Project Selection

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Project Selection

  • This topic has 14 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 19 years ago by Chad.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
  • #28517

    David Dano

    I am looking for a way to improve how we acquire projects from various departments within our company.  Does anyone have a questionnaire or process in place?  We are in our infancy with Six Sigma and I would appreciate any help.


    Jim Johnson

    David, I have seen several methods for doing project selection. One method involves having the leadership of the organization work with you in definition of what the key Critical to Qualities are for your customers. These become the deliverables of your key processes. The processes that exist to support or enable these key processes are referred to as sub-processes/key enablers.With these defined, you can consider each as a “Big Y” and then determine the x’s for each one. This gives you a good definition of the critical x’s for your company that are focused on delivering your customer’s CTQs. From here, you can develop (if they don’t already exist) measurements for each of the x’s which should give you an idea of which ones are performing poorly.
    These poorly performing processes then warrant further investigation to identify project level x’s as candidates for projects. This helps to do a couple of things:1. Focuses the entire organization on Quality as defined by the customer.
    2. Assures that your efforts and those of your fellow Black Belts are completely aligned with organizational priorities.
    3. Assures that adequate measurements are in place to understand the core processes and key enablers within your organization.
    4. Provides an infrastructure for developing a “pool” of projects from which to select as the organization moves toward the achievement of Six Sigma culturally.I hope that this helps.Jim



    First,you have to define  the “project”:is a complex series of tasks and actions coordinated to achieve an objective,which is quantified,it should bring various skills,it has a lead-time,it should have  a budget,it is  a “one-shot”piece of work,and it includes risks which must be controlled.Then,you have to focus on the the eternal triangle:Performance-Cost-Delay,you have to understand the “interlinked”criteria between those factors such as CS,Q of Service,ROI,timetable and the diffirence between planned dates & imposed date.So it is aneasy procedure to select the right project,you have also to define the objectives of the selected projects.Hope that helps,regards.                                                 MN


    Chris Walker

    Please email me at [email protected]. I have some materials that may be of use to you.


    Gary Niemand

    We use the SAQ(single agenda for quality) and the top warranty concerns to focus BB projects on. These are identified by a Management team.



    I’ve seen some guidelines for assesment if project is appropriate for quality approach at



    Following are the ways of project selection known to me so far:
    1. Management selects the projects.
    Has the advantage that the issue is then “their” issue and will be strongly supported. The problem is, that the projects are mostly “too big” or “of no Six Sigma kind” and so on. The best solution is then to involve the MBBs or experienced BBs in the project selection and definition. If you have a quality manager in your company, as we do, he should be involved too.
    2. Black Belts select their projects.
    Specially in case the BB is part of the company. He communicates the project opportunity with various management levels and basically looks for the Process Owner. The process owner must then get the approval and appropriate support from the management. The advantage is, that the projects are very well defined and fit to BBs nature. By the way, during his BB-job, BB touches many different fields and problem areas therefore it is not difficult to select the project on his own.
    3. Database of project opportunities
    Process owners/managers/Quality managers etc. generate the opportunities and collect them in database which BBs have access to. Mostly, the opportunities are already pre-discussed and pre-agreed with the management, must be however discussed again (well, official appointment with Project Charter must take place anyway).
    4. “Process Owner” becomes a BB
    In some cases, the department having problem will appoint its member to solve it (as often usuall), using the advantages of Six Sigma. This way is common specially in specific technical processes, research, development. Often, DFSS may be applied. I do not know whether this is the best way because such a BBs then have to stop their technical career (if doing BB in a future) or stop their BB career (if staying in their technical field). But it depends on the situation.
    There may be another ways. It depends on the agreement within each company, how the projects will be selected. Nevertheless, there should be always involved all participants, before the project is started – specially the potential “Project Charter members” (incl. MBB), and eventually some other like Quality manager, another experienced BBs etc.
    In my case, I have got the “big problem area” from the management and I had to split it into smaller projects which I led then parallel. Works as well.


