Project Selection Research Report

78.3% of respondents whose senior management is very or somewhat committed to Six Sigma


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This iSixSigma benchmarking research study of project selection sought to characterize how companies identify, prioritize and approve projects in their Six Sigma programs.

While many of the results are not unexpected, they do provide clear statistically significant results on the importance of a well-defined and well-constructed project selection process:

  • Companies in any stage of deployment put a priority on Six Sigma projects that have high financial savings.
  • A committed leadership engenders employee participation in the Six Sigma program.
  • The existence of formal project selection processes, process documentation and rigorous requirements for project approval are all elements of a highly successful program.

89: Percent of respondents who indicate financial savings is of high or very high importance when prioritizing potential Six Sigma projects

76.4: Percent of respondents whose organizations require a formal approval prior to moving forward with a Six Sigma project

44.6: Percent of respondents whose organization always presents a business case prior to project approval

50.8: Percent of respondents whose company frequently or always uses a project prioritization process

19.9: Percent of respondents who say employees are the primary source of project ideas

40.8: Percent of respondents who indicate having a known solution is of high or very high importance in prioritizing projects

50.1: Percent of respondents from highly unsuccessful Six Sigma programs who say “gut feel” is of high or very high importance in prioritizing projects

0: Number of highly successful Six Sigma programs that do not have an approval process in their business

75.1: Percent of respondents who rate their Six Sigma initiative as highly or somewhat successful

78.3: Percent of respondents whose senior management is very or somewhat committed to Six Sigma

998: Number of survey respondents

How the survey was done: Jonathan Atwood and iSixSigma Magazine designed the benchmarking survey. Six Sigma professionals were invited by email to participate in the benchmarking survey.

Additionally, visitors to had the opportunity to participate through a link on the website. Nine hundred and ninety-eight individuals responded to the online survey from November 18 through December 17, 2004. Some reported totals do not add to 100 percent because of rounding and survey questions that allowed more than one response to be selected.

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Jonathan Atwood

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