Require for suggestion about how to evaluate the collected project proposals

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    Hi, everyone.
    Glad to meet you in iSixSigma. I’m a new practitioner of 6 SIGMA. Hope I can learn a lot from the experiance of all of you.

    This month is my first time to select the right projects and evaluate them for GB and BBs. I have organized a workshop with supervisors of all departments to collect some ideas. Now it’s my job about how to evaluate these proposals as the right projects. Would you please give me some suggestions?

    Thanks a lot…..



    Here’s what I recommend to my clients:

    1. State each idea as a problem, just one sentence. Each problem statement should be specific (no vague generalities), proven (there is evidence that the problem is real rather than just a perception), measureable (you’ll be able to quantify it), relevant (the problem has an adverse impact on business objectives AND it concerns cost of poor quality, or if you are using lean six sigma it concerns one of the other classic sources of waste.

    2. Position each problem statement on an x-y plot where x is the cost/severity of the problem and y is the cost of fixing it. These are best guess estimates. Use a scale of 1-10 and get consensus from stakeholders.

    3. Divide the plot into four quadrants. The top left quadrant is high cost/severity and probable low cost of fixing. Go for these first. The bottom left quadrant is low cost/severity but also low cost to fix. Consider these “low hanging fruit”. The top right quadrant is high cost/severity but also high cost to fix. Save these for later unless they are really severe. The bottom right quadrant is low cost/severity but high cost to fix. These may not be worth doing at all.

    4. Make this a continual process rather than a one-time activity. Encourage submission of new ideas. Add them to the prioritization plot. Regularly review the remaining problem statements and adjust the ratings.

    This is just common sense but making it a process and having the 4-quadrant chart for reference helps everyone to agree on priorities rather than someone pushing their pet project.



    It sounds like you have ideas from department leads and now you want to assess and select them, verses holding the workshop and identifying, assessing, and selecting ideas there. If that is the case, then I would tell you to use a simple L-shaped priority matrix to quantify them and them dump them into a Pareto Chart / Quad Chart for communication / selection purposes.

    I would also tell you this approach is suboptimal. You are assuming leadership (1) knows how to improve the value of the business and (2) is capable of creating meaningful, actionable projects ideas to driive improvements in the right area. This is rarely the case.

    ld look to move beyond COPQ into those areas that really drive hard financial value for the business. COPQ will look at operational effectiveness (good), but ignores other critical areas that drive corporate value: Sales growth, pricing strength, cost of capital, capital managemenet, etc.

    One really powerful method is to pull the financials for the last 3 years and model the realtionships between operational measures, financial performance, and firm’s value. Creating this “theory of knowledge” allows you to demonstrate where assets are best deployed to improve the value of the organization – which is really the point to the whole thing. this might be too much firepower right now considering where you are in the deployment, but keep it in ming. It will make a world of diffierence in terms of how LSS is used / viewed in your organization. Good luck,



    My advice is from observation that when you solicit and collect ideas for projects many of them are likely to come from managers who have a solution in mind and want an SS project to validate it. Step back to problem statements and prioritize them. When you do the project, look for the best solution rather than allowing the team to be steered.

    I find dividing the L-matrix into quadrants more helpful than Pareto in many cases since a Pareto charts a single variable. Using a composite cost/benefit to do a Pareto hides, for instance, that problem A has a 7 cost but only 3 benefit while problem B has a 3 cost but 7 benefit. They look the same in the Pareto chart but they are very different. That difference is obvious in a quad chart.

    I advise that initial projects should focus on COPQ problems since this is the basic fit. SS for growth, finance, etc. are advanced topics. But I agree wholeheatedly with your advice for generating ideas rather than simply soliciting and priortizing them.

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