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Why a Lean Six Sigma Project Leader should also be PMP Certified?

Six Sigma LogoScoping your project, handling it and ensuring scope creep is not jeopardizing your projects outcome could be a daunting task.   It is also one of the most important parameter that provides insight about your project health (if your project will be finished within the defined time and budget and if it will continue to get stakeholder support).  Typically a CI project manager is tasked with improving output but the question is by how much and what are the boundaries of the project.  How do you ensure you deliver what the project intended to deliver and your accomplishments gets accepted by process owner instead of he talking about what all you did not do and how you did not adapt to changing business requirement?  Proper project scoping and formal signoff of the same with defined change management process is the key here.  However, without the knowledge of scoping and change management process, how would you implement it in your project?

There is always strong desire from process owner and even you for dramatic, & positive results from your Lean Six Sigma project.  This where you get praise, recognition and subsequent rewards.  Then there is also pressure on getting the results delivered very quickly which often does not give you enough time to do proper project scoping.  The risk for aiming for moon is that the scope is too large for the given timeframe and often the project gets bogged down.  Does that mean we should not aim for the moon?  Definitely yes!  However, the solution here is to break down into smaller manageable projects can reap better results by having separate teams focusing on their deliverable.  A certified PMP would understand the importance of not starting work without getting your charter and subsequent management plans signed off by the sponsor and the six sigma leader (Master Black Belt or Black Belt) will have the technical knowledge to mentor the teams and ensure project success.

It’s worth noting that many of the “management best practices” advocated by PMBoK and Six Sigma have lot of similarities (e.g., identify and communicate with stakeholders; have a detailed and sound plan; conduct regular reviews; and manage schedule, cost and resources).

PMPFurther, all your project goals need to be SMART.  Below is an example of how your project goals should be:

  • Specific — what will you achieve?  Example of that would be “Increase customer satisfaction score from X%age to Y%age”
  • Measurable — What metric will be used?   It is said that you don’t measure something that is not valuable and I am sure you value your project.
  • Attainable — Can you realistically do this? Is it overly ambitious?  Typical example of bad goal in this context would be trying to increase business by 400 percent in six months.  Sounds unattainable to be unless you have on verge of cracking a great deal or were performing horribly earlier.
  • Reasonable — Can this team do this and do we have authority to do it?
  • Time-Bound — The goal will be achieved in a specific amount of time.  Generally not more than 6 months for six sigma project.

A PMP is well accustomed to all the concepts and that makes a big business case to have your six sigma implementation leader be certified as PMP.  We can conclude by saying both disciplines make important contributions to successful business outcomes.


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