Lean six Sigma Black Belt

The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design


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Who should attend

Participants are expected to have knowledge in statistical concepts and linear statistical models along with their application to data analysis. Recommended prerequisite topics include:

  • Descriptive statistics
  • Sampling and distributions (e.g., Normal)
  • Simple linear regression and correlation
  • Hypothesis testing

Successful completion of an undergraduate Statistics and/or Linear Statistical Models course is desired. Completion of Green Belt certification is desired but not required, especially if candidates have background in the above prerequisite topics.

About the course

Earn Your Black Belt From the University of Michigan

Effective quality analysis requires finding the right tool for the right problem. Using a blend of case studies drawn from different industries, this course provides advanced continuous improvement and quality engineering analysis skills used in Lean Six Sigma problem solving. Our unique remote delivery format combines convenient self-paced learning with a series of live check-in sessions, enabling you to interact with U-M faculty while completing the course modules on your own time.


This course focuses on applications drawn from a variety of industries, including manufacturing, transactional/service, and healthcare environments.

Program Overview

Week 1

Monday: Six Sigma Overview and Define Phase

  • DMAIC Problem Solving Process and DEFINE Phase
  • Sampling, Descriptive Statistics, and Basic Graphical Tools (Run Chart, Histogram, Box Plot)
  • Introduction to Minitab (Tutorial)

Tuesday: Process and Value Stream Mapping Analysis

  • Process Maps (Review of SIPOC/Swim Lane, Current and Future State Maps)
  • Value Stream Mapping (VSM) Analysis (Value Stream Process Redesign, Current State VSM, Value Add Timeline, Future State VSM)
  • Value Stream Productivity Analysis (Takt, Nominal vs. Effective Process Time, Detractors, Operator Bar Charts, Capacity and Utilization)

Wednesday: Measuring the Current State

  • MEASURE: Measure the Current State – Continuous Outputs (Yield, PPM Defective, Mean vs. Variation)
  • Measure Current State – Defect Count Data (DPMO, Rolled Yield, Tabulation, Check Sheets, and Pareto)
  • Minitab Tutorial – Measure Phase
  • Measuring Current State Using Survey Methods

Thursday: Statistical Process Control and Process Capability Analysis

  • Assessing Process Stability: Variable Control Charts (X-Bar/Range, I/MR)
  • Statistical Process Control: Attribute Charts (e.g., p-chart, u-chart)
  • Minitab Tutorial – SPC
  • Process Capability Analysis (Cp and Cpk) – Mean vs. Variation, Normal/Non-Normal Distributions
  • Minitab Tutorial – Process Capability Analysis

Friday: Data Collection and Hypothesis Testing

  • Data Collection and Qualitative Process Analysis (Data Collection, Cause and Effect, P-Diagram)
  • Two Group Hypothesis Tests (F-tests, t-tests, 2 Proportion, ANOVA)
  • One-Factor ANOVA – Operating Windows
  • Power and Sample Size Planning
  • Minitab Tutorial – Hypothesis Testing

Week 2

Monday: Improve and Control

  • IMPROVE Phase – Countermeasures and Short Term Verification
  • IMPROVE Phase – Standardized Work and Load Leveling
  • CONTROL – Methods of Control, Visual Controls, and Control Plans
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) – Improving Methods of Control (Detection)

Tuesday: Categorical Data Analysis and Transactional Measurement Systems Analysis

  • Nonparametric Hypothesis Tests
  • Categorical Data Analysis (Measures of Association)
  • Minitab Tutorial – Categorical Data Analysis
  • Transactional Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) (Sources of Measurement Error, Accuracy and Repeated Measurement Studies)
  • Attribute Agreement Analysis
  • Minitab Tutorial – Transactional MSA

Wednesday: Regression Analysis

  • Two Variable Analysis – Simple Linear Regression/Correlation
  • Multiple Regression/Stepwise Regression/Best Subset
  • Binary Logistic Regression Analysis
  • Minitab Tutorial – Regression Analysis

Thursday: Design of Experiments and General Linear Model

  • Multi-Vari Studies
  • Principles of Design of Experiments (DOE)
  • DOE – 2k Factorial
  • Minitab Tutorial – DOE
  • General Linear Model (GLM)
  • Minitab Tutorial – GLM

