What is the define problem definition phase?
Improvement projects focus on solving a problem. A problem occurs when an actual situation and the desired situation dont match. We define the problem in a problem statement. It is imperative that this statement describes the problem in a concrete way for the different people involved in and around the project.
Getting started with the define problem definition phase
- Determine who is involved in the problem and formulate questions.
- Determine the problem definition in concept.
- Check the problem definition with the people involved.
- Use the feedback to determine the final problem definition.
The problem definition covers the next questions:
- Why is there a need to run an improvement project?
- For which problems are we trying to find a solution?
- Who are the people involved in the outcome of the improvement project?
- What is the significance of the problem?
- What do we want to achieve?
Tips and best practices define problem definition phase
- Determining a problem definition doesnt always turn out to be as simple as it seems. Take your time. Creating a good problem definition saves time later on.
- A good problem definition contains a problem owner, a verb and a target area.
- A problem can contain multiple problems. In this case, there are some choices that have to be made. Dont try and solve everything in one go, but instead take small steps.
- Filling out the Project Start information is typically done by the project leader (green/black belt). The following Define techniques (problem statement, team, stakeholders), involve a larger group of people.
- Make sure that the Project Start information and problem statement is communicated to the sponsor. The sponsor is responsible for the projects means and time available.
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Next week in this LeanCoach blog series: Define Project team.