4 criteria to test your Six Sigma projects so they are meaningful

If you have tried implementing or have implemented Six Sigma in your company, you know that one of the most important parts of it are the projects. Projects as who is in charge and the environment will determine whether the process is successful or not, if the projects are weak, the people in charge are not capable enough or the environment is not adequate for the process to take place it will most likely fail. Today we want to focus on one of these elements, projects, so you can evaluate and make sure they are ready to be put in action. If you take into account these and apply them to your projects it will surely improve the success of the project especially if you have skilled people in the proper place, making your Six Sigma process feel strong and powerful.

Using these criteria you can evaluate both beginning and ongoing projects as well as finished ones to apply what is learned from the evaluation in the next projects. You should as well expect and analyze what might cause problems or failure later during the projects and work to prevent them.

1  . Using Six Sigma Tools:

It is important to know if the Six Sigma tools are being used correctly, while following logical directions and applying the core concepts of Six Sigma and though a process might work without the proper use of both the concepts and the tools, using them properly will yield much better results overtime.  A low use of them will be evident if the team used little to none of the Six Sigma tools and this has affected the overall impact of the project while the high use of them will show how capable is the team of following the logical flow and their ability to prioritize and focus when it is necessary.

2. Teamwork:

Even though there are leaders in the team, all the team needs to be engaged and to learn from them. Leaders should try to teach the Six Sigma knowledge to the rest of the team while the rest of the team should be engaged enough so they can learn and push the project forward. Low teamwork will be evident when the leader is the only main force of the team while the others will hold small tasks and will have little to no knowledge of how the Six Sigma process works, while a good teamwork will have good impact in the project, as the members have all roles which they can properly fit as they know the Six Sigma process well all of that being coordinated by the leader who teaches and helps each one of the members of the team when necessary.

3. Being punctual with the project:

Whether the project took way too much time to complete or if it was completed just in time will be a determining factor of how well the project was managed. Long durations show weakness in one or more parts of the team, being either the team members, the leaders or the sponsors. Low punctuality will be evident when the team finished the project long after it was supposed to be finished as well as missed deadlines, high punctuality will mean the team was able to prioritize and stay focused and finish what was planned within the estimated time.

time_six sigma_david kiger_Being punctual with the project
Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee at Flickr.com

4. Constant improvement:

One of the most important parts of the project is to be able to sustain the improvements made during it, it requires both organization and planning and lack of those will make the improvement be reduced after the completion. A successful project on the other hand will be able to be sustained over longer times. Contrary to the others, this criteria will only show some months after the project finished, low sustainability will be evident if after three months the performance has dropped significantly and this will likely be caused by failure of the team of either properly introducing the changes or failing to identify the root of the problem. A high sustainability on the other hand will show stable performance three months after the project as well as constant improvements after the project has finished, this will show the company will have properly adopted the changes introduced by the project.

And if you would like to read more about similar topics remember to check more of the content published by David Kiger in the blog, we offer information about different systems like Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing and Kaizen so if you are interested be sure to check it out. If you like the idea of Six Sigma you should also check this other article about Six Sigma today as it discussed the actual state of the process and why it is important right, and search around the blog as it is one of our preferred systems.


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