. Calculate and interpret
(Evaluate) regression analysis, and apply
and interpret hypothesis tests
3. General process capability studies for regression statistics. Use the
Describe and apply elements regression model for estimation
of designing and conducting and prediction, analyze the
process capability studies relative uncertainty in the estimate, and
to characteristics, specifications, perform a residuals analysis to
sampling plans, stability, and validate the model. (Evaluate)
normality. (Evaluate)
3. Multivariate tools
4. Process capability Use and interpret multivariate tools
for attributes data (e.g., factor analysis, discriminant
analysis, multiple analysis of
Calculate the process capability
variance (MANOVA)) to investigate
and process sigma level for
sources of variation. (Evaluate)
attributes data. (Apply)

5. Process capability B. Hypothesis Testing

for non-normal data 1. Terminology
Identify non-normal data and Define and interpret the significance
determine when it is appropriate level, power, type I, and type II
to use Box-Cox or other errors of statistical tests. (Evaluate)
transformation techniques. (Apply)
2. Statistical vs. practical significance
6. Process performance Define, compare, and interpret
vs. specification statistical and practical significance.
Distinguish between natural (Evaluate)
process limits and specification
limits. Calculate process
performance metrics, e.g.,
percent defective, parts per
million (PPM), defects per million

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt 11

3. Sample size 2. Root cause analysis
Calculate sample size for common Define and describe the purpose
hypothesis tests: equality of means of root cause analysis, recognize
and equality of proportions. the issues involved in identifying a
(Apply) root cause, and use various tools
(e.g., 5 whys, Pareto charts, fault
4. Point and interval estimates tree analysis, cause and effect
Define and distinguish between diagrams) to resolve chronic
confidence and prediction intervals. problems. (Analyze)
Define and interpret the efficiency
and bias of estimators. Calculate 3. Waste analysis
tolerance and confidence intervals. Identify and interpret the seven
(Evaluate) classic wastes (overproduction,
inventory, defects, over-processing,
5. Tests for means, waiting, motion, transportation) and
variances, and proportions resource under-utilization. (Analyze)
Use and interpret the results
of hypothesis tests for means, VII. Improve (21 Questions)
variances, and proportions.
(Evaluate) A. Design of Experiments (DOE)
1. Terminology
6. Analysis of variance (ANOVA)
Define basic DOE terms, e.g.,
Select, calculate, and interpret the
independent and dependent
results of ANOVAs. (Evaluate)
variables, factors and levels,
7. Goodness-of-fit (chi square) tests response, treatment, error,
nested. (Understand)
Define, select, and interpret the
results of these tests. (Evaluate) 2. Design principles
8. Contingency tables Define and apply DOE principles,
e.g., power, sample size,
Select, develop, and use
balance, repetition, replication,
contingency tables to determine
order, efficiency, randomization,
statistical significance. (Evaluate)
blocking, interaction, confounding,
9. Nonparametric tests resolution. (Apply)
Understand the importance of the 3. Planning experiments
Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney
Plan and evaluate DOEs by
tests and when they should be
determining the objective, selecting
used. (Understand)
appropriate factors, responses,
and measurement methods, and
C. Failure Mode and choosing the appropriate design.
Effects Analysis (FMEA) (Evaluate)
Describe the purpose and elements of
FMEA, including risk priority number 4. One-factor experiments
(RPN), and evaluate FMEA results for Design and conduct completely
processes, products, and services. randomized, randomized block,
Distinguish between design FMEA and Latin square designs, and
(DFMEA) and process FMEA (PFMEA), evaluate their results. (Evaluate)
and interpret their results. (Evaluate)
5. Two-level fractional
D. Additional Analysis Methods factorial experiments
1. Gap analysis Design, analyze, and interpret
these types of experiments, and
Analyze scenarios to identify describe how confounding can
performance gaps, and compare affect their use. (Evaluate)
current and future states using
predefined metrics. (Analyze)

12 Certified Six Sigma Black Belt

6. Full factorial experiments theory of constraints (TOC),
Design, conduct, and analyze these overall equipment effectiveness
types of experiments. (Evaluate) (OEE). (Understand)

