New research on applying Six Sigma to quantify outcomes in portfolio delivery

September 14, 2020 — Peter Nichol published new research highlighting how Six Sigma can be applied to quantify portfolio delivery and execution.

As a leader, you’re either joining a company to lead a new team or working internally to improve your existing team. In both scenarios, results matter.

In the quest for improvements, the fundamentals are often overlooked. Once these fundamental elements are in place the objective to quantify improvements becomes more difficult. We need tools that are fit-for-purpose to make portfolio transformations sticky.

Peter’s research connects the basics of delivery for advanced portfolio management practitioner approaches to quantify organizational transformations. The paper explains how to capture and quantify the organizational value to communicate clearly to executive leadership.



This paper aims to present a practical approach to applying principles of Six Sigma to statistically control portfolio delivery within a program-management office. Portfolio executives are continuously charged with transforming a low-performing team into a high-performance team. Often, the methods of transformation are based on experience, and these imprecise methods frequently produce inconsistent results. The transformation from a low-performing team to a high-performing team can be accelerated by using a quantified methodology to define, measure, analyze, improve, and control desired outcomes. This paper presents a practitioner approach to maximizing the organizational outputs from an agile program-management office by leveraging statistics and mathematical principles to tighten process variance. By applying a fit-for-purpose approach to corporate and operational excellence, portfolio executives can dial in and remediate the root causes of portfolio inefficiencies for maximum agility and value realization.

What will you learn?

  • How to conduct a quick-hit portfolio assessment? The foundational for quantification of results.
  • Explanation and examples of four key tools that can be applied to measure portfolio outcomes.
  • Highlights of 21 measures and brief examples of how to apply them to performance.

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Peter is a technology executive with over 20 years of experience, dedicated to driving innovation, digital transformation, leadership, and data in business. He helps organizations connect strategy to execution to maximize company performance. He has been recognized for Digital Innovation by CIO 100, MIT Sloan, Computerworld, and the Project Management Institute. As Managing Director at OROCA Innovations, Peter leads the CXO advisory services practice, driving digital strategies. Peter was honored as an MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award Finalist in 2015 and is a regular contributor to on innovation. Peter has led businesses through complex changes, including the adoption of data-first approaches for portfolio management, lean six sigma for operational excellence, departmental transformations, process improvements, maximizing team performance, designing new IT operating models, digitizing platforms, leading large-scale mission-critical technology deployments, product management, agile methodologies, and building high-performance teams. As Chief Information Officer, Peter was responsible for Connecticut’s Health Insurance Exchange’s (HIX) industry-leading digital platform transforming consumerism and retail-oriented services for the health insurance industry. Peter championed the Connecticut marketplace digital implementation with a transformational cloud-based SaaS platform and mobile application recognized as a 2014 PMI Project of the Year Award finalist, CIO 100, and awards for best digital services, API, and platform. He also received a lifetime achievement award for leadership and digital transformation, honored as a 2016 Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader. Peter is the author of Learning Intelligence: Expand Thinking. Absorb Alternative. Unlock Possibilities (2017), which Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times No. 1 bestseller Triggers, calls "a must-read for any leader wanting to compete in the innovation-powered landscape of today." Peter also authored The Power of Blockchain for Healthcare: How Blockchain Will Ignite The Future of Healthcare (2017), the first book to explore the vast opportunities for blockchain to transform the patient experience. Peter has a B.S. in C.I.S from Bentley University and an MBA from Quinnipiac University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He earned his PMP® in 2001 and is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Masters in Business Relationship Management (MBRM) and Certified Scrum Master. As a Commercial Rated Aviation Pilot and Master Scuba Diver, Peter understands first hand, how to anticipate change and lead boldly.