Defining Leadership

Defining the Six Sigma Project Scope

Tom Smith asked:

A sizable front-end portion consists of the process of planning the deployment. When doing a quick review of the activity that must be initiated, one can clearly understand the important of good upfront thinking and planning. The following list shows at least 14 different milestones that must be addressed during the initial stages of the deployment. Determining the scope of the deployment generates the milestones that must be accomplished for the deployment. There is a huge difference between the milestones for a small pilot deployment versus a large corporate-wide deployment.

1. Establish the Six Sigma leadership team.

2. Identify Corporate Critical Ys (metrics) and set goals.

3. Identify the timeline for deploying.

4. Black Belts: Operations, Services, Product Development.

5. Green Belts: Operations, Services, Product Development.

6. Implement project tracking system.

7. Identify potential projects linked to Critical Ys.

8. Identify Champions and Black Belt candidates.

9. Prioritize the projects and assign to the appropriate Black Belts(s).

10. Complete a charter for each project, including financial impact.

11. Define the project review methods and frequency for your business and plant or area.

12. Resolve if the resources and leadership commitment are in place to make the project(s) successful.

13. Determine the communications methods for your plant and business.

14. Develop reward and recognition guidelines.

The first element of the deployment is the scope of the Six Sigma deployment over the next 12 months. The first milestone of the deployment philosophy is to establish the business case first. Six Sigma especially when including Lean Enterprise includes many different business applications. The three usual applications include (1) manufacturing operations; (2) business process support; and (3) new product development.

That does not include other areas like marketing, sales, supply chain management, safety, and enterprise systems. So, deciding what the scope of the Six Sigma deployment is and where the focus will be is critical at the onset of the deployment. Therefore, different processes use different forms of Six Sigma and their outcomes:

· Transactional Six Sigma for business processes: Optimizing process flow and accuracy.

· Operational Six Sigma: Optimizing product and process flow and accuracy.

· Lean Sigma: Products and special tools for process flow.

· DFSS (Design for Six Sigma): New products, operations, and market windows.

Six Sigma can easily move from a focus on one function (e.g., manufacturing) or to a comprehensive business-wide focus to include all functions. Also important are deciding whether the effort is a pilot effort, what to do about overseas operations, whether to do part of the company or the whole company, or how to interface Six Sigma with preexisting or ongoing initiatives.


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