Effective project management is a huge benefit to any business and incorporating the principles of Six Sigma into the project management process is a great way to increase overall project success rates. Too often projects fail needlessly because the system designed to implement them was not properly organized from the beginning. The Six Sigma DMEDI method can be especially effective in eliminating this type of problem.
In the world of Six Sigma, the acronym DMEDI represents five essential steps: define, measure, explore, develop and implement. This model can be used as a blueprint for creating a project management organization and improving the overall success rate of individual projects. It is designed to keep the objectives of the organization or project in focus at all times and ensure there is a clear way to measure success.
According to the Six Sigma DMEDI model, the first step in the creation of any project management structure is to define its nature and scope, internal and external customers, and financial benefits. Without a clear definition of each of these elements, there is no way to determine whether project management processes are in line with overarching company policies and procedures.
Not only is this a critical step in establishing a project management organization, it is also the first task a project manager should undertake in relation to each and every project. By following this Six Sigma best practice, the project manager can determine what is within or beyond the project scope, and assess whether the project’s objectives have been met.
Once the scope of the project management organization or specific project has been defined, there must be a way to measure its progress and relative success. Of course, there are many different ways to measure success. However, the principles of Six Sigma dictate that in order to be truly effective, project management metrics must be quantifiable, understandable and valuable to the customer.
In the context of project management, this step means that the organization or project leader should explore new and innovative ways to meet the requirements outlined in the “define” step. If previous efforts encountered scope creep, went over budget or missed deadlines, this should be taken into consideration when planning new initiatives. No matter how effective or successful a process has proved to be in the past, those who subscribe to the tenets of Six Sigma know that there is always room for improvement.
The fourth step in the Six Sigma DMEDI process is to develop a concrete plan for achieving project management objectives. This plan must address all of the basic logistical issues associated with the organization or project, such as hiring and assigning personnel, designating facilities and other physical resources, obtaining the necessary materials and supplies, and securing technological resources, including software, hardware and systems. Each of these elements will have an impact on the budget. During the development stage, a tracking system should be put in place to monitor metrics and progress against goals.
Once all of the preceding steps in this Six Sigma model have been successfully carried out, it is time to implement the project management plan. A test run may be appropriate at this stage in order to ensure that each element of the project works as intended.
By applying the principles of Six Sigma and DMEDI from the beginning, a company can vastly improve productivity as well as cut down on unnecessary costs. DMEDI is also a great tool for helping to tailor the project management process to a specific company, as organizations cannot achieve a competitive edge by simply copying what others have done.
Given the many benefits of DMEDI and other Six Sigma best practices, professionals who possess both project management and Six Sigma expertise will find they are in high demand in all sectors of the business world.
Project managers can expand their job opportunities and advance their careers through formal Six Sigma training. Many working professionals find e-learning is the best way to fit courses into a busy schedule, which is why Villanova University offers project management and Six Sigma training programs 100% online.
Recognized as a leader in professional education online, Villanova delivers its certificate courses and certificate programs through a unique, video-based e-learning platform. Courses are led by experts in the field of project management and Six Sigma, who deliver lectures via streaming video.
In addition to its Certificate in Applied Project Management, Villanova offers a Certificate in Lean Six Sigma. The Six Sigma certificate courses prepare students to earn Villanova’s Green Belt, Lean Sensei, and Lean Black Belt certifications, which are the only industry certifications available 100% online.
By earning credentials and certification from this nationally acclaimed university, you can enhance your résumé and show employers you have what it takes to apply essential Six Sigma strategies and tools for better project management.