Six Sigma projects are derived from organizational strategy, in the same way that organizational strategy drives the selection of all projects and programs in an organization’s Portfolio. So, how do the business drivers that are at work result in some projects being Six Sigma projects, and others not?
Business Drivers and Project Selection
Business Drivers are the starting point for any project selection process because of their close relationship to organization strategy. Here’s how I think it all works:
Business Drivers provide the inpts to and foundation for Strategy. Strategy provides the basis for Organizational Goals. The Goals can be translated into specific Metrics for purposes of establishing benchmarks. The result of all of this is a set of initiatives wrapped up in a Portfolio of Projects and Programs. The Type of Metrics determines the Type of Project, such as Six Sigma.
Determine the Type of Metrics
There are 3 types of metrics that influence project type or approach.
- Business Metrics – typically measure financial performance aspects
- Operations metrics – measure various aspects of the operations for the enterprise at a macro level
- Process Metrics – provide detailed information about the processes employed in the day to day operations
All of these metrics support one another, and ultimately the organizational strategy. But Six Sigma uniquely supports the detailed process level activities, and thus any projects that will ultimately be measured by process metrics are candidates for Six Sigma projects.
Six Sigma projects are derived from the need to satisfy certain process metrics that support the business objectives and strategy of the organization. While all projects need to be aligned with the business objectives and strategy, the use of Six Sigma is especially effective where achievement of improved process metrics is the goal.