There was a time when people looking for leadership and management positions didn't require any certifications. Armed with some sort of academic degree, or another qualification from any business school, one could get a management or leadership position with ease. Things have, however, changed: as more and more employers seek to recruit people who actually understand various modern management philosophies and deploy them in leadership and management positions. Subsequently, certifications have been developed for the various management philosophies. One such management philosophy is the Sigma philosophy: and the most popular certification associated with it is known as the Six Sigma Black Belt Certification. Having this particular certification means that you are well versed in Six Sigma philosophies, and that enhances your marketability to organizations that subscribe to this particular management philosophy.
To get the Six Sigma Black Belt certification (CSSBB), you need to pass an examination. We will now proceed to look at the essentials for passing that particular examination.
Obtaining the essential reading list
There are certain books that you need to have keenly read, if at all you are to pass the Six Sigma Black Belt Examination. So what you need to do is pay a visit to the website of the body that administers the examination for the Six Sigma Black Belt, and obtain the reading list. Then you need to get a hold of these essential books, and go through them, cover to cover, in order to prepare yourself for the examination. In the process, you will also get a chance to obtain the skills you need to be effective in your work, and that is crucial, even if some of the things you read don't come in the actual exam.
Enrolling for training
While it is possible to prepare for the Six Sigma Black Belt examination all by yourself, you greatly enhance your chances of success in the examination by enrolling for formal training. There are many Six Sigma trainers out there offering the necessary training. The various Six Sigma trainers are, however, not all equal: as some are better than others. This makes it essential for you to therefore first undertake some research, to be in a position to identify the good Six Sigma trainers, and then ensure that those are the ones you partner with for Six Sigma Black Belt examination preparation. The training can be carried out in a traditional classroom setting, or it can be carried out over the Internet. What matters is really not the mode used, but the content and the effectiveness of knowledge transfer.
Besides the books in the essential reading list, and besides what you get through formal training, you (as a person preparing for the Six Sigma Black Belt examination) also need to read widely. You, for instance, need to read on other management and leadership philosophies, and understand how they compare to the six sigma philosophy. In the examination for the certification, you will almost certainly find questions aimed at gauging your understanding in this regard.
Getting the right reference materials for the exam
Whether or not you will pass the examination for the Six Sigma Black Belt depends on what you will have done before the examination, and what you will do during the actual exam (in the exam room). Since the exam for the Six Sigma Black Belt certification is a 150-question open book exam, you need to identify and collect the necessary reference materials -- and then carry them with you to the exam room. Having the right reference materials for the Six Sigma Black Belt exam with you can make a great deal of difference, so don't take it lightly.
Practicing on simulations of the exam
There are places where you can find past CSSBB exams questions, which you can use to practice, in order to enhance your chances of success.
Getting the project bit right
You need to remember that besides passing the 150-question exam, you will also need to present a couple of project affidavits. So don't just pay attention on the written exam bit for Six Sigma Black Belt, and ignore the project bit.
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