In Six Sigma project management, senior management take an active role creating projects by choosing a business process that is in need of improvement. However, the execution and delivery of the project typically belongs to a project manager – often a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Whomever is leading, they should follow strong project management techniques.
Discipline equals freedom.
Project Management Stages
- Planning (Knowing what to do)
- Scheduling (when to do it)
- Controlling (getting it done)
Project Management Phases
(Why ASQ asks one as stages and one as phases is beyond me, but I’ve seen this in practice exams so it’s here in my notes.
- Project Proposal
- A common issue that Six Sigma projects face is a lack of business impact for the company. Be sure to quantify the benefits the project will achieve.
- Project review (aka postmortem, lessons learned.)
- Archiving documentation.
Project Management Elements
- Schedule time limits
- Allocation of responsibilities
- Communication (reporting methods)
- Trade off methodologies
- Measuring accomplishments vs plans.
- Problem identification (early)
- Correcting problems.
Project Management Tools
- Project Plan & Project Tracking Tools
- Commitment Scale
- Stakeholder Analysis
- Communication Plan
Six Sigma Project Management Resources
George Eckes on Six Sigma Project Management
Common Six Sigma Project Management Questions
How long should a Six Sigma project take?
According to George Eckes – 120 days.
What is the main disadvantage of presenting a team with a project > 160 days?
There’s a lowered expectation of success according to Eckes.
What are the Deliverables of a Lean Six Sigma Project?
Each phase of a Lean Six Sigma project has different deliverables. While there are variations on each project as each project requires the use of different tools, there are similarities.
At minimum you should have a project charter to start off with. A Stakeholder communication plan is also essential from my experience.
Additionally, I like to schedule regular reviews with my stakeholders on a predictable schedule and certainly with the achievement of a milestone. Your frequency of meeting with your stakeholders will depend upon the nature of your work and their involvement. At the least I would review the conclusion of each DMAIC phase with them to achieve sign off.
ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt Project Questions
Question: Which of the following is the key objective of a six sigma project?
(A) Developing detailed control charts for critical processes
(B) Developing a matrix to understand the how’s and what’s of a problem process
(C) Reducing variation in critical processes
(D) Reducing investment costs while improving output quality