Six Sigma and Project Management Literature Review

Topics: Project management, Six Sigma, Process management Pages: 20 (6491 words) Published: November 8, 2007


In today's global business environment, the importance of first-to-market, customer service, cost-competitiveness, and quality are key factors in determining an organization's success, or undesirable failure. Manufacturers, engineering and transactional firms share a drive to lower costs, reduce cycle time and offer a diverse product mix as they pursue higher profits and an increased market share in a growing global environment.

As an effort to secure a competitive edge in its respective industries, organizations are seeking ways to increase efficiency and guarantee successful execution of critical business processes. A variety of systems – such as Total Quality Management, Total Quality Control and Six Sigma – have been implemented by organizations to help guide the efforts of creating new products, reducing product costs, improving manufacturing or organizational capabilities, realizing new market share or entering new markets. These systems rely on teams of people to identify the voice of the customer (both internal and external), taking into account the organization's competencies. They also require an ongoing portfolio of projects aimed at creating revenue or reducing costs.

Some organizations have integrated two or more systems. One melding of systems that hold significant promise is the integration of the Six Sigma methodology with the tools and processes of Project Management which is the main topic of this work. In this sense it is important to say that the purpose of this Literature Research is to demonstrate how organizations are able to achieve sustainable and effective process improvement by identifying how the combination of Project Management best practices with certain Six Sigma methodologies provides the structure and discipline required to identify process improvement opportunities, develop sustainable solutions, and lead organizations through the strategic change process. 2.Methodology

In the previous paragraph I established that the intention of this work is to show the potential benefits and implications of the Integration of Six Sigma Method with Project Management best practices and tools. This will be done by presenting a review of the most relevant information that can be currently found in academic and technical journals, and also in specialized books related with this important topic, that might not only function as an account of the present stage of theorizing, but also open up the discourse for new developments and new combinations of perspectives.

Some limitations are necessary to be established in order to properly fulfill this task. First, the attention of this work was given to research that has directly been done to develop elements of analysis regarding the integration of the Six Sigma and Project Management methodologies. This statement is important, since it means that some elements such as the general concepts and definitions of Six Sigma and Project Management were limited only to the journals and papers related to the main topic of this research. This also means that studies on specific topics of each Methodology, such as Design of Experiments or Risk Analysis, have been considered to be beyond the scope of this work.

And second, I will use the contents of the reviewed material in different sections and subtopics, each of them related to an important discussion element of the Six Sigma and Project Management methodologies. I consider this is a very appropriate way to give a formal structure to this work and also to develop a comprehensive synthesis of the material that I found during my research. In this sense, it is important to say that some of the papers cover similar information (since they were written by the same author(s)), and in an effort to avoid repeated recurrent references I will quote the paper or papers that I consider are more relevant for the correspondent...
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