You’ve selected your Six Sigma projects, even chartered one, and now you’re business is trying to figure out the status of the project and it should move to the next phase. Charles Waxer presented the article, Successful Six Sigma Project Reviews. I would like to help you make those words of wisdom a reality by providing a sample agenda for a project review, also called a project tollgate review or project milestone review.
I have outlined what I feel are the four most important aspects of the project review agenda. They include: Attendees, Timing/Duration, Preparation, and Agenda. Let’s look at each area in more detail.
Who should be involved in the development and completion of this project? Make sure all involved parties are present because changing the culture and practices of a business is difficult without communication. A potential list includes:
Each project should be reviewed after a single phase has been completed. For the DMAIC Six Sigma improvement process, a review would be established after each of the phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. For the DMADV Six Sigma improvement process, a review would be established after each of the phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify. The duration of such a review can last as little as half an hour or as long as an hour, depending on the level of discussion around tool use, findings, etc.
In preparation for the presentation, the team should perform the following:
1. Introduction by Project Champion or Sponsor
This would allow the Champion to set the stage for the review, as well as highlight the importance of the project.
2. Project Team Presentation
By determining the level of formality prior to the meeting, the team will know if questions will be reserved until the end or if they should prepare to be interrupted. In the presentation, a quick summary of previous reviews should be presented, but the bulk of the time should be spent on the recently completed project phase.
3. Reviewer Comments (if formal presentation, otherwise this is intertwined with #2)
Reviewers should now identify the positive work the team has completed on the current phase, both in their logic and utilization of the tools to achieve the current results. Clarification questions and suggestions for the team to consider should also be presented at this time. If the team did not properly use a tool or did not extract the proper information from a tool, it is appropriate to postpone sign-off of the phase. The sign-off authority may be granted to the Master Black Belt once certain requirements are met.
4. Closing by Project Champion or Sponsor
As with the introduction, the Champion – who has the most to gain or lose from the project – will set the stage for the project going forward. Encouragement and support is always a necessary ingredient for success.