Before the Project Begins
Six Sigma projects are meant to make the organization efficient. It is for this reason that one must ensure that the projects are efficient in themselves. One of the main criteria for a project to be efficient is that it must have well defined goals. Only once the goals are defined with clear articulation can plans be laid out to achieve them. Six Sigma projects have guidelines on defining the objectives of the project. There are three essential characteristics that the objective must possess. They are as follows:
Defining the Objectives
Valuable: The objective must be valuable. There are many things that are going on inside a mega corporation. There may be many places where there might be scope for improvement as well. However the organization has limited resources and needs to take only the most important projects first. Which projects are important are defined by the strategy of the organization. Hence one must ensure that the six sigma project is aligned towards the strategy of the organization and is hence valuable.
Understandable: Six sigma projects are never executed in silos. The key stakeholders in every project are identified. Then the objectives of the project are communicated to the key stakeholders and an agreement is reached with them. It is critical that the team undertaking the six sigma project be able to clearly define what they intend to do in front of stakeholders like the people who actually implement the process. Hence the objectives must be defined in as simple terms as possible so that articulation is easy.
Achievable: A good sigma project is not far-fetched. It is important to understand the range of the organizations capability. The project objectives must lie just beyond the current range. This will stretch the organization and make it more efficient. However, if you place the objectives of the project too far outside the limit of the organization, it is bound to fail. Failure in a six sigma project demoralizes the people who have been instrumental in implementing them. This jeopardizes the entire quality initiative. Make the objectives achievable at the start of the project to avoid turmoil at later stages.
The Five Step Procedure for Defining the Scope, Purpose and Value of a Six Sigma Project
Step 1: Review Preliminary Information
Step 2: Develop the Project Scope (Scope)
Step 3: Develop the Problem and Goal Statement (Purpose)
Step 4: Develop the Business Case (Value)
Step 5: Develop the Project Charter which is the Central Document In any Six Sigma Project
The details regarding how to perform each step are provided in the subsequent articles to make your six sigma journey easier.