Project Management: Six Sigma, PRINCE or Agile?

KICX7217Do you want to improve your marketing operations and define your focus in any project? If your answer is “Yes!”, what kind of methodology do you have to implement? Six Sigma, PRINCE or the relatively new Agile?

Here is a brief overview with the characteristics and pros and cons of each:

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. One of the biggest advantages of using Six Sigma lies in the methodology statements which assert that “no project shall be approved if a bottom line impact has not been clearly defined”. With goals being unmistakably defined, there is less vagueness to deal with. A disadvantage of this methodology is that projects which are directed are selected by organizations subjectively rather than objectively, which means that goals may be mistakenly thought of as attainable and favorable when in fact they may eventually be a waste of resources and time.

PRINCE2

PRINCE2 is actually a project management standard and stands for Projects in a Controlled Environment. This program has a focus on aiding the project manager to oversee projects on behalf of an organisation’s senior management.
 On the pros side, PRINCE2 provides a single standard approach to the management projects, which is why many government and global organisations prefer this option. It is also favoured because of its ease of use, which makes is easy to learn, even for those with limited experience. On the downside, there are users who feel that PRINCE2 misses the importance of “soft skills” that should be a focus for a project manager.

Agile/Scrum

Project Management

Agile management is “an iterative and adaptive process where small, highly-collaborative teams work in a series of short cycles, incorporating rapid feedback, to deliver emergent solutions, emphasizing transparency among all stakeholders.” Well, that’s a very long sentence with a lot of information. What makes this methodology unique? The Agile methodology is said to be more flexible than the others, making it better able to produce deliverables without the need for substantial changes and reworking. Tasks can be broken down into smaller stages and this allows for substantial risk reduction through earlier assessment, testing and analysis. The main drawback of Agile is that if it is not fully grasped, the methodology could lead to unattainable expectations.
An example of an agile process for software development is Scrum. With Scrum, projects progress via a series of iterations called sprints. Each sprint is typically 2-4 weeks long. While an agile approach can be used for managing any project, Scrum is ideally suited for projects with rapidly changing or highly emergent requirements such as we find in software development.

Which methodology is your favorite for improving marketing operations and which one do you find most effective? We like to hear your experiences and preferences!

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