The Difference Between Six Sigma & Project Management

There are two main factors that businesses want to look to when it comes to reducing their costs and increasing their revenue. These are Six Sigma processes and project management. Interestingly, many people align Six Sigma and project management as being the same thing, but they are actually quite different. Here, we’re taking a look at the two differences, and why you should consider project management or industry recognised Lean Six Sigma training courses.

Individual Processes

Six Sigma and project management each have their own individual processes which is one of the things that sets them apart. Six Sigma follows Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control. Project management on the other hand follows initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing. While the processes are somewhat similar, many businesses need to be reminded that they are not interchangeable, and teams will need to understand the main benefits of each to decide which to use in a particular situation. This is where project management and separate Lean Six Sigma training can come in handy.

What Is Project Management?

Project management is the part of a project that is concerned with cost control, and actually getting the project running and managing it while it is. It looks at all of the different components of a project and how it is performing within each of these components. While there are a number of best practices that can be implemented with project management, general project management does not use any form of methodology and comes without much discipline, until a particular process is implemented.

What Is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a particular methodology that is used to reduce variance and help to eliminate a number of defects. This can help to provide a variety of data to justify exactly where and how to make changes to the project management process that the business has implemented. However, where project management doesn’t need much of an in-depth knowledge or management process, Six Sigma is highly structured and demands some form of long-term commitment in order to help ensure that the entire process is carried out properly, from start to finish. As a whole the Six Sigma project management methodology will provide all of the information needed to make accurate and in-depth decisions and improvements to the entire project management system.

The Breadth & Depth Of Six Sigma

One of the major differences between Six Sigma and project management is the depth and breadth of the Six Sigma management process. Six Sigma is generally based on hard financial data and the idea of savings, whereas standard project management doesn’t focus on cost savings or any kind of financial data. On top of this Six Sigma implements various process control strategies, and continuous improvement processes in order to keep up with organisational development. Six Sigma is a systematic approach whereas typical project management tends to be focussed on the overall, distant goals of the entire project. Six Sigma can be difficult to implement, but it can truly help when it comes to overall cost savings, and project efficiency. It allows the appropriate tools to be targeted at the most important parts of the projects, in order to provide significant change to an entire organisation, therefore offering more than typical project management practices can.