Many businesses want to run improvement projects using methodologies like Lean Six Sigma but then feel overwhelmed when it comes to project selection. I have created this technique to help you identify potential projects and filter out those which are not ideal candidates.
However, my advice is generally to try and develop a Lean culture so that everyone produces small improvements every day, rather than projects which focus on one thing. At the end of the day you need to do what feels right for you business and this technique will help you if you go down the project path.
Gather information in preparation for the next phase, use these questions to help you.
- What are the current business objectives?
- What is the customer feedback?
- What is the staff feedback?
Host a brainstorming sessions with various teams to generate ideas.
3. List the Ideas
List all of the ideas captured so that they can be shared, screened and prioritised.
4. Filter the Ideas
Review all ideas and make sure they are opportunities for process improvement.
- Quick Win – Is the root cause already known? If yes then this is a quick win and should be fixed straight away. It probably doesn’t require a project.
- Decision – Does the description recommend starting or stopping a practice? This is likely a management decision that needs to be made and not a project.
- Solutions – Does the description contain words like “implement”, “lack of” or “there is no”? If so, the solution is probably known does not require a project.
If anything got through the filter then it is likely a good candidate for an improvement project.
5. Score the Remaining Projects
Score the ideas based on risk, return and business goals. Then order the list based on the highest score first.
6. Select a Project
Discuss with management which of the highest scoring projects they will support and who will be the sponsor.
7. Select a Team
Select a team of people who work in the process to be part of the project team.