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Decoding the Symbiosis of Six Sigma and the Closing Process Group

Friday, 24 November 2023 | Du Toit, Malani

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Embarking on a Dual Expedition: Decoding the Symbiosis of Six Sigma and the Closing Process Group - Malani du Toit  - Consultant @pm.ideas

In a previous exploration, the curtains parted on a captivating revelation – the realm where Six Sigma and project management intertwine. Within this intricate landscape of process enhancement and project orchestration, a particular phase and process group stand as stalwart pillars of accomplishment.

The Control phase in Six Sigma and the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group in the revered PMBOK® Guide share this esteemed title. While each carries its principles and framworks, they hold the key to ensuring that processes and projects gracefully attain their objectives.

In the quest for comprehension, organisations and professionals uncover the nuances of these phases and groups, enabling them to make enlightened decisions that fuel efficiency, elevate quality, and pave the path to success. As we embark on this journey of discovery, I extend an invitation to accompany me into the heart of our discourse. Together, we shall navigate the well-trodden trail that serves as the guidepost for Six Sigma projects:

  • Define: At the genesis of any project, objectives take root, and contours are sketched. This phase crafts the foundation, embellishing the canvas with invaluable insights into processes and customers.
  • Measure: Here, essential metrics converge, weaving a tapestry of current scenario data that becomes the pulse of the process.
  • Analyse: Delving into the reservoir of accumulated data, we unearth the elusive root causes, shedding light on the path toward resolutions.
  • Improve: Solutions forged in the crucible of analysis take shape, poised to be woven into the very fabric of the process.
  • Control: Rigorous evaluation assumes the role of guiding star, while mechanisms designed to safeguard gains, including the mantle of standardization, find their rightful place.

As our exploration concludes, the narrative takes an intriguing twist. Though divergent in their purposes, Six Sigma and the PMBOK® Guide and the PMI Process Group – A Practice Guide Closing Process Group emerge as cornerstones within their respective frameworks. This apparent dichotomy unveils an intricate tapestry of connections and intersections – a captivating realm where the art of securing triumph and ensuring the seamless culmination of projects and processes converges. Join me in unravelling the hidden threads that bind Six Sigma and the PMBOK®  Guide’s Closing Process Group.

Six Sigma Approach:

Six Sigma primarily focuses on process improvement and reducing variation to enhance quality and efficiency. It follows the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) framework to guide improvement projects.

While Six Sigma‘s primary goal is not project management, there are instances where Six Sigma projects could align with the PMBOK® Guide’s Closing Process Group:

Project Completion: In Six Sigma projects, the "Control" phase ensures that improvements are sustained over time. Like the  Closing Process Group, this process emphasizes the need to transition the outcomes into a stable and controlled state.

Documentation and Transition: Just as the PMBOK® Guide Closing Process Group involves project closure documentation, the Six Sigma Control phase includes documenting changes, process improvements, and control mechanisms. This documentation is essential for knowledge transfer and future reference.

PMBOK® Guide and PMI Process Groups – A Practice Guide  - Closing Process Group:

The Closing Process Group is the final process at the end of each phase of a project. It focuses on formally closing the project or phase, ensuring all project activities are completed, deliverables are accepted, and necessary documentation is finalised. While Six Sigma projects are often more focused on process improvement, there are still some points of intersection with the Closing Process Group:

Verification and Acceptance: In both frameworks, there is a need to verify that the project goals have been achieved. In Six Sigma, this verification occurs through data analysis and measurement of process improvements. The Closing process group involves validating that deliverables meet acceptance criteria.

Lessons Learned: Both emphasize learning from the project or process. The Closing Process Group includes capturing lessons learned, which can be valuable for refining processes in Six Sigma projects.

Stakeholder Communication: Just as the Closing Process Group involves communicating the project‘s closure to stakeholders, Six Sigma projects require effective communication to ensure the sustained implementation of process improvements.

Overall Comparison:

While Six Sigma and the Closing Process Group have different primary focuses, they share some common principles in ensuring successful outcomes, verification, documentation, and communication. Incorporating practices from both can lead to more comprehensive and practical project or process management.

In summary, while Six Sigma‘s primary purpose is process improvement and variation reduction, its Control phase aligns with certain aspects of the Closing Process Group, such as documentation, verification, and stakeholder communication.

Organisations can achieve holistic project success and continuous improvement by integrating elements from both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Seventh Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2021, "PMI", the PMI logo, the PMI Authorised Training Partner logo "Making project management indispensable for business results", PMBOK, "Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)", "Project Management Professional (PMP)®", "Disciplined Agile®; Scrum Master (DASM)", "Disciplined Agile®; Senior Scrum Master (DASSM)", PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)", "PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)", "PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)", "Program Management Professional (PgMP)", "Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)", "Project Management Journal" and "OPM3" are trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

 


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