Step 1: Collect and Review Primary Information

The project begins when the top management assigns responsibility to the Project Champion. The Project Champion usually delegates the task of preparing the Project Charter to another team member. It is important for both the Project Champion as well as the team member to understand what information is required. Here are tips on how to collect and review primary information from the management.

Where Do Six Sigma Projects Come From ?

Six Sigma projects do not suddenly appear. They are the result of conscious planning by the top management when they map the capabilities of an organization to the deliverables they foresee and find gaps. Alternatively Six Sigma projects are suggested by employees who are in the best position to suggest improvements. In either case it is a business problem which is driving the Six Sigma project. Hence information regarding the problem that is being solved is required.

What Information should be received before embarking on the Project ?

Before beginning work on the project, there is a bare minimum amount of information which is required. This information pertains to the objectives of the project which are nothing but extensions of the business problem identified earlier. Also the time frame which is expected out of the six sigma team must be made clear.

What needs to be done with this Information ?

Most of the times management does not give the Project Champion precise Six Sigma Project Statements. The information provided is vague and too broad to be specifically meaningful. For instance it could mean “preventing bad debts on accounts receivables”.

Obviously such a statement is a symptom and not the real cause. There is a considerable amount of digging down that needs to be done with this information provided by the management. It is for this reason that the Project Champion must:

  • Store all the information he/she receives
  • Clarify if the project objectives are too broad
  • Start conducting analysis that reveal the real issues

Why is this stage critical ?

The project team undertakes the project in the light of the data it has received. It is therefore essential that there be no ambiguity when it comes to storing this information. At a later stage of the project, this lack of data can be detrimental. It can cause the team to work either with the absence of critical data or engage in expensive time wasting data collection.

It is also possible that a misinterpretation may lead the team to start working on a completely wrong track. Therefore the activities pertaining to this stage should be conducted very carefully.

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