Selecting Six Sigma Projects That Matter

Six Sigma Forum Magazine vol. 3 issue 1 - November 2003

Abstract: Early in the deployment of Six Sigma, a company may have more projects than there are green and black belts to handle them, and unless management is selective about choosing future projects, the quality and impact on business diminishes over time. Companies most successful with their Six Sigma initiatives go through three phases during project selection. Opportunistic selection of a project creates excitement by focusing on current problems adversely affecting business, but often results in overly large projects that miss key process areas. A more strategic approach links project selection to critical issues and business goals. This approach isn't adequate in the long run because there are a limited number of key strategic areas on which to focus. The process management system approach to project selection identifies key areas of improvement needed for strategic reasons and addresses the linkages to support and enable the process. Dashboards are used to visualize all of the !process drivers and relevant output measures and are vital to monitoring performance. A strategic process management system is the foundation for building a sustainable approach to selecting worthwhile Six Sigma projects.

Keywords: Six Sigma - Project selection - Decision support systems - Strategic planning - Process management - Business process

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