Be Aggressive in Developing a Lean Six Sigma Goal Statement

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

The goal statement goes hand-in-hand with the problem statement of your project and should be part of your project charter.  Whereas the problem statement describes the symptoms of a problem, the goal statement defines the results expected from the team’s work.  Goal statements typically have three elements:

  • Description of what is to be accomplished.  A typical goal statement will start with “Increase, ” “Reduce,” or “Eliminate.”  An example would be, “Reduce errors on supplier purchase orders.”
  • Measurable target for the expected results.  The target should put a number on the expected results for cost savings, defect elimination, increased revenue, decreased cycle time, etc.  The measured target then becomes the measure of the team’s success.  Continuing our example used above, “Reduce errors on supplier purchase orders by 50%.”
  • Projected completion date.  The date may change, but setting a date helps the team focus and get down to business.  Having a completion date may shorten the project’s cycle time which may stretch out if no date is set.  Now our example reads: “Reduce errors on supplier purchase orders by 50% by July 1, 2012.

Goal statements should be aggressive especially at the outset of a Lean Six Sigma initiative when there is a lot of low hanging fruit.  Most organizations aren’t interested in 5% or 10% improvement at that stage.  Also, goal statements are a way for the team to know that they should close the project and prevent scope creep from entering in.  If the team has met it’s goal, close the project and start another one.

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