FIT SIGMA in Project Management


Interest in Six Sigma is growing rapidly within the professional project management community, and the most common question emerging from that group is, ‘How does Six Sigma relate to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK)?’ PMBoK (2006) concludes that Six Sigma and PMBoK do have connections, similarities and distinctions, and it is clear that Six Sigma complements and extends professional project management, but does not replace it. Both disciplines make important contributions to successful business outcomes. As described earlier, the core methodology of Six Sigma, i.e. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) is closely linked to the approach, rigour and stages of life cycle of project management.

Even today, project managers are not comfortable with embracing Six Sigma to administer their endeavours. Arguments against it include the contention that a project is unique, a one-off, and does not have a stable process. They say that Six Sigma is only effective in repetitive stable processes. Sceptics also pose the question: do we need the data-driven statistics of Six Sigma in projects where contractors are busy just doing their jobs? Our response to such doubts and misgivings is that Six Sigma can be very effective if the tools and methodology are applied appropriately (fitted to purpose). In Quality Beyond Six Sigma (Basu and Wright, 2003), chapter 8: ‘Project Management and FIT SIGMA’ addresses the issue ...

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