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Sarbanes-Oxley and Six Sigma: Windfalls and Pitfalls

Summary: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) presents new and daunting challenges to the management of an organization's internal controls. Recently, quality professionals have been investigating whether Six Sigma methodology might be used not only to help organizations with SOX compliance efforts, but also to build upon those efforts to enable organizations to more aggressively pursue other improvement projects. Organizations might consider aspects of the Six Sigma design, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) approach as they assess existing processes to determine if new processes or changes in existing processes are warranted. However, there are several pitfalls that if not detected may be troublesome to a compliance project. Consultants must maintain a balance between ensuring a level of organizational preparedness and going overboard in terms of methodical process improvement or reengineering.

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