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The Difference Between Typical Project Management and Six Sigma Project Management

Enjoy a rousing dash of Six Sigma in your project management routine? You should! Peter Peterka shares the virtues of this advanced process improvement methodology on the blog. Like the traditional approaches of PRINCE2 and PMBOK, Six Sigma is designed to help the PM cement a project strategy, confer with relevant stakeholders, conduct reviews, and manage project items like cost, schedule, and resources. But unlike traditional PM tools and practices, Six Sigma is an all-encompassing commitment that will fundamentally change the way projects are processed at your organization.

Six Sigma: Above and Beyond

One might use the term advanced to describe Six Sigma, which goes beyond standard process improvement to standardize the improvement process itself:

Six Sigma is not simply another supplement to an organisation’s existing management methods. It is a complementary management methodology that is integrated into and replaces the existing ways of determining, analysing, and resolving/avoiding problems, as well as achieving business and customer requirements objectively and methodically. Six Sigma can be applied to operational management issues, or it can directly support strategic management development and implementation. Six Sigma’s set of tools are more broadly applicable than those commonly applied within typical project management.

Secrets of Success

The secret to a Six Sigma approach lies in measuring the success of a given methodology against the gold standards of customer satisfaction and cost efficiency. What else does Six Sigma have that other projects don’t? In three words: breadth, depth, and precision. More specifically, it involves a well-formed project charter, strategic financial accounting, and a robust control phase (the DMAIC).

Additionally, Six Sigma employs cultural methodologies like Total Quality Management and Statistical Process Control. In sum, this advanced methodology does more than target individual projects, but instead seeks to improve the entire organization, the sum of project processes, and the totality of management practice in a lasting and substantial way.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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