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How To Avoid Pitfalls In A Six Sigma Project And Deliver

A project based on the principles of Six Sigma is of high value and expected to succeed. There are project managers who argue about the merits of using such a process. These come up when a project is not going the way they would want it to.

They re-assess the plans they laid out at the initial phase of work. They create new methods to deploy in order to get the job done. If you are a project management professional, the questions that would be on your mind would be:

1. Are we using the right methodology?

2.Are we applying the Six Sigma method in a proper way?

The answer to the first question is a big "Yes". The Six Sigma method is a proven winner for project success all over the world. It eliminates all defects in a process in a systematic way. The method takes away all non-productive steps and helps retain only useful steps.

The second question demands a lot of attention. This question needs to be asked every time we start work on a project. If a project is not going as planned or getting better, then it calls for a re-think. This has to do more with how the Six Sigma principles are put to practice for a project.

A process can be set to improve if the Six Sigma methods are applied in a proper way. There can be setbacks for a process using Six Sigma if the principles are not followed. Some of the problems are as follows:

Flawed Leadership:

A Six Sigma project needs an experienced person at the helm at all times. This person has the task to assign work to individuals in the team and follow up with them. These experts can get to work with other teams from the company. If they lose touch with the older teams, it can lead to different styles of work and decisions. This can create a confused atmosphere while working on projects.

Non-profit for projects:

If the steps in the Six Sigma process deliver a project that does not bring in profits, then the project is a failure. The ultimate aim for any business is to become profitable by providing services. If a project is able to get profit, it makes the work worthwhile and motivates the team to work more hard.

Lack of management support:

The support of the upper management is necessary for a business process to start. This means that the daily work schedule of all the members for a project is known to the others in the command chain.

If there is no support from the management, then the work will not even start and things cannot move on. The role of the leadership in all the process related decisions is final. They must have a say in it and suggest changes where it is needed.

These pitfalls in a Six Sigma project can be handled well to deliver better results. It is as follows:

Permanent Leadership:

It is better to have a manager/leader with expert knowledge at the helm until completion of a project. This means people with a Green Belt or Black Belt certification are in charge till a project ends. This is good for a team as they receive direction from an expert to work on projects. They will be able to reach the objectives with no delay in work.

Ensure profit for projects:

The project must be able to deliver profits in the long run and generate revenue for the company. Monetary benefit can be an incentive for team members as well as the leadership of a company. The benefits of earning profits means there is scope to improve and deliver better. This will create a knowledge bank where information is always added and documented.

Full management support:

Getting the full support of the leadership for a project is vital for the success. It helps the managers and teams know that they have the backing of the top level management for all work issues. It builds trust among the team and this translates to good work. The leadership plays an important role in framing the policies that are in use everyday.

If the above mentioned steps are put into practice, then you can avoid the pitfalls in a Six Sigma project. Focus must be on improving the process and delivering high quality results. This is the ultimate goal for any project manager with a Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

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