Too Many Documents!

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    Currently in our organisation (financial) we have a number of documents in place that have to be kept up to date throughout projects:
    >Initial concept form (to capture the problem/idea/opportunity)
    (Which are then prioritised against other concept forms, to see which are inline with business priorities and therefore worthy of project selection phase – against others)
    >the prioritised cases move forward into program/project selection. During which status reports are created.
    >Following a program/project selection phase we then complete another document which details everything about the program of work that has been selected ie number of projects within the program, deliverables, scope, resource etc (this is known as the project/program initiation document or terms of reference doc) – this is taken to the business for approval
    > Then if there is more than one project to be undertaken a Charter is completed per project
    > Also during project the are status reports which are required – again separate from previous docs.
    > The overiding status of the program is also reported against at a high level – another document
    > Tollgate documents are used also throughout – more documents
    > Control plans developed with the business and handed over following control phases means a final document which is agreed and signed off by the business.
    I HAVE to reduce all this admin and make things more simple to manage. Does anyone else have similar issues? What are you doing to reduce documentation? Can some documents be amalgamated?
    Not all documents are hard printed copies, but some are and then have to be re-typed to capture an electronic record. There must be a better way of managing…
    Rant over, thanks for any advice :)



    Hi m4cot
    The Blackbelts at my company draft the project charter to outline the problem statement and scope of the project and we use this to prioritise project opportunities.  The charter is then developed in more detail as we start work on the project.  This approach works well for us  – using this approach would mean you didn’t need a seperate concept form.
    Project Charter, Toll Gate presentations and the Control Plan play a key role in DMAIC project documentation and communication between the project team, Sponsor and Senior Business Leaders.
    In terms of all the status reports you mention – do you have Voice of Customer, can you establish what is value-adding?  You may be able to make some changes depending on what information is required by who and for what purpose.
    Evie M



    Hello m4cot,Anytime you have a “too much documentation” project, it is beneficial to understand the original purpose of the documents from your stakeholders perspective… “ask Why 5 times” is a good tool.Most documentation has been created to assure control and oversight. Stakeholders will only be comfortable with alternatives that assure the projects are not on auto-pilot and overrunning budgets, overlooking risks, missing changes in the environment or strategic direction, etc. The documents were intended to keep team members engaged in monitoring and reporting, but are not usually very effective because teams see them as “all this admin”.Engage your stakeholder community in alternative ways to accomplish control and oversight (including external reporting requirement – SEC, FDA, etc) with less paperwork. Assure that the alternatives keep project resources aligned with any redirection. Be prepared for some significant Change Management challenges because this discussion will surface WHO thinks THEY need to be the controller.

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