Six Sigma Project Selection

Six Sigma success is not an accident. Implementing Six Sigma in any organization requires significant commitment and effort from the organization's leaders, managers, and other staff; however, its overall success depends greatly on the cumulative successes of the individual projects. 

For this reason an organization must use a disciplined approach to identify and select the Six Sigma projects that make a difference. The selection process includes the following activities:

1. Identify who needs to be involved in the selection of Six Sigma projects.

2. The projects link to the organization's strategic issues.

3. Develop specific selection criteria against which all potential projects will be assessed. 

4. Determine a selection decision process.

Identify Decision Makers

Who needs to be part of the project selection process? The key issue here is ensuring executive-level support for the Six Sigma project.

It follows, then, that executives are part of the discussions in identifying potential projects. Decision makers should include the Six Sigma advisory board members, as well as other key players, such as Master Black Belts and Black Belts. Their individual role helps the executive team define the scope of the Six Sigma projects. They utilize their experience to determine the feasibility and manageability of the potential projects.

Link Project Selection to Strategic Issues

All Six Sigma projects must have strategic relevance and be linked to the core business issues. This starts with executives identifying the top business issues the organization faces relative to the competitive pressures.

The current business issues may relate to either the execution of the business strategy.  Or they may relate to core ineffectively executed internal processes that negatively impact the organization and its customers.

Develop Selection Criteria

After determining  a strategic relevant project,  for the next step you develop additional criteria for judging the project as a Six Sigma project.

Below are several proven successful suggested criteria. There may be additional criteria specific to a company's requirements.

  • Manageable scope - Six Sigma projects must have clearly defined boundaries and deliverables. They should be specific enough in scope so that a Six Sigma team can complete the project in the allotted time, which is usually 4 to 6 months.
  • Ongoing process issue - Projects should address an ongoing process issue. Avoid selecting projects related to problematic recent incidents that would not qualify as being a process.
  • Measurable outcomes - Projects under consideration should have preliminary measurable outcomes associated with them. As for identifying potential measurable outcomes, consider the following examples: potential to reduce operational costs, increase product or service quality, secure new customers, increase percentage of customers retained, increase customer service scores or rankings, and increase accuracy or timeliness of a given process.

Use a matrix to assist in choosing appropriate projects against pre-established criteria.

Determine the Selection Decision Process

Even after establishing the selection criteria and comparing the potential projects against the criteria, selection of the final projects can be quite subjective. For example, recent changes in marketplace conditions or internal political influences affect the project selection.

The project selection group needs to be clear about how they make the  final decisions. Some executive groups may decide upon the projects by reaching consensus; others may rely on the CEO.

Some groups may seek to obtain additional buy-in from the functional or business line managers who would be affected by the projects. It is important to plan ahead and communicate the methods for the final project selection.

Widget is loading comments...

More Info

  • Free Six Sigma Training

    Take our Free Six Sigma Training. Get Yellow Belt Certified. Earn 8 PMI Units. Completely On-Line.

  • Green Belt Training

    Start today with your Six Sigma Green Belt Training. Completey on-line. Certificate included. Accredited with 25 PMI units.

  • Black Belt Training Program

    Take our Black Belt Training Program and earn your Black Belt Certificate. Completely on-line. Fully accredited. Earn 55 PMI units

  • Six Sigma Black Belt Certification

    Acquire your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification. Completely on-line. Fully accredited. Earn 55 PMI units

  • History of Six Sigma

    History of Six Sigma : Started at Motorola but popularized in the 1990s by AlliedSignal and General Electric.

  • Six Sigma Breakthrough

    You might have heard or read about Six Sigma as organization after organization adopts and implements this powerful management philosophy. Learn more!

  • Define Six Sigma

    To define six sigma phase to be completed right , you must follow the right sequence

  • Six Sigma Overview

    Six Sigma Overview: Six Sigma has been a popular management philosophy for years

  • Analysis Tollgates in DMAIC

    There are three Analysis tollgates in Six Sigma: Data Analysis, Process Analysis, and Root Cause Analysis

  • Control Tollgate

    The Control Tollgate is an element of the Six Sigma process.

  • Define Tollgates

    There are three Define tollgates: Charter; Customers, their needs and requirements; and the High Level Process Map.

  • Measure Tollgates

    Six Sigma Measure Tollgates : the creation of the data collection plan and the implementation of the data collection plan.

  1. QAS Home
  2. >
  3. Six Sigma
  4. >
  5. Project Selection

Quality Assurance Solutions
Robert Broughton
(805) 419-3344
Unique QA Products

All Products

Software, Videos, Manuals, On-Line Certifications

8D Manager

Corrective Action Software

Snap Sampling Plans!

AQL Inspection Software

TrainingKeeper Software

Plan and Track Training

StreamLiner Software

Lean and Continuous Improvement

Statistical Process Control

Training Video

ISO 9001:2015 QA Manual

Editable Template

ISO Calibration Manual

Editable Template

ISO 9001:2015 QMS Kit

Templates, Guides, QA Manual, Audit Checklists

ISO 14001:2015 EMS Kit

EMS Manual, Procedures, Forms, Examples, Audits, Videos

On-Line Accredited Certifications

Six Sigma, Risk Management, SCRUM

All Products

Software, Videos, Manuals, Training Material

Please Recommend Us!