E6S-009 Defining a Project - Part 1

I         "*** Poem about Who, What, Where… ***

I Keep Six Honest...

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small-
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!

She sends'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes-
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!

Rudyard Kipling


II         Einstein problem definition quote.
"If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”  --- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate


III       Why do you need a project definition         

a.       Good project definition is first step to solving it and the first line of defense against a failing project.

b.      Project definition is clarifying your business need for change

i.            A clear definition enables the team to focus on the right issues

 ii.            More importantly, it helps secure the resources necessary to work on the project

c.       Use the Project Definition to fend off scope-creep               

 i.      Instruct to continually refer to the definition when new information comes up….

 ii.      Use a project parking lot-->

1.      Capture new information that comes up that is important but out of scope

2.      If necessary spin into a new project definition to get support from champions. --OR-- know when to change direction and scope of the current project and sell it

IV      Anatomy of a Problem Statement:

a.       4W 1 H –

 i.      What is the problem (in terms of a metric)?

ii.      Where is this problem noticed? 

iii.      When was the problem noticed?

 iv.      Who said it’s a problem? (According to what source of information?)

1.      Is there a benchmark or industry standard that the process is unable to meet?

 v.      How is it a problem?  & How big of a problem? (i.e. effect on the business)

b.      Does not Include Likely Causes of the Defect

c.       Does not Include Actions or Solutions!

d.      Is Clear, Concise, and Specific

V         Anatomy of and Project Goal/Objective Statement:

a.       Goals should be set based on what the client expectations are.

b.      This helps set the focus/milestone on what the team is trying to achieve

c.       Ensure that the goal is tied to the problem statement/definition.

d.      Utilize the SMART principles for Goal

 i.      S – Specific & Simple

 ii.      M – Measurable

 iii.      A – Achievable

 iv.      R – Relevant

 v.      T – Time bound

e.       There might be cases when you could have secondary goals for the project.

 i.      For example, if the project aims to improve accuracy of a product or part, you can achieve that by having multiple checks at the cost of slowing the process down. In such a case you would want to ensure that you include a secondary goal that maintains the current level of cycle-time or associated metric that might be critical to the client