My Project Management Expert

Six Sigma Methodology

Six Sigma methodology has been the guiding philosophy of a number of organizations in the world who have benefited by its application in terms of process improvements, delivering quality products, and succeeding in delivering what is required.

Six Sigma refers to a 99.997% rate of perfection. To explain this further, a company producing only 3.4 defects in a batch of one million is said to perform at the Six Sigma level. As such, Six Sigma is a smarter way of managing business wherein a customer-centric approach is adopted in processes, and data is used to drive improvements in processes. The three focus areas of Six Sigma methodology are:

  1. Improving customer satisfaction
  2. Reducing cycle time
  3. Reducing defects

So what exactly does the Six Sigma methodology say?

Well, the Six Sigma methodology communicates the following practices:

  • Continuous monitoring and assessment of performance using Sigma and DPMO (Defects per million opportunities)
  • Application of Six Sigma methodology to analyze processes to find the causes of variation and developing alternate processes to eliminate defects and variation
  • Using various problem solving methodologies, such as Lean Six Sigma, 5 Whys, Theory of Inventive Problem Solving etc, within DMAIC for improving processes

Application of Six Sigma Methodology

The five phases of the DMAIC methodology as documented in the steps in Six Sigma methodology are: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Each of these five phases has a set of deliverables and tools. The focus area and the deliverables of each of these phases are listed below:

Define

The problem area is identified in this phase. The boundaries for the process area and the improvement requirements are defined in this phase.

The key deliverables of this phase are:

  • The project team is established
  • The Six Sigma team charter is finalized
  • The voice of the customer is detailed
  • The critical to quality parameters are defined
  • Process maps are defined

Measure

In this phase, the current performance of the process is measured as compared to the desired performance.

The key deliverables for this phase are:

  • Data collection plan
  • Measurement system analysis
  • Baselined data for current process
  • X data to be collected
  • Operational definitions

Analyze

This phase involves analyzing the root cause of the problem which is causing the process to perform at the current level.

The key deliverable for this phase is the validated root cause for the deviation in current process.

Improve

This phase involves finding an alternate process for improving performance and conducting a pilot project.

The key deliverables for this phase are:

  • Proposed solution with the cost/benefit analysis
  • Execution of the pilot project plan
  • Presentation of the improved process to the key project management stakeholders

Control

This phase involves taking steps to ensure the sustenance of the improved performance.

The key deliverables for this phase are:

  • Improved process implementation plan
  • Implemented process
  • Process control plan

Six Indicators for Successful Implementation of Six Sigma Methodology

The key indicators for successful Six Sigma projects are listed below:
  1. Selecting a business priority for the Six Sigma project
  2. Understanding the true requirements of the process to be improved
  3. Using data for driving home your point
  4. Selecting the right Six Sigma tool for the right situation
  5. Communicating the project goals and achievements to the stakeholders
  6. Conducting regular health-checkups for the new improved process to ensure that the process is following the prescribed guidelines

Six Sigma Methodology - Tip

Many a times, the Six Sigma project may hit a roadblock. In situations like this, it is always advisable to consult your project mentor who is aware of the common pitfalls and the steps to be taken to rectify the situation.

Sign Up for Our Free
The Fast Track to Project Success eZine
and get The mPME Top 10 Tips
of Successful Project Management Ebook!

The Top 10 Tips of Successful Project Management Ebook Email

Name

Then

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
We promise to use it only to send you The Fast Track to Project Success.



follow MyPMExpert on Twitter


Sign Up for Our Free
The Fast Track to Project Success Ezine
and get Our
Top 10 Tips of
Successful Project Management Ebook!

The Top 10 Tips of Successful Project Management Ebook
Email

Name

Then

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
We promise to use it only to send you The Fast Track to Project Success.

Site News

Please check out our new Project Management Methodologies section. It has loads of great info on concepts such as the PMMM and Critical Path.


Spare 2 Mins & Win an iPod Shuffle

We're running a survey to enable us to better focus our site and products. Please spare 2 minutes to answer our 6 questions and we'll enter you into a draw to win an iPod Shuffle. This way you help us to better help you. Go on, you know it makes sense!

Click here for the Survey.



XML RSS
What is this?
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Google

Original Content Copyright © 2009 My-Project-Management-Expert.com
All other content is in the public domain or is copyright by the credited author.