Project Selection

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Project Selection

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    I am currently trying to identify a clear scope for a project around data quality. There are currently over 100 data quality issues that exist and I am keen not to try and boil the ocean!! Does anyone have any information they can provide on how to select the right project and project prioritisation matrix’s?



    Project selection should be driven by an assessment of the following broad parameters:
    A – Strategic Alignment – Which strategic objectives will be met if the proposed project is executed and to what extent? In other words, what would be the contribution of the proposed project to achievement of organizational or departmental strategic statements?
    B – Return on Investment – What is the NPV or IRR of doing this project? What is the payback period ? Is the cash flow associated with the project in line with budgetary allocations made for the year? Also consider intangible returns such as increase in organizational knowledge, higher customer satisfaction, higher employee satisfaction, etc.
    C – Risk profile – What is the likelihood the project will succeed? Typical factors that affect risk are size of the project, number of people involved, number of different organizations/departments involved, stability of business and technology environments, etc.
    Once you rank each of the candidate projects against these criteria, you would be able to build a portfolio of projects that balances the need for strategic achievement, return on investment with an eye on riskiness.
    These are generic principles that can be tweaked as appropriate and applied to most contexts. If you are building a portfolio of projects around data quality alone, you would associate the return on investment with the return that the projects that could be executed as a result of improved or available data. The strategic alignment would probably be measured for the projects that improved data quality will enable.
    Hope this helps



    Don’t know how well the following source will suit your purposes, since you seem to have already identified the general area in which to focus.  That said, take a look at the intro to the book and, if you think that the ability to use the voice of the market to drive your Six Sigma projects is a good one, send me a note and I’ll send you the first 3 chapters which describe the matrices in considerable detail.
    You can reach me from the site, or by writiing [email protected]



    There is a data quality consultant, Larry English, who has some very good data on the cost of poor data quality.  I don’t recall the name of his firm, but he used to have some good info on his web site.  Once you understand where data quality is costing you, then project selection should be a little easier.



    When we initially deployed 6sigma we focussed only on doing projects. It was all about getting a return on projects. A year plus on we now realise that 6sigma for us is very much also about ensuring that your organisation has a strong underlying process infrastructure with good measurement systems and continually monitored processes. So if you are having data quality issues the place to start is improving the measurement systems. At first this seems like a big call because like us you are probably under pressure to demonstrate a return for the organisation for the wages they pay to you and your 6sigma colleagues. So doing something that does not directly return dollars in the short term is a tough call. However, if you know there are data quality issues and based on my experience the operational areas will already know this as well. Then the right thing to do is fix the data and the measurement system first. Long term you will have much better project outcomes.

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