Role of a Finance Certifier in Six Sigma Project

The Finance Certifier is the only member of the Six Sigma Project team apart from the Project Lead that is selected by the Project Champion. This is because, it is the Project Champions responsibility to ensure that the financials of the Project are absolutely unbiased. Of late, finance certifiers have come under a lot of fire. This is because there are criticisms that the supposed cost savings recorded by the project, never actually materialize and in many organizations Six Sigma has become a loss making affair.

From an organizational point of view, Finance Certifier is present to ensure that the resources of the organization which are sanctioned under the belief that they will help meet long term strategic goals are not wasted. The role of Finance Certifier has been elaborated as follows:

Stage at Which Required

The Finance Certifier is involved with the project at the very beginning in the “Define” stage. This is where the budget for the Project is being created. The Finance certifier must collaborate with the Project Lead to create a budget for projects as well as justify them with a cost/benefit analysis. Although the job is to collaborate with the Project Lead, the Finance Certifier must be as critical of the report as possible.

The Finance Certifier is then required towards the end of the Project. Participation is required to validate the expenses done and benefits realised from the Project. Indeed, it is the Finance Certifier that declares the project a success or a failure.

Job Description

  • The Finance Certifier is responsible for creating the budget for the project. This budget is the basis on which the Project Champion and the Project Lead negotiate with the top management for resources.

  • The Finance Certifier is responsible for conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the Project. The report submitted by the certifier attaches a financial value to the project. Only if the organization thinks that there are enough benefits to be reaped as resources allocated.

  • The Finance Certifier monitors the execution of the project to check if the resources are being utilised as per the plan. The Finance Certifier controls the expenditure on behalf of the Project Champion.

  • The Finance Certifier ends the project with the evaluation as to whether the goals that were set for the project have been met or not. This evaluation goes a long way in deciding whether the process will be declared a success or a failure.

Job Specification

  • The Finance Certifier needs to be well versed with the concept of costing and managerial accounting. Only this knowledge will help them to conduct a good cost-benefit analysis.

  • The Finance Certifier must understand processes and Six Sigma. This will help them empathise with the Project lead and decide whether the expenditure is justified.

  • The Finance Manager must be good at Variance Analysis. This will help them find out the real reason why expenditure has overshot (if it has) and avoid the same in the future.


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