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Q: Is there a right percentage of certified Green Belt employees in a company? This way I know if I need to invest more time on training some more or just maintaining the ones I have.

First, look at what your trained Green Belts are doing. Are they using the skills? Are they applying what they’ve learned in the workplace? If this isn’t happening with Green Belts that have already received training, then you need to address this first. You want to make sure that those that have been trained are applying the skills. If you are able to leverage some resources to give already trained Green Belt support to do a project that would be very wise! The idea is that the number of Green Belts should be growing every year.

I would also recommend encouraging trained Green Belts to complete at least 2 projects every year, not just the first year. The right percentage is heavily dependent on your organization’s strategic goals with Lean Six Sigma and the amount of resources you have to support the growth of Green Belt trained employees. When I was at GE, everyone was required to complete Green Belt training and do 2 projects a year.

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.