Control Your Lean Six Sigma Success

Posted by on May 31, 2020 in Control Phase, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma | 0 comments

The control phase is one of the most important in the DMAIC process, for it is this phase that makes or breaks the success of your project.  Up to now, you’ve done a lot of hard work collecting and analyzing data, identifying the root causes of the problem, developing and implementing solutions to address those root causes. Now it’s time to document what you’ve done and make sure the project owner has everything they need to maintain the gains you and your team have achieved before the project is closed.

Project documentation may include any or all of the following:

  • Revise process maps, swim lane diagrams, and value stream map to reflect any process changes that have occurred.
  • Implement any new standard work, work instructions, or procedures that may result from the project.
  • Revise any existing standard work, work instructions, or procedures that may have been affected in the project.
  • Developing a control plan for the process owner that will give them the information they need to accurately monitor and sustain the project gains.
  • Develop and implement training material required for the employees who currently work in the affected process.

Before closing the project, a tollgate review must be conducted with the project sponsor, project owner, and champion, along with other appropriate stakeholders to ensure there are no loose ends.  Tollgate questions may include:

  • What is the new standard method or process, and how was it developed?
  • How is the new method documented, where is it kept, and how will employees access it?
  • Who will maintain and update any future documentation?
  • Who will check to make sure that the standard methods are being used and how often will they test them?
  • Show me your plan for process management, and how will it be measured?  How often and by whom?
  • How will the data be displayed, and what actions will they take if the measurements are unsatisfactory?
  • How will you transfer responsibility for ongoing monitoring to the process owner?
  • What organizational systems need to change to support standardization?
  • Can we leverage what you’ve learned in this project to another part of the organization?
  • Did this project generate any hard dollar or soft dollar savings?  Did you have accounting verify and confirm your savings?  How soon will the savings be realized?
  • What went well during the project?  What did not go well during the project that you can improve upon for your next project?
  • Did you uncover other opportunities during the project that you can address as another project?

If there are no project loose ends, then it is time to close the project and sign the project charter with closing signatures.


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