    Martin Brenig Jones

    In my experience it is good to start with the overall company aims direction, and aspirations, and an honest assessment of where the organisation is now in terms of its strengths and weaknesses. A self assessment against a recognised Excellence model such as Baldrige or the European Model is a good start, especially if carried out with the involvement of the senior management team. I’ve found that a quick assessment using a senior team workshop is often good enough to get this started – the issues become clearer, the team are involved, and a willingness to want to improve tends to be instilled – all good starters and feed in to the real definition phase of a series Six Sigma projects.
    This also means you can keep an overall eye on Six Sigma projects ensuring they are ‘on the real business agenda’ rather than something too peripheral, and it will keep senior managers more interested!
    good luck
    Martin Brenig-Jones



    At our company, we have recently started to conduct projects called “scoping projects” to provide project lists of GB and BB projects. 
    These projects focus on particular business process and objective (such as improved delivery performance), beginning with a clear statement of objectives and scope.  Typically, a scoping project will start with high level mapping and gathering of data (experiential and quanitfiable) on process inputs, outputs, suppliers, customers, existing business and process metrics, and more importantly, critical process issues. 
    Subject matter experts and businees leaders, as well as existing BB and GB resources are used to gather and process the information.  We use the information to perform a gap analysis on each critical process issue: what metrics exist to understand this issue, is the data reliable, what business metrics are affected by this issue.  From the answers to these questions we then develop projects: GB projects to create metrics or test the reliability of metrics, and GB or BB projects to work to improve processes with existing metrics. 
    All projects are then prioritized using a payoff matrix- they are ranked by impact and speed.  The result is a prioritized list of projects that are designed to make the biggest impact to business objective of the project.
    Comments on this process have been:
    “Why didn’t we do this before”
    “This is very organized, I understand how all of these projects fit in”
    “Can we handle all project selection this way?”
    When possible, all new GB and BB projects selected from these lists to ensure that project fit it with key business strategies.



    David…At our facility we created a form, sort of a C&E using the criteria as the Y’s. We rated each project that had evolved from ideas of all management. The X’s would be the projects with the Y’s being criteria such as (1) available teams, (2) IS support if needed, (3)projected savings, and etc. If you would like I would e-mail this file to you. RAP 
        [email protected] 



    We are having brainstorming group of 8-10 people to come up with new projects. The goal is to come up with about 30 projects per group. These sessions help inform the complete facility about Six Sigma and people feel that they have more saying what is happening in their work environment.
    We evaluate the ideas from the brainstorming session in a C&E Matrix and have a follow-up meeting to show what we selected and why we selected these projects.


    John Kullmann

    Proper project selection and scoping is one of the critical success factors in any six sigma deployment.  We have found that the first set of projects for the first wave of belts is usually easy to define and scope.  As a deployment matures the importance of project section grows.  Attached is a link to a white paper on the topic.  If you would like me to send you some materials directly please send a message to my email.
    [email protected]



    My first though would be internal and external VOC on where the business needs to imporve as the first step.
    VOC at the leadership level first will probably give you some of the big “Ys” of the company and some prioritization of goals; then then VOC at the individual contributor will give you the small “y’s” and they should align as components of the big “Ys”; then VOC from your Customers as the last and most important piece. 


    Bob Mitchell

    Consider the application of Theory-Of-Constraints in your process. If you apply TOC thinking (identify the system constraint which prevents the sytem from generating more money) in your system analysis, you will be guaranteed ROI from your six sigma projects.



    Schedule Department Work-Outs so the employees can address the issues and concerns.  This will serve as the “idea generator” for potential projects.  Once you have the issues and concerns documented, show how the issue or concern is related to a process.  It helps to map the process to see how things are done.  Then ask is the issue measurable, is there a process owner, and can I gather data.  If you can answer these three questions you more than likely have a project.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

The forum ‘General’ is closed to new topics and replies.