Six Sigma Business Requirements Document

Writing a Winning Six Sigma Project Business Requirements Document

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Many businesses have a process in place to assist with project management and implementation. One opportunity for improvement involves making reasonable estimates of how big a project is and how much it is going to cost. There are many different names for tools used with this process: business needs specification, requirements specification or, simply, business […]

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DMAIC Project Selection Using a Systematic Approach

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The growth of the Six Sigma DMAIC continuous improvement process in the United States’ more service-oriented economy is not proceeding as fast as it did earlier in the country’s manufacturing industries. DMAIC is a well-proven process, but requires a systematic approach to project selection in transactional environments. When companies are squeezed on cost and drive […]

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Six Steps to Keeping Six Sigma Project Pipeline Full

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Finding and selecting the right improvement projects and developing a valuable project pipeline are crucial to the success of any Six Sigma initiative, especially when the initiative is in its infancy. If “boil the ocean” projects are selected, Black Belts and Green Belts will lose their energy and the Six Sigma initiative may fade. However, […]

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Current Reality Tree Helps to Identify Hidden Barriers

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Lean Six Sigma projects are a learning journey and, unfortunately, despite practitioners’ best efforts, projects can become delayed on their way to completion. A number of reasons may contribute to project delays, such as the occasional unforeseen organizational crisis due to business, operational or personnel issues. The conventional management response to delays is to arrange […]

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Model Change Effectiveness Using Bug Tracking Data

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One difficulty that arises when Six Sigma is applied directly to the product development process is performing meaningful experimentation on the “process” of developing a product. Often the development cycle is long and many significant project changes occur generation to generation. This makes it hard to attribute process improvements to a specific process change. One […]

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15 Criteria for Selecting a Viable DMAIC Project

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As anyone involved in Six Sigma knows, selecting the right project is a critical component of project success. If practitioners do not put enough effort into selecting the right opportunity for improvement, a project can end in disaster, or create unnecessary work and complexity for the project team. Selecting projects with just a few obvious […]

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1-2-3 Model for Successful Six Sigma Project Selection

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Providing Six Sigma project leaders with appropriate project definitions is an underestimated challenge in managing Six Sigma initiatives. Project charters typically contain project scopes too broad or too high level, with weak or unclear problem and goal statements. This can cause newly trained project leaders to use their precious time trying to “boil the ocean.” […]

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An Analytical Method for Estimating Project Benefits

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Estimating potential improvement project benefits unfortunately have not always been subjected to same level of analytical rigor that practitioners insist on applying in typical Six Sigma work. The fault lies in the lack of an analytical methodology. Project teams can help themselves over this hurdle with a straightforward method for calculating potential and actual benefits. […]

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Using Critical Path Analysis to Prioritize Projects

Using Critical Path Analysis to Prioritize Projects

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So many improvement options, so little time … and staff and money. How do you decide which processes need those limited resources first? Critical path analysis can help.

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Selecting the Best Business Process Improvement Efforts

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A business process improvement (BPI) effort is a systematic approach to help any organization optimize its underlying processes to achieve more efficient results. I use “effort” rather than “project” because I have found that using this terminology results in more motivation and less pushback on the part of Green Belts. After all, effort is truly […]

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Project Selection: Don’t Pan for Gold in Your Hot Tub!

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One of the most frequent questions asked by software groups new to Six Sigma is something like, “What types of problems should we address with Six Sigma?” While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this sort of question, there are criteria that are universally applicable and provide a project selection framework that covers general top-level […]

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Select Projects Using Evaluation and Decision Tools

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Across all industries, there is one area of Six Sigma that can mean the difference between success and failure of deployment: project selection. Whether the method is used in manufacturing or service organizations, the future of a deployment is always influenced by the quality of project selection. Project selection typically starts with generating ideas. The […]

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Best of Benchmarking Research: Projects

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From the inception of iSixSigma Magazine, a regular feature of the publication was exclusive research on aspects of deploying Six Sigma. The topics benchmarked have ranged from “Black Belt Return on Investment” in the inaugural issue, January/February 2005, to “The Lean Six Sigma Toolset” in November/December 2009. In addition, the magazine reports each year on […]

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Systems Thinking Can Reveal Broader Project Value

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Systems thinking studies how parts of a structure interrelate to form an overall system. For example, the human body is a system – and so too are healthcare organizations and the healthcare industry in general. By adopting a systems mindset that supersedes individual functions and departments, practitioners can complete strategic value analysis based on internal and […]

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Workshops Help Generate and Prioritize Project Ideas

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The effective deployment of Lean Six Sigma is done through projects, one by one. While there are a myriad of issues a deployment leader needs to consider – such as training, selection of Belts or even a system for tracking project progress – project definition and scoping remain perennial issues. An improvement project can be […]

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Lessons from Crusoe on Project Resource Allocation

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Take a look at the headlines of any newspaper today and it is easy to see that the next two years are going to be a difficult time for most companies. Among these, some organizations that have already deployed Lean or Six Sigma may be forced to reduce their labor force. Of course, there may […]

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Three Steps to Successful Six Sigma Project Selections

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Project selection is one of the most critical and challenging activities faced by Six Sigma companies. Most organizations are able to identify a host of project opportunities, but the difficulty arises in sizing and packaging those opportunities to create meaningful projects. To be successful, the project selection process must be well defined and disciplined. One […]

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Picking the Best Approach for the Problem at Hand

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As more organizations expand their efforts into multiple process improvement methodologies, choosing the methodology to solve a particular problem can be as difficult as solving the actual problem. While simply using a problem solving methodology significantly increases the success rate of a project, choosing the correct methodology optimizes the solution process to achieve the best […]

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Black Belts Should Create Balanced Project Portfolios

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The question is simple: What type of projects should a Black Belt be conducting or considering? There are only so many hours in a day. And there is an abundance of demands, requirements and deadlines, coupled with ever-present and growing resource constraints. Black Belts are expected to complete projects that save money, as well as […]

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Pre-work and Prioritization Mean Fewer Failed Projects

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How many times has a Six Sigma project “crashed and burned” – abandoned a few months after kickoff? Or worse, just twisted in the proverbial wind without any progress as the months tick by? This is arguably one of the most frustrating experiences a Six Sigma practitioner can face. And for a quality program, it can […]

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Goldilocks Dilemma: Getting Project Scope ‘Just Right’

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One of the hardest decisions teams and their sponsors make is picking the right scope for a project. Those who choose easy, bite-sized projects often have a high success rate – but the impact sometimes is so small that the general reaction is “so what” or “is that all that Lean Six Sigma can do […]

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Beat the Omnipresent Scope Creep With Communications

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Hardly anyone who has managed a software project has not had a project that just will not end. The reason those projects never seem to finish is not necessarily inexperienced personnel or a flawed technology. The common cause is allowing requirements to pass in and out of the revolving door of project scope. There are […]

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Identifying Six Sigma Projects Using Customer Data – An iSixSigma Case Study

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A successful business knows its customers – who they are, what their expectations are and what they think of the products or services. More importantly, a successful business continually improves its processes, reassesses its ability to meet customer needs, and gathers customer data to keep well appraised of changing customer needs and expectations. There are many […]

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Is-Is Not Analysis

Transforming Is/Is-Not Analysis into Multi-Benefit Tool

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The “is/is-not analysis” can be one of the most useful Six Sigma tools for project selection or definition. It can help you narrow scopes, increase your chances for success and accelerate your projects.

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