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I was wondering what other companies are doing to combine their PMOs (project management offices) and their Six Sigma programs. We have just started Six Sigma and have been doing CMM for a while (we’re level 2 certified). We have had a PMO in place for around 4 years. Should the PMO act as the central source for Six Sigma also? Should we have two central offices, one for the PMO and one for Six Sigma?
Thanks much for your replies.
Linda… Is your PMO embraced and championed by Sr. Exectutive? If so, you may have a good core group in the PMO that can successfully deploy Six Sigma. If on the other hand, the PMO is ‘bottom up’, I suggest that the Six Sigma deployment be done as a separate entity. If Six Sigma is not ‘top down’, I suggest you cancel it.
Rob, I am part of a PMO team and have not seen the term bottom up used for a PMO before. Although I think I know what you mean, and suspect our PMO is one, can you explain what you mean by bottom up?
My organization is close to top down. The Champion for the PMO office sites on the CXO team, but the Six Sigma champion is another person. I don’t know (I don’t think) the PMO champion is as interested in Six Sigma for various reasons.
What do you think?
We in our company, have integrated the Project Management with Six Sigma. We believe Six Sigma Tools should be practiced as a part of the Proj Mgt rather than be a separate initiative. Being a CMM L5 already, Six Sigma was a Top-Down to start with; a PMO with responsibilities outlined to track use of Six Sigma as part of Proj Mgt, will definitely see more returns; this is what we have been seeing also.
We have a PMO office with both PMI and SixSigma certified project managers. From our experience the more knowledgeable, the project manager in PMBOK the more resourceful he/she will be in BPI methodology. Our office is more service based and is not a software development unit or part of production. We found that many BPI projects initiated never completed or got off the ground due to the lack of training in PMBOK. We found that it does not matter the size of the project, having a sound understanding of project management as an umbrella over any form of project lifecycle enabled the project to be completed with more efficiency. From my perspective, PMI and BPI are not mutually exclusive. When one operates a BPI at higher level, the emphasis on project management becomes more necessary. One must always understand the concepts of your stakeholders, getting buy-in from management, team management, developing a work breakdown structure, reducing risk, controlling change, etc.. PMBOK is an adaptive, collaborative and iterative approach that lives throughout any project or project phase (project life-cycle), while SixSigma provides the enhanced methods necessary to analyze, track, and measure the execution deliverables of the project or process improvement. One manages projects and the other manages the improvement of a process within a project. One is a method for project management while the other is a sequential phased approach. They are not mutually exclusive.
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