Define phase explained (DMAIC)

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There are fours steps in the Define check list

A. Updated Project Charter, consisting of following

  • Problem statement (detailing when did the problem occur, what is the problem, magnitude of the problem and impact of problem). Focus on symptoms only, not solutions and causes
  • Key stakeholders. Who are they? How will they be involved in the project?
  • Business impact
  • Goal Statement
  • Verification of project scope
  • High level project plan
  • List of your team members

B. Documentation on your customer

  • Primary external and internal customers identified
  • Voice of customer gathered
  • customer needs evaluated for priority and importance
  • Ability to measure customer requirements

C. SIPOC diagram

D. Detailed Project Management plans

  • More detailed schedule of activities (using gantt chart)
  • List of stakeholders who will be impacted by project and their expectations and concerns
  • Communication plan
  • Risk management plans
  • Identification of barriers / obstacles

Tips for Define phase

So, there are several tips and tricks you should be aware of to perform this stage of the project successfully.

If you have to spend long time … two full-time days, or two part-time weeks on Define phase that means that your scope is vague or too broad.

In this case you should talk to your manager or sponsor to narrow down the scope. Maybe you need to divide project in two or three parts? Or adjust team to get resources and knowledge to get the task done

Way to speed-up the Define is creating mini-kaizenevents where people come for a half of full days of work to complete all work required.

Of course keep the place without interruptions, emails and phone calls.
Making a project that is ignoring customer is always a bad thing. Therefore, do a thorough job of capturing customer needs.

Create well balanced team from all different parts of the company and different specialties (finance, IT, marketing, engineering, …)

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