Online mapping and driving directions have simplified reaching new and unfamiliar destinations. With a few simple inputs, one can map the best route, even avoiding toll roads or including scenic byways. Using an online mapping tool without knowing your origin or destination is useless, it cannot help determine the route and there are many roads which can be traveled.
Goal achievement is also dependent upon an origin and a destination. A leader knows the organization needs to go somewhere, but in order to get there the leader has to envision where the organization should be and understand where it is today. Many times leaders are too eager to hop in the car and start the engine revving. Unfortunately, without a known destination organizations can find themselves driving in circles or simply idling in place.
A successful leader provides a vision of the future, a destination so vivid the leader must be able to paint the picture in each employee’s mind to create a common shared vision. This is critical as the vision is used to derive the goals, objectives, tasks, timeline and follow-up (Clark, 2014) to reach it. Without a plan to achieve the vision, the vision is worthless.
Reaching the Goal
Clark states a process is needed to reach each goal (2014). Six Sigma is a process improvement framework of define, measure, analyze, implement, and control (DMAIC).
The central theme of Six-Sigma is that product and process quality can be improved dramatically by understanding the relationships between the inputs to a product or process and the metrics that define the quality level of the product or process. Critical to these relationships is the concept of “voice of the customer”. In other words, quality can only be defined by the customer who will ultimately receive the outputs or benefits of a product or process. (Yahia 2011, para. 5).
The first three phases of define, measure, and analyze, focus primarily on understanding the problem from a knowledge and data perspective. These phases are critical to implementing and controlling solutions to address the goal.
A problem often appears from customer feedback that a process is not meeting their needs. Process gaps come in all shapes and sizes and customers have evolving needs and expectations. It is important to recognize the size of the gap and its impact to the customers and therefore the business before making the investment to improve the process.
Process Improvement Project Charter
The Project Charter is a formal recognition of the process performance gaps, scope of the effort, and statement of the goal to be achieved. It also establishes the team for the process improvement project including champions and sponsors of the effort. The Project Charter is a critical communication tool. Often times the questions about how a process should be performing and to what measure are undocumented. By taking the time to slow down and think through the key questions of what is being done and why it matters...