iSixSigma

Use the Force . . .

Nayism 28: So much analysis, so little time. The project needs to get moving – I need a fix now.

Ah yes, the analysis paralysis phase of projects can haunt even the best of black belts. Is there ever a time to throw in the belt and call it “enough?” Here’s what I say . . .

The dreaded sea of unending data is quite a site but drowning can be avoided.

First, always check your scope and objective. Is it too large (i.e., boil the ocean)? Are there too many inputs or are the inputs at too high a level? If so, working through a refined C&E matrix or QFD may help you develop a more focused data analysis plan.

Second, stay focused on your objective. It’s easy to get side-tracked by stray defects. If the defects are not directly related to your specific objective, save them for another day.

Third, and most important, use the collective knowledge of your team to help keep you on the right path. As experts in their field, they can more easily recognize correlation versus causation and keep you focused on the important stuff. Ask them to help you find the exit door to this unending analysis loop.

Remember, your team may be the driving force to success. “Use the force . . .Luke!”

Comments 3

  1. Robin Barnwell

    In 1914 the Germans were sinking U.S. ships in the North Atlantic. It was a turkey shoot because the Germans had the U-boat and we didn’t. Somebody asked the American folk philosopher Will Rogers what we ought to do about it. He thought about it a moment and said, "Well, I think you should boil the ocean." The man was incredulous. "Boil the ocean?" "Yes," said Rogers. "I think if you heated up the Atlantic ocean, the submarines would rise to the surface and you could capture them." "But how do you boil an ocean?" the man asked. Rogers responded, "I’ve given you the solution. It’s up to you to work out the details."

  2. Meikah

    Focus is really the key to any successful team dynamics. If there’s teamwork, nothing can be left undone. These are good pieces of advice, Gianna, thanks!

    And Robin, I like your anecdote! =D

  3. Manny Sequeira

    Working with oceans of data it is easy to get lost down rabbit holes. Thanks for a point well made!

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