Six Sigma Black Belt Tutorial | Define Phase & Project Charter

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Define Phase & Project Charter

The define phase focuses on defining the customer requirements usually by Voice of the customer and the project charter.

Voice Of the Customer

It is the term used to describe the stated and unstated needs or requirements of the customer. It helps in listing the relative importance of features and benefits associated with the product or service thus, showing the expectations and promises that are both fulfilled and unfulfilled by the product or service. Voice of the Customer (VOC) is describes customer’s feedback about their experiences with and expectations for the products or services

Project Charter

A project charter is a document that gives an overview of the project by stating the project’s goals and objectives. It states the scope, objectives, boundaries, resources, participants, and anticipated outcomes of the project. The project charter

  • specifies the motives to carry out the project
  • explains the project objectives
  • provides a clear definition of accountability, team roles, and
  • responsibilities
  • includes expected costs and financial benefits
  • determines the deadlines
  • identifies the main stakeholders
  • defines the standards on which to judge the project’s success

Goals and objectives

The goals and objectives for the project are developed on the basis of the project scope and problem statement. The statements on the goals and objectives in the project charter should adhere to the SMART principles. So, the goal statements must be

  • Specific (precise goals and objectives must be stated)
  • Measurable (the goals must be quantifiable in terms of project progress)
  • Achievable (the goals must be realistic)
  • Relevant (the goals must be specifically related to the broad goals of the organization)
  • Timely (the goals must be achievable within the time span allotted to the team to carry out the project).

Project Performance Measures

Measuring the progress of the project is an essential part of project definition. Appropriate financial and non-financial parameters must be established to assess the impact of the project on the organization. Inappropriate project performance measures can misdirect the efforts of the team, for instance, if cost minimization is taken as a metric to measure the performance of the processes, the focus of the team may shift from defect and cycle time reduction to cost reduction, which may result in poor quality processes.

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