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How to write a compelling charter for your Lean Six Sigma (LSS) process improvement project?

Are you eager to lead a project but don’t know where to start? Every project, no matter how big or small, must start with a project charter.

A project charter is a document that officially starts a project. It provides the project leader, in this case, the LSS belt candidate, the authority to lead the team towards the desired level of improvement.

The key elements of the project charter are:  

  • Project Name – Provide a short descriptive title of the project. It should be simple and easy to remember.
  • Business case and benefits – Quantify the benefits that will be delivered. In an LSS project, it may be operational savings, cost avoidance, risk, and penalty avoidance or other measures that are unique to your organization.
  • Problem Statement – Describe the extent of the problem by comparing the actual performance against the desired level of performance. We recommend using the construct

From <start time frame> to <end time frame>, the <performance measure> is at <current performance> against the target of <target level>.

  • Goal Statement – It describes what project success looks like in terms of the level of process improvement. It builds up from the Problem Statement with the addition of the direction of change in the performance measure. We recommend using the construct

<Increase or reduce> the <performance measure> from <current performance> to <project goal performance> by <project completion date>.

  • Scope – Identifies the extent and boundaries of what the project team will study and implement changes.
  • Project Team – List all the core team members who will be performing the tasks throughout the Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) phases. It is important to estimate the time commitment of each member.
  • Timeline – Provides the planned completion date of each phase of the project. As the project progresses, the team tracks the actual completion against the plan to indicate the health of the project in terms of timeliness.

As a valued subscriber, you can download our one-page template and example of an LSS project charter.

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To know more best practices in leading a Lean Six Sigma process improvement project, join our Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification Program on November 29, 2019.

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