For implementing DMAIC, using a project charter proves to be of great help. There are certain important components, which are a part of almost all the DMAIC project charters, like the problem statement, the goal statement, etc. While at the same time there may be other components, which may vary from industry to industry and from one organization to another.
Quality in every walk of life has gained immense importance. Therefore, every organization works towards improving the quality of their products and services. This is where Six Sigma comes into the picture. The aim of Six Sigma is to ensure that the product or services provided is about 99.99966% defect free. There are two methodologies, which are a part of the Six Sigma process, namely DMAIC and DMADV. Both of them have their origin in Demings’s Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. On the other hand, DMADV stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify. We will read in short about the DMAIC process, before we turn towards the charter.
When there is a working process in place, DMAIC process is adopted to further improve the quality of the process. This process aims to nail the root of the problem, identify different options to solve the problem and note the measures that can be used for solving the problem. Zero in on the accurate measure and implement it.
In the Define phase of the process, it is identified, if the process can be implemented for the problem at hand. The aim of the project along with the scope is noted down. It is here that the DMAIC project charter is created, which helps in setting up goals for the life of the project.
The next phase is the Measure phase. The existing system is assessed and the problem at hand is measured. Different evaluation techniques and metrics are used for the same. For deciding the metrics, two factors have a role to play, namely capability and stability of the metric. Often a process map is drawn in this phase to avoid the process from going astray.
Analyze is the third phase in DMAIC project management. This is an important phase of the process, which helps in deciding the measures to be taken to solve the problem at hand. Different methodologies and techniques are used for analyzing the problem to ensure that all the nuances are unearthed.
After the analysis phase is the Improve phase. Using the data gathered in the analysis phase, the walk is towards improving the process. Measures are taken to reduce the gap between the existing defects and the expected defects to almost none. Quality centric measures are implemented for the same.
The last phase of the process is the Control phase. To ensure that the process does not go haywire and stays on track a control mechanism is implemented. Although it is a defensive mechanism, it helps in ensuring that quality is not compromised upon. Often development, documentation and implementation are the steps that are a part of the process phase. If any deviation is noted, then measures are taken and implemented immediately to get rid of the problem.
DMAIC Project Charter
A project charter is a brief document, which must contain the problem, scope and objectives of the project. It is seen as the first deliverable of the project, which is given to the senior management and stakeholders, so that the project can be approved. Once the charter has been sanctioned, it is used as a reference point throughout the project lifecycle. When one talks about the DMAIC charter, it often includes information like expectations of the customer, problem statement, goal of the project, cost of the project, resources used for the project, etc. Like I have previously mentioned, the charter is drawn in the first phase of the DMAIC process, namely the Define phase. The project charter worksheet is often given to the members of the team, so that there is no deviation from the planned steps. A project charter example often proves to be of help in drawing the charter.
In the customer requirement statement, all the information gathered from the customer is included. There may be some parts of the statement, which may not look important for one team, but it may be of immense importance to the other. Often the information may run into pages, therefore the important section is included in the charter and all the details are included as annexure to the charter.
The problem statement gives detailed information about the problem at hand. Information regarding the error like type, extent, location, etc., is included. This information may be processed using different analysis tools. It is often included in an objective manner. Often this statement is given in about a couple of sentences.
The purpose of the project is also known as the goal statement. In this the expected results from the project are mentioned. This is often given in detail. It includes the target stage and the different quality parameters, which have an important role to play in execution of the project, etc. When the purpose of the project is written, it is important to note that it should be specific, achievable, measurable and not to forget time based.
The scope of the project has information about the start and end boundaries of the project. The different components, which are a part of the project are also included in this part. In case there is a particular phase of the project, where certain people are going to work, it is accordingly mentioned in this part.
The benefits which lie within the scope of the project and the benefits that lie out of scope are contemplated upon. Not all charters have a mention of this section. The next comes the business case. Here the most important problem to be resolved is mentioned. Similarly, the problems which need immediate redressal may also be mentioned in the section. Some of the charters do not have a separate section for the business case, as it gets mentioned in the problem statement, purpose of the project, etc. A project charter, also makes mention of the risks involved, along with the constraints and assumptions made during the project work. This helps to foresee the problems, which may arise and also the limited areas, that may be available to work on.
The last section of the charter has the project plan, which has columns for tasks at hand, with its start date, expected end date and the actual end date. A note is made of the team members working for the particular task and also the role played by the respective team members.
This was a DMAIC charter template. Taking a cue from this template, and depending on the industry for which the project is implemented, changes can be made to the template.