Lean Six Sigma: Project Selection Guidelines

Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Lean Six Sigma is a methodology for eliminating waste, reducing variability, and making processes more efficient.  An organization that undertakes the process and devotes the time and resources should not take project selection lightly and leave it up to their BB’s and GB’s to determine what they will work on.
Projects should be aligned with the goals and objectives of the organization and should be reviewed by upper management prior to starting it to make sure they are in alignment.  The goals and objectives of the project itself should be well defined upfront and the problem should be of major importance to the organization.  There should be clear quantitative measures of success.
The scope of the project should be reasonable and “world hunger” projects must be avoided.  If the team is new to Lean Six Sigma, don’t let their first project be the toughest problem in the organization, i.e., something that no one has been able to solve in the past 10 years.
Project sponsors and champions should expect major improvements in performance, i.e., greater than 50%.  We don’t want to waste organizational resources for 5 – 10% improvement.  Sponsors and champions also need to make sure that adequate resources are assigned and that any barriers the team encounters are addressed quickly.

Not every project will have hard dollar savings.  Some projects may be strictly related to improving customer satisfaction and potentially increase revenue in the future.  Here again, projects should be screened upfront to make sure the ones worked on have the biggest impact for the company.  Why waste resources on small savings projects when there are much larger ones that can be tackled.

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