As I discussed in my December 2003 column, Six Sigma and corporate performance management (CPM) exhibit common themes as they both strive to affect the corporate bottom line by aligning business strategies with prioritized operational initiatives. Quality and performance become the focus and responsibility of all employees. This month, I will continue to examine many of the additional culture, management and organizational themes shared by Six Sigma and CPM.

Employee Empowerment. In the past, only power users and business managers had access to information. CPM and Six Sigma now promote the concept of "information democracy" by making data available to all information consumers; therefore, every employee is responsible for quality and performance. The CPM framework, which aligns organizational initiatives with strategic objectives, ensures that individuals are empowered to manage their own destiny by monitoring and measuring individual key performance indicators (KPIs) and performance target levels. Similarly in Six Sigma, the design, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) and define, measure, analyze, design and verify (DMADV) methodologies (see my July 2003 column) empower individuals to identify, understand and control process inputs to improve performance levels.

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