Lean Black Belt Certification

Advanced-Level Lean Certification Program

A Lean Black Belt (LBB) is a person who has achieved “black belt” level competency in 10 performance dimensions as defined below. He/she is a full time resource for their organization and works 100% on lean transformation. This person must be able to show evidence they’ve been working in this capacity for a minimum of 5 years, and continue in this role today.

CITEC is proud to certify people as Lean Black Belts! They are truly precious resources in any company.

Performance Dimensions*

  1. Lean Methods: applies a robust portfolio of lean tools, processes, principles, methodology… knows and has used all of them.
  2. Change Agent: can make change happen.
  3. Transformation: actively works to transform his/her organization from “traditional” to “lean.”
  4. Project Leadership: leads 4 – 12 lean projects per year.
  5. Teamwork: always works with teams to implement lean.
  6. Management Advisor: helps managers “lead” lean implementation.
  7. Knowledge Transfer: builds lean capability in others.
  8. Quantitative Results: returns 10X his/her salary in value to the company every year.
  9. Technical Communications: writes, publishes, and circulates technical papers on lean.
  10. Self-Improvement: continuously improves him/herself by attending lean seminars, reading books, benchmarking others, participating in webcasts, membership in professional organizations (SME, AME, ASQ, others).

*Each of these dimensions is assessed on a scale of 0-10 using the LBB Self-Assessment Table. A score of 700+ is required for Lean Black Belt Certification. This assessment and resulting score must be agreed to by CITEC and the sponsoring manager in the candidate’s own company.


Black Belt Candidates will be able to demonstrate proven proficiency in:

  • Value Stream Mapping (Current State and Future State)
  • Hoshin Planning
  • 5S Workplace Organization
  • Visual Controls
  • One-Piece Flow Cells
  • Cell Teams
  • SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die)
  • TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)
  • Kanbans, Supermarkets, FIFO Lanes (pull systems)
  • ZDQ (Mistake Proof and Fail Safe)
  • Lean Materials Handling (Water Spiders and Milk Runs)
  • Lean Warehouse (A, B, C item location, storage, and management)
  • Kaizen
  • Lean Metrics (+ Lean Accounting)
  • Lean Office (Engineering, Purchasing, etc)
  • Lean Supply Chain (+ Supplier Management)
  • Lean Product Development

And, have general knowledge & skills in:

  • Problem Solving (Analytical Problem Solving, Analytical Trouble Shooting, A3 Reports)
  • Project Management
  • Seven Basic Quality Tools (Histograms, C/E Diagrams, Scatter Plots, SPC Charts, Pareto Diagrams, etc)
  • VOC (Voice of the Customer)
  • Process FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis)
  • Graphical techniques
  • Communications Skills
  • Conflict Management Skills
  • Presentation Skills

Recommended Professional Certifications & Memberships:

  • SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers)
  • AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence)
  • ASQ (American Society for Quality)
  • Certified Lean White Belt (by CITEC / JCM Work Designs)
  • Certified Lean Green Belt (by CITEC / JCM Work Designs)
  • Certified Lean Bronze/Silver/Gold (by ASQ/SME)
  • Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (by your company)
  • Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (by your company)
  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (by your company)


The candidate for the Lean Black Belt is required to submit comprehensive documentation when applying for certification. This documentation must include:

  1. Prior lean certifications (Green Belt, White Belt, Bronze/Silver/Gold ASQ certifications, other company certifications in lean, etc.)
  2. Length of experience working on lean
  3. Quality of that experience working on lean
  4. Quantitative results of lean project work over the past 5 years
  5. LBB Change Agent Assessment (of him/herself)
  6. The Lean Transformation Assessment (of his/her value stream, plant site, or company)
  7. Business reason for requesting Lean Black Belt Certification

All of the above must be submitted for review to your CITEC Lean Coach when the candidate is ready. The documentation will be reviewed, appropriate clarification questions will be asked, and any additional follow up will be requested of the candidate. Upon completion of the above, the entire application will be reviewed during a meeting with the sponsoring manager of the candidate. If approved, the Lean Black Belt will be awarded. This award comes with a formal framed certificate plus a Lean Martial Arts Black Belt.

If you are ready to pursue your Lean Black Belt Certification, please?contact Lean Training Program Manager Tricia Wilson.


CITEC is a not-for-profit business consulting organization driven by a mission to help the small- and medium-sized enterprises in northern New York to thrive. The depth of our consulting team's expertise and an unbeatable nationwide network of resources will deliver the impacts your business needs to grow strategically, improve profitability, and create the competitive advantages you need.

We have proven results. Our clients are surveyed by an independent third party upon project completion and have reported amazing impacts to their businesses because of our assistance. On average, working with CITEC provides a return of $71 for every $1 of project cost.


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