A Champion in a Six Sigma initiative is the executive sponsor of quality initiative projects. Champions take responsibility for Six Sigma implementation across the organization. The Executive Leadership draws them from upper management. Champions are upper-level managers who lead the execution of the Lean Six Sigma deployment plans for the company. That makes it one of the most critical roles in any successful Lean Six Sigma improvement initiative.
Guided by the direction set forth by the executive team, champions select the projects, determine who’s trained as Black Belts/Green Belts, review progress, and mentor the Black Belts/Green Belts for the deployment to be effective. In the image below you can see the separate roles of Lean Six Sigma Belts in the system. A project Champion in practice receives what is equivalent to a White Belt training from a Leadership standpoint, they must have the basic knowledge and concepts, as well as understand their role in the system to be able to properly support the efforts of the rest of the team and drive them to an improved state. According to proponents, special training is needed for all these practitioners to ensure that they follow the methodology and use the data-driven approach correctly.
Wikipedia. Six Sigma. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Sigma#Professionalization
ASQ. Lean Six Sigma Champion. https://asq.org/training/lean-six-sigma-champion-lssc