Step 2: Defining a Scope for Your Project

Immediately after receiving the initial information about the Six Sigma Project, scoping begins. Scoping is usually the first task done while executing any project. Here is what exactly Project Scoping is and how to use it.

What is Project Scope ?

A Project scope defines exactly what is in the process. Processes are usually continuous i.e. where one process ends the other one starts immediately. Hence in the absence of scoping, work will not be focussed. Consider the accounting cycle for instance. It starts when raw materials are purchased and ends when cash is received for the goods sold. It begins with cash and ends with cash. In between there are many steps like converting raw materials to Work in Progress, Converting Work In Progress to Finished Goods, Transferring Finished Goods To Inventory, Selling The Inventory On Credit etc. In the absence of scope it is likely that the project will not be able to focus. Hence while implementing a six sigma project one must know that they are trying to improve the process which starts when Work In Progress is turned into finished goods and ends when the sale is completed.

What information should be included in the project scope document ?

The most important information that a project scope document conveys is the boundaries of a process. The scope document must define with zero ambiguity what is the start point and the end point of the process.

Project Scoping is usually done with high level processes. This means that many activities in the process may have their own sub processes involved. In such cases the project scoping document must explicitly state what nested processes are a part of the scope of the project.

Why is it important ?

The Project scope is of vital importance to the execution of the project. This is because it becomes the basis for the requirements of the project and the resources that need to be deployed in the project. Some of the important information contained in the Project Scope is as follows:

  • What processes or activities are not included
  • What are the material resources required?
  • What is the human resource required?
  • What is the expertise required?
  • What are the technological resources that are required?

Reviewing Project Scope

Once the project scope document is completed it must be sent for immediate review. The points that must be considered in the review process are as follows. The project scope is checked for:

  • Overlap with any other current project or proposed project
  • The Project scope must not involve multiple functions
  • The Project scope must not involve multiple products
  • The Project scope must not involve multiple regions

In case the project scope does not meet any of these requirements, it is a red flag. A well-defined project scope is essential. If the project scope is too broad, Pareto analysis is used to identify the key issues and narrow the project scope and make it manageable.

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