Friday: Project Selection and DMAIC Gate Review Process

  • Tolerance Analysis and Adjustment
  • Project Identification and Selection Techniques
  • DMAIC Project Management
  • Course Summary and DMAIC Gate Review Process


Estimated: 120 self-paced hours, plus eight 2-hour remote live check-ins:

  • 90 hours (approximately) for lecture recordings and exercises
  • Eight 2-hour remote live check-in sessions (April - August)
  • 20-40 hours for project work

All requirements must be completed within 365 days after your start date. If you do not complete the course within one year of your start date, you will be required to re-enroll at a reduced cost of $500.

This is a self-paced online course consisting of 46 lecture modules with 10 test exercises (multiple choice tests to complete after each learning module) and 2 case study assignments. Most lecture recordings are approximately one hour in length. While the course is self-paced, we recommend completing two sessions/week.


Participants pursuing their University of Michigan Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification are required to:

  • Participate in all course training days and successfully complete all in-class and online exercises and case studies
  • Complete all testing exercises and case studies and obtain an overall cumulative score > 80%
  • Obtain an 80% or above on Black Belt Certification Exam
  • Obtain approval of Black Belt Project Proposal by U-M faculty
  • Successfully complete a Black Belt Project (reviewed by U-M faculty)

Upon successful completion, you will be mailed your University of Michigan Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.


Following the live course, candidates are welcome to contact the course instructors for content questions and project support. The instructors will provide support via e-mail, phone consultation, and/or online videoconferencing.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and characterize variability through the graphical representation of data
  • Describe a process visually through process mapping techniques
  • Apply DMAIC problem solving process toward process improvement at the Black Belt skill level
  • Develop data collection plans and design experiments to test hypotheses
  • Interpret test results and draw conclusions based on data and the application of advanced statistical analysis techniques
  • Integrate statistical analysis tools, software, and problem solving methodologies
  • Develop recommendations and control plans to improve processes
  • Complete a process improvement project outside of class that demonstrates the application of the full DMAIC methodology


You will receive access to both the online Green Belt and Black Belt courses to review for project work and exam preparation. Supplemental modules are available for topics including:

  • Measurement Systems Analysis: Gage R&R Study
  • Introduction to Sample Size Planning (Single Statistics, Margin of Error, CV)
  • Complex Regression and Data Transforms
  • DOE Fractional Factorial Designs, 3k Factorial, 2k w/ Center Points
  • Pugh Concept Selection Process
  • The assignment exercises and case studies involve the extensive use of Minitab (not Minitab Express) Statistical Software for analysis. Lectures and assignments are developed for Minitab 17 or higher or equivalent software (SPSS, STAT SOFT, SAS).

Minitab 13-16 also are acceptable, though some menus may appear different than those shown in lecture.


  1. Install VMWare Fusion for Mac. Download: https://caenfaq.engin.umich.edu/vmap/what-is-vmap

  2. Create a Windows Virtual machine using VMWare Fusion.

  3. Install Minitab (Full version) inside the newly created Virtual Windows machine.


Patrick Hammett

Dr. Patrick Hammett is the Lead Faculty for the University of Michigan College of Engineering's Six Sigma Programs and teaches related Quality and Statistical Analysis Method courses as a Lecturer for the Integrative Systems +Design Department. As lead instructor for live and online Six Sigma tra...

Luis Guzman

Dr. Guzman is lead faculty in the University of Michigan College of Engineering in Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) and the Division of Integrative Systems + Design (ISD), where he has taught several courses since 2003. His teaching and research is focused on the application of data a...

Don Lynch

Donald P. Lynch, Ph.D. received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, MBA from Eastern Michigan University, Ph.D. in Mechanical (Industrial) Engineering from Colorado State University, and a post Graduate Certificate in Lean Six Sigma from the University of Mi...

Nicole Friedberg

Nicole has 10 years engineering and lean six sigma experience in the defense, aerospace, automotive, and financial industries. She received her Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan and earned her MBA from Drexel University with a concentrati...

Lean six Sigma Black Belt at The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Business Analytics

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