Days have changed. These days carrying out projects is becoming more challenging than ever was due to stiff competition and client/ organization demand. Organization or client is not at fault here. In today’s highly competitive environment, businesses need to have a quality product at competitive pricing. Traditionally project managers used to run projects with timeline, resources and were given some budget but these days specifically in technology sector, projects in form of idea are assigned to project managers and are asked to get it delivered with existing resources and budget. Getting a say in budget and timeframe discussion is not always possible but some lucky few do get that privilege in the above case. In these kind of situations methodologies like six sigma and lean do come in handy.
Six Sigma is not just another process improvement method. Also, its not a repackaging of old statistical process control. It is much more than that. It is a robust continuous improvement strategy and process that includes structure to project management. Six Sigma, Lean and any other existing project management programmes and standards compliments each other and helps deliver the value to the organization. Agreed that these seek to reduce failures, prevent defects, control costs and schedules, and manage risk but then aren’t they critical to project management?
Lean tools helps in creating velocity and Six Sigma helps in creating output in control and defects minimal which eliminates or reduces the need to do rework. Variations causes delay in milestones which is kept in check by effective use of Lean and Six Sigma. Once I was having a conversation with one of my friend who was of opinion that delay is better than error because error would cause rework which would increase the cost of poor quality. He seemed to be effective in managing projects with Six Sigma methodology however, I think In today’s world, this friend of mine would find it difficult to meet senior leadership mandate on projects and pretty soon be looking for job which he might find it difficult to get. This is why I always say its not just one skillset that will help you achieve desired results but its combination that comes to rescue. This is why it is all the more important to continue to enhance your knowledge and stay relevant in today’s cut throat competition. I would say no delay, no error is the way to go. I think with this the value of lean and Six Sigma tools are clear, and today’s project manager who strive to excellence needs them.