iSixSigma

Best of Benchmarking Research: Projects

From the inception of iSixSigma Magazine, a regular feature of the publication was exclusive research on aspects of deploying Six Sigma. The topics benchmarked have ranged from “Black Belt Return on Investment” in the inaugural issue, January/February 2005, to “The Lean Six Sigma Toolset” in November/December 2009. In addition, the magazine reports each year on the global salary survey that iSixSigma conducts as an industry yardstick.

In the magazine’s fifth anniversary issue, we looked back at some of the research highlights by organizing findings into the following categories: projects, training and development, tools and methods, financial benefits, and culture change.

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing this benchmarking data with iSixSigma.com readers, starting with project data.

Projects

Improvement projects are the lifeblood of a Six Sigma initiative. Successful project execution, then, becomes a key driver to the success of a deployment. The selected findings pinpoint some of the things that relate to successful projects.

  • A higher project completion rate appears to correspond to using a formal approval process in project selection. From: “Project Failure” November/December 2008
How often is a formal process for Six Sigma project approval used in your company? (N = 753)

How often is a formal process for Six Sigma project approval used in your company? (N = 753)

  • The primary source for project ideas is operational business leaders, but employees are a close second. Employee contributions to the project pipeline increase with an organization’s experience with Six Sigma; moreover, the most successful Six Sigma programs have the highest rate of employee contribution. From: “Six Sigma Project Selection” March/April 2005
Who is the primary source for Six Sigma project ideas? (N = 980)

Length of time (in years) organization has been using Six Sigma

RoleTotal< 11 to 22 to 33 to 44 to 55 to 10> 10
Operational business leader26%21%29%28%30%26%20%13%
Employees (includes Green Belts and Yellow Belts)20%17%14%21%22%25%27%13%
Black Belts18%15%15%15%22%24%18%31%
Functional leaders16%15%19%21%11%12%14%13%
Quality/Deployment leaders7%15%7%6%3%2%4%6%
Other6%6%8%4%7%4%8%13%
Master Black Belts4%4%3%3%2%6%4%6%
Quality council4%7%5%3%3%1%4%6%
Which of these methods of customer input has the greatest impact on your Six Sigma projects? (N = 918)

Which of these methods of customer input has the greatest impact on your Six Sigma projects? (N = 918)

How many projects is a typical Black Belt in your company able to complete in one year? (N = 1,025)

How many projects is a typical Black Belt in your company able to complete in one year? (N = 1,025)

Comments 1

  1. Jim Decker

    What I kept waiting to see in the charts is overall project performance over this period. How has Six Sigma improved a companies ability to deliver projects on time, in budget, in scope, with high quality? I didn’t see it in the post so I am left to assume that the results were not significant. Or am I missing something?

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