Wednesday 14 April 2021

Using 6 Sigma Methodology in Project Management

The 6 Sigma methodology aims to improve the quality of products measured by the number of defective products per million. This methodology can also be seen as a means of increasing predictability in meeting consumer expectations. 

This methodology is usually used in repetitive processes: 

for example, in the manufacture of parts, the execution of maintenance applications, pizza baking or the issuance of collateral loans, etc.

Each project is unique in its own way, although it can use processes present in any project. For example, each project requires the preparation and subsequent implementation of the plan and schedule. Each project must be subject to certain requirements, each work must be divided into separate tasks assigned to specific performers.

Many projects have to listen to the complaints of performers about poorly worded requirements, which entail the need to rework the work already done. It is easy to imagine the effect that a reduction in the number of such redrapoes could have, given that approximately 80 per cent of all project delays, as measured by how often time reserves in the schedules have to be, are due to changes in previously established project requirements.

In the case of project management, the "6 sigma" methodology assumes that project requirements must meet three main conditions:

No errors that need to be detected in a timely manner so as not to deal with the subsequent reworkings of the project due to these errors.

The ability to execute on schedule.

Compliance, if possible, should require minimal cost.

The "6 Sigma" methodology is based on an approach that includes five key steps and is referred to by the acronym DMAIC. These steps are:

  • Setting a task (define). Identify processes, formulate requirements. Determining how to proceed.
  • Measure . Measuring the current parameters of the identified processes.
  • Analysis . The analysis of the available data is carried out in order to identify the prevailing patterns and trends in the implementation of projects in order to identify the root causes of deviations.
  • Improvement . Improving the key processes identified.
  • Control. Control objects are the most important parameters of the identified processes. For example, if you find that the key factor in determining the correctness of the wording of project requirements is the level of skill of the customer (end user of the results) of the project, then you can arrange for them special refresher courses in this area.

The Six Sigma method improves the efficiency of design processes and brings products to a higher level by reducing defects and all sorts of risks. The "6 sigma" indicator means almost non-defective products. By controlling the productive process, you can find links that need to be refined, even before defects occur.

The method was published in 1980. Motorola specialists have developed and applied it in their activities. Soon Six Sigma became effectively used by other companies.

The aim of the method is to produce products of consistent quality, to improve operations in order to eliminate shortcomings. 

The model has proven itself to be the best in the process of working large corporations with thousands of employees. No less effective is this model in small teams.

Six Sigma's methodology is to determine the level of deviations in process parameters from the standard distribution of such deviations. 

There are certain boundaries, without breaking which production indicators remain at a high level, the quality of products does not suffer. Deviations have their own unit of measurement called sigma.

Six Sigma's goal is to improve every aspect of the business with a statistical measure of results.

1. Identify opportunities.

Setting the ultimate goals and design framework, identifying the problems that need to be addressed to achieve the desired deviations. Determining customers' needs for products. Identify processes that need to be improved.

2. Determine performance level

At this stage, we are planning to collect and measure information about the product's shortcomings. The information is collected from different sources, the level of defects is determined. The resulting data is processed and shown to team members.

3. Opportunity analysis

This phase analyzes and verifies the information collected, identifies the circumstances that led to defects, identifies the necessary steps and prioritizes improvements.

4. Improving performance.

The stage is to create new solutions that can improve the production process, including project management tools and other tools.

5. Performance control.

At this stage, quality-enhancing programmers are monitored and monitored. Improvements are assessed.

The undeniable advantage of using the Six Sigma method is to reduce costs. Due to the involvement of high-end specialists in projects, significant monetary savings can be achieved.

The methodology ensures absolute customer satisfaction. But the long-term success of Six Sigma is possible only if there are offers that will be able to interest the client. An additional condition of the method's effectiveness is the continuous improvement of the company's activities.

Managers who choose to apply such a methodology should forget about unusual solutions, innovative approaches and shortcomings. It should be understood that Six Sigma is not just a transformation of outdated ways of ensuring quality, but also a completely new approach to the management of the company.

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