B. Lean Methods C. Implementation

Develop plans for implementing
1. Waste elimination
proposed improvements, including
Select and apply tools and conducting pilot tests or simulations,
techniques for eliminating or and evaluate results to select the
preventing waste, e.g., pull optimum solution. (Evaluate)
systems, kanban, 5S, standard
work, poka-yoke. (Analyze)
VIII. Control (15 Questions)
2. Cycle-time reduction
A. Statistical Process Control (SPC)
Use various tools and techniques for
reducing cycle time, e.g., continuous 1. Objectives
flow, single-minute exchange of Explain the objectives of SPC,
die (SMED), heijunka (production including monitoring and controlling
leveling). (Analyze) process performance, tracking
trends, runs, and reducing variation
3. Kaizen within a process. (Understand)
Define and distinguish between
kaizen and kaizen blitz and 2. Selection of variables
describe when to use each Identify and select critical process
method. (Apply) characteristics for control chart
monitoring. (Apply)
4. Other improvement
tools and techniques 3. Rational subgrouping
Identify and describe how Define and apply the principle of
other process improvement rational subgrouping. (Apply)
methodologies are used, e.g.,

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt 13

4. Control chart selection 2. Documentation
Select and use control charts Develop or modify documents
in various situations: X-R, X-s, including standard operating
individual and moving range (ImR), procedures (SOPs), work
p, np, c, u, short-run SPC, and instructions, and control plans to
moving average. (Apply) ensure that the improvements are
sustained over time. (Apply)
5. Control chart analysis
Interpret control charts and 3. Training for process
distinguish between common owners and staff
and special causes using rules Develop and implement training
for determining statistical control. plans to ensure consistent execution
(Analyze) of revised process methods and
standards to maintain process
B. Other Controls improvements. (Apply)
1. Total productive maintenance (TPM) 4. Ongoing evaluation
Define the elements of TPM and Identify and apply tools (e.g.,
describe how it can be used to control charts, control plans)
consistently control the improved for ongoing evaluation of the
process. (Understand) improved process, including
monitoring leading indicators,
2. Visual controls
lagging indicators, and
Define the elements of visual additional opportunities for
controls (e.g., pictures of improvement. (Apply)
correct procedures, color-coded
components, indicator lights),
and describe how they can help IX. D
 esign for Six Sigma
control the improved process. (DFSS) Framework
and Methodologies
C. Maintain Controls (7 Questions)
1. Measurement system reanalysis
A. Common DFSS Methodologies
Review and evaluate measurement Identify and describe define,
system capability as process measure, analyze, design, and
capability improves, and ensure that validate (DMADV) and define,
measurement capability is sufficient measure, analyze, design, optimize,
for its intended use. (Evaluate) and validate (DMADOV). (Understand)
2. Control plan
B. Design for X (DFX)
Develop a control plan to maintain
the improved process performance, Describe design constraints,
enable continuous improvement, including design for cost, design
and transfer responsibility from the for manufacturability (producibility),
project team to the process owner. design for test, and design for
(Apply) maintainability. (Understand)

D. Sustain Improvements C. Robust Designs

Describe the elements of robust
1. Lessons learned product design, tolerance design,
Document the lessons learned and statistical tolerancing.
from all phases of a project (Understand)
and identify how improvements
can be replicated and applied
to other processes in the
organization. (Apply)

14 Certified Six Sigma Black Belt

Based on Blooms TaxonomyRevised (2001)

In addition to content specifics, the subtext for each topic in this BoK also
indicates the intended complexity level of the test questions for that topic.
These levels are based on Levels of Cognition (from Blooms Taxonomy
Revised, 2001) and are presented below in rank order, from least complex
to most complex.

REMEMBER | Recall or recognize terms, EVALUATE | Make judgments about the

definitions, facts, ideas, materials, patterns, value of proposed ideas, solutions, etc.,
sequences, methods, principles, etc. by comparing the proposal to specific
criteria or standards.
UNDERSTAND | Read and understand
descriptions, communications, reports, CREATE | Put parts or elements together
tables, diagrams, directions, regulations, etc. in such a way as to reveal a pattern or
structure not clearly there before; identify
APPLY | Know when and how to use which data or information from a complex
ideas, procedures, methods, formulas, set is appropriate to examine further or
principles, theories, etc. from which supported conclusions can
be drawn.
ANALYZE | Break down information into
its constituent parts and recognize their
relationship to one another and how they
are organized; identify sublevel factors or
salient data from a complex scenario.

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