CTQ Baselining

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    Seng Cheong

    In Project Charter you write where you currently are and define success in terms of where you want to go on a given CTQ(based on customers specs). But how can you do this in the Define stage without first baselining the CTQΒ (which is typically done in the Measure phase after doing MSA)?


    Adrian P. Smith

    If you have no historical data, your Define phase charter will of necessity be somewhat vague, along the lines of “We think we have a big problem with this”, “a lot of customers complain”. Even if historical data exists, it may not be exactly what you want, and the data may be unreliable since it is unlikely any MSA was done.
    You will update the charter with the actual baseline measure during the measure phase, once you have developed your project Y and performed your MSA.
    Many projects will stop at this point, either because the problem isn’t as bad as the anecdotal evidence suggested, or because the problem was only a problem with the measurement system.
    Never forget that the project charter is a document which should be regularly updated throughout the project cycle to reflect your current understanding of the process.
    Hope this helps.



    Because we had so many projects get cancelled after getting out of define, we now do some basic data analysis in defineΒ to ensure the project has potential.Β  Do we have data, does the data look accurate, do we see a performance gap?Β  This isn’t a replacement for measure, just an initial screening.Β  It allowed us to improve our project completion rate about 80%.


    Alfredo Perez

    In the define stage you should be validating customer needs and requirements as well as creating a high level process map.Β  Thus, you are only identifying the issue, based on subject matter expert guidance.
    Β  In the Measure stage you can quantify the issues impact and develop the plan to measure.Β  Thus, the define stage in my opinion is NOT where one would discuss measurement.Β 
    However using some type of validation or questioning the problem in the define phase does help to quantify some of the impact which would then be validated in the measure phase.
    Just another perspective…



    There’s definitely overlap between the phases – initially we look to identify and understand a baseline period and to set a goal.Β  This is required as part of understanding project value for prioritisation.Β Β 
    Within Measure we look at understanding what performance during the baseline period tells us re process performancce, e.g., – are we dealing with a special cause v. common cause problem?Β  We commonly finetune our project definition during Measure Phase.

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