How to plan a Process Improvement Project

When planning a process improvement project the most important question you have to ask is, “What problem are we trying to solve?” This question relates directly to the first step in DMAIC ( a Lean Six Sigma problem solving tool), which is to define the problem. After you answer this question you are ready to outline the criteria for an effective process improvement plan. Projects are usually one time occurrences created to fulfill specific goals for the organization.

Essentially, Lean Six Sigma projects must have the following 3 critical characteristics to be effective: performance, cost and time.  The performance criteria allows us to understand what the project seeks to accomplish. Project expectations and goals should be written clearly, be realistic, made available to all project team members, and team members should also be held accountable for achieving them.

The second criteria, cost, provides insights into the resources needed to complete a project. Usually, money belts which are financial auditors provide an objective independent evaluation of the potential financial benefits of a project as well as the actual results achieved by the Lean Six Sigma project.

Finally, the third criteria, time, assures that team members are aware of the time-frame for the starting and ending of the project. Gantt Charts are excellent tools for monitoring all the activities associated with a project coupled with checkpoints which are smaller points throughout a project that are used to judge how far the project is toward completion.

It is imperative that all team members in a process improvement project understand the top 3 inter-related objectives of the project which are meeting the budget, finishing on schedule and meeting the performance specifications.

 

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E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Aligning product success metrics with customer priorities and strategic goals

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a great week. This week’s Notable Tip is focused on the development of valuable and critical product KPI metrics. If you are not measuring and monitoring the most important metrics of your product’s performance progress then you are missing valuable insights that can help you optimize your product. Below I end this post with a short message on how to ensure product success with well-developed measures of performance.

As always, “Success is continuous improvement.”

“Properly designed measures of performance are aligned with strategic goals of a company as well as with its customers’ priorities. They should be to the point, clearly written, focused and measure what is of value to the customer (product/service attributes).”

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