Closing a Six Sigma Project

As we have seen, Six Sigma is an elaborate methodology. It requires time to learn and even more time to successfully implement. However, as we have also seen that there is a golden pot at the end of the rainbow. Countless organizations have transformed their operations based on their Six Sigma capabilities. Nowadays, having processes that are Six Sigma efficient are a pre-requisite to survive the competition.

However, many feel that the formalities involved in closing a Six Sigma project are numerous and worthless. If you have a narrow horizon than this opinion may be correct. If you just consider one project at a time then the efforts may seem unnecessary and a waste of resources. However, in most organizations Six Sigma is a philosophy and a way of life and hence as we shall see the closing formalities do add value to the subsequent projects.

Why Work on Closing a Project ?

Here are a few good reasons why one should spend time on writing detailed documentation about the project:

Positive Lessons: Each project brings along with itself some new lessons. There are many positive lessons like the application of newer technology, discovering the drivers of a certain kind of process and so on. Documenting these positive lessons and preserving them in the knowledge library of the organization helps leverage them at a later date.

Negative Lessons: There are many issues and challenges faced during the project as well. Countless times projects get delayed because of unexpected hurdles. Over the period of time, by trial and error project teams realise that some things work and others don’t in certain situations. Such knowledge is experience based and cannot be found in text books or any other literature.

Are All Stakeholders Expectations Being Met ?

Six Sigma projects have multiple stakeholders. At the end of the project, it is essential that everyone feels that their needs have been successfully met by the project team. There should never be a scenario wherein one group feels that they have got the raw end of the deal. This is the reason closing Six Sigma projects requires discussions with a wide variety of stakeholders and ultimately a large number of signoffs are required.

Is the Knowledge Preserved in the System ?

Documenting both positive and negative lessons makes things a lot easier for the forthcoming generations of project teams. They do not have to reinvent the wheel. Rather when they face a similar problem, they can just look up the solution that your team may have spent time in discovering and start working from there.


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