Black Belts achieve their place at the top of the Lean Six Sigma hierarchy following successful completion of Green Belt. Black Belts are the leaders in projects. The key role of the Black belt is managing a team of Green Belts and Yellow Belts, responsible for the majority of the work in Lean Six Sigma projects. Whereas Yellow and Green Belts are part time, Black Belts are full time. Black Belts must demonstrate that they clearly understand the Lean enterprise theory and also possess a comprehensive understanding of the DMAIC paradigm.

Black Belts eventually reach the level of Master Black Belt status based on a number of successful large projects delivered although the difference between the two levels is, arguably marginal.