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Steps To Successful Six Sigma Project Selections

Jun 20, 2008
A well-defined and disciplined approach is necessary for successful project selection. A wrong selection will be an absolute waste of your efforts, as there will be no expected improvement. You will encounter more roadblocks than the results you wish to achieve.

Depending upon the type of business you carry out and the magnitude of your operations, you have to undertake the appropriate project. You need to keep in mind two things - total customer satisfaction and increased return on investment.

Listed below are the steps that you need to take for successful Six Sigma project selection:

-A project selection committee composed of trained Six Sigma Champions, Master Black Belts and Black Belts has to be developed to determine the feasibility of projects under consideration.

-Customer satisfaction is the most critical point to be considered. Every customer will have their own views on product quality. The Pareto chart can be used to prioritize the issues.

-The employees of the company may have issues or problems with certain process or the output of the process. A list of such problem areas and project opportunities has to be made. These are the potential project areas. This is to ensure that the project is in line with the organizational strategy.

-A good project has to be manageable. It means that the project should be realistically completed within a reasonable time, maybe within six months. People tend to loose interest if the project gets prolonged and become more frustrated if they do not find any improvement.

-The results must be measurable. Without measurement, the value of the project cannot be ascertained. Improvement can be proved only if you have the rationale data, which shows the defects, volumes and financial impact of the change.

It helps motivate the team if you have data to show the improvement as well as the defects.

-It is most important to define the desired outcome. If you are aware about the defects, you will be able to define the desired outcome as well. This way, the project will be measurable by progress.

-When you come to the stage of formal project selection, you should review all the identified projects, the opportunities and the expected benefits. Brainstorming by key personnel and department heads to rank the project for prioritization is very critical.

You can also include a questionnaire, which includes questions about the internal and external defects, and the efficiency issues.

You have to understand the variation in the process - see if it is possible to streamline it and get better results, free of defects. It is also necessary to ensure that there is minimum wastage.

This project selection process includes gathering data, segregating it and then prioritizing. The aim of any project selection process is to have a clear route to successfully implementing the project. Care has to be taken to avoid wrong selection of project, which can magnify the problem and waste resources.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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