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How to Implement Six Sigma in Project Management
Failure in project management is often due to weakness in business process implementation and decision making, as opposed to the efforts and executions themselves. Six Sigma is an effective business management principle that can help enhance process outputs by correcting flaws that hamper progress. Let’s take a look at how the five important steps in Six Sigma can be implemented in project management. The five six sigma principles that we are looking at today are define, measure, explore, develop and implement.
- Define the scope, objectives, nature and returns of the project. When you have a clear picture of all these factors it is easier to gauge where your project stands with regards to the corporate goals.
- Measure the value that the project presents to its end audience. You should be able to pin down a measurable value for these metrics, rather than just drawing non-quantifiable estimates. The value can compare the returns of the project and accordingly decide the proportion of the resources that are to be invested in it.
- Explore alternative, and if anything unique ways to meet the project goals. No doubt, you have time-tested business procedures to reach targets, but you will almost always find that there is a better way to do things; in fact, this is how processes and procedures evolve. Then again, if you find that your previous initiatives did not yield the desired results in the set timeline, then you have a good reason to explore alternative ways to go about it.
- Develop the project framework with regards to resources, facilities, supplies and more. This is a crucial part of six sigma implementation in project management, as you are laying down the different pillars of your project. From project resources to technology infrastructure, all the logistics associated with the project are addressed in this step. In case one of the pillars fall through, you will have to look into mitigating risk and finding a replacement for it at the earliest.
- Implement the plan that you have just drawn out. You can think of this as a testing phase where you determine if your project processes are in place and performing as expected. Since you have a better overview of the entire project now is also a good time to make any tweaks that you think are necessary in initial steps of the six sigma implementation.