The great thing about Six Sigma is that it puts you into the habit of seeing things in an ordered and identifiable view. This skill is highlighted in the way Six Sigma teaches you how to select projects. Project selection is the single most important decision you will make for your improvement initiative. If you pick the wrong project, it will kill your resources and your revenue. If you pick the right project you can create a new culture, introduce a new way of thinking and make a truly remarkable company.
In picking projects there are 3 core components to consider: the business case, the project charter and the benefits analysis.
The Business Case
In Six Sigma you will hear a lot about the business case and how a strong case correlates to a strong project. The business case is a the document that your improvement effort will build to answer why there needs to be an improvement and what type of improvement you will use. This document is typically used to convince sponsors of a project’s necessity.
The project charter is what you will use to tell the project team what improvements you are doing and how you will measure their success. Project charters are much more detailed than the business case and often serve as a guide for the project manager. Your belt will be able to help you determine which specifics your charter needs.
Now I know this sounds like a fancy business word, but a benefits analysis is where you will win or destroy support for your project. The benefits analysis is the financial projections for your improvement project and in my opinion, a benefits analysis should be done prior to building a business case. The analysis is designed to tell you what is to be expected in terms of resources, financial investment and returns on those investments.
Selecting a project is one of the most important steps in an improvement process and as with all these blogs this is a summary, your belt will be able to guide you through picking a project and designing a process that works best for the culture of your organization.