E6S-010 Defining a Project - Part 2

I            How to write a Problem and Objective/Goal statement. 

a.       Problem Statement:

 i.      Template Problem Statement: According to _____________<whom? source of information> the _________________<what? primary metric> was _______________<what? status of primary metric> in ________________<when? month & year of problem> at the __________________<where? location where problem was observed>.  This results in ____________________<how big? effect on the business>.

b.      Objective Statement:

   i.      State the goal for the project.  The expected output in terms of a metric

 ii.      Template  Objective Statement: Improve ________<primary metric> from __________ <current baseline> to _____________ <goal>  by __________<some completion date>.

II         Identify When the Project Definition is Lacking                 

a.       Real examples of project definitions, and judge between Jacob and Aaron 

 i.      Problem Statement: In the second half of 2010, the manual creation and posting of data feeds by client managers resulted in an average of 2 errors per month. This led to either late or redelivered files, which decreased client satisfaction.

Objective Statement: Eliminate the possibility for errors related to manual creation and posting of data feeds by client managers through automating the entire process

  ii.      Problem Statement: The time to approve an expense report ranges anywhere from 1 to 140 days. Of the 315 submitted each month, 45% take more than 7 working days to be closed.  It is estimated that Accounts Payables spends an additional 35 hrs/month chasing down inaccurate expense reports.

Objective Statement: Determine typical errors that lead to delays in closing out expense reports and establish controls.

iii.      Problem Statement: Since October 2012, customers have escalated unfulfilled enhancement requests to management on an average of 1 to 2 escalations per month. As of 5/10/2013, there are 79 unqualified enhancements in the Client Tracker application with an average age of 305 days. In many cases clients do not receive any updates or feedbacks on their requests and this is resulting is a lot of negative feedback being provided by the clients.

Objective Statement: By September 1st, 2013, ensure that enhancement requests are qualified, scheduled into a release or backlogged based on client priority, and communicated to the client within 15 business days from the initial submission 98% of the time.

iv.      Objective Statement:  Implement bar code scanning in Manufacturing to reduce inventory requirements and improve accuracy of the inventory

v.      Objective Statement: Improve OTD by evaluating current processes in shipping and purchase equipment to streamline the operation

vi.      Problem Statement: According to <blank> data, First Pass Yield (FPY) for the wiresaw process has fallen from 94.6% in Oct-Dec 2007 to approximately 92.7% since Jan-Apr 2008. <blank> corporate minimum FPY standard is 94%.

Objective Statement: Improve and sustain <blank’s> First Pass Yield above 94.3% by August 31, 2008.

III             Sometimes you have to move forward with a poor definition and refine it as you go (sweet fruit)

a.       In many cases when you reach the analyze phase, you realize or find something that clearly highlights that the goal and the problem is completely different from what you initially kicked the project off with. Take those pieces of information and re-define the problem

b.      Some problems require additional digging to define. 

c.       Not easy to define (sweet fruit)

 i.      May need additional project scoping tools and turn into multiple projects

d.      Tangled web of inputs



i.      Problem Statement: The average cycle time for the North American research teams to publish an accurate rating and report is about 4 weeks, with a range of 1 to 6 weeks. That broad range and the long cycle time impacts the relevance of the research and also impacts customer decision making. Long lead times also affect the productivity of the analyst and company’s research team.

Objective Statement: By December 2013, our goal is reduce the cycle time to publish an accurate rating and report to less than 5 business days, and to achieve greater than 98% accuracy on ratings and reports.

ii.      Problem Statement: The New Issuance team historically takes two days to publish reports after an Issue release.  Our main competitor is able to get these reports out on the same day which is trending to be the client expectation. Internally the team is always scrambling to complete the reports on time, affecting the business process and team morale.

Objective Statement:1. Deliver reports on the same day within 4 hours of the New Issuance release in 98% of the cases.
2. Have reports meet Quality Standards per Style Guide.

 iii.  Problem Statement: Current direct procurement costs  of meshed frame blanks, along with initial evaluations of outsourced supply route, indicate that significant cost savings can be achieved by developing a global strategic sourcing model. It affects all Global stencil sites and was observed during reviews at regional and global operations meetings Q4 2008 Global stencil business  (manufacturing sites  in US(5?), Europe(4) and Asia (1) 

Objective Statement: Reduce the direct procurement costs related to the supply of meshed frame blanks to the global stencil operations by ??% of the 2008 costs in 4 months.

Lesson: not quantified, according to meetings?, 4 months from when?

iv.      Problem Statement:  Experiencing inconsistent Type 3 atomization yields on <blank> Spinning Disk powder atomizer at <blank> Facility.   The fines level  (< 25 um particles) climbs, which negatively effects the screening process and reduces the process yield.   From May thru July 2009 the Type 3 atomization yield range was 22.4% to 69.7%   (54% avg, 9.1 Std Dev) and the fines level range was 4.6 to 46% (22.1 avg, 7.4 Std Dev) as reported by in-process sieve testing.  

Objective Statement: Optimize the <blank> spinning disc atomization process to consistently maintain atomization yields greater than 55% and fines level below 20% in the full range powder.   Reduce atomization yield variability to standard deviation of 4.5  (baseline 9.1) and fines level variability to standard deviation of 3.5 (baseline 7.4).   Determine atomization process capability and set control specifications.   Complete this by January 2010.

Lesson: How big is the problem – What is the capability or expectation of the atomizer. This is an example of a project with multiple goals all relevant and related to the problem statement

v.      Problem Statement:  Line speed in the plating line 2 at <blank> in <blank> Mexico has reduced from 12 batches/hr to 9 batches/hr since switching to steel substrate from brass. Nickel consumption for the line has also increased after this change. This is resulting in higher costs for <blank>.

Objective Statement: Improve the Nickel distribution across the batch of parts on plating line 2.  Increase the line speed on plating line 2 from    9 batches/hr to 12 batches/hr in 4 months

Lesson: Goal 1 doesn’t really co-relate to the problem statement

vi.      Problem Statement: Recent findings indicate a difficulty to find SOPs and SSOPs for particular operations in our system. One search for an SOP took 1.5 hours and had to go through 5 different people to find the appropriate document. As a result of events like these, there is a general belief that the system is "overkill" and creating NVA work. 

Objective Statement: Lean or DFSS on a SOP/SSOP system to eliminate NVA events as described above.

vii.      Problem Statement: According to <blank> reports 393* accounts on average are generating less than $2,000 in PM/Year (USD) for the US, which is effecting our operating and administrative cost for our facilities.  

Objective Statement: By July 2010 we will reduce the  the number of customers with less than $2,000 PM (USD) in a twelve month period from 393 on average to 118.

viii.      Problem Statement: Investment Criteria is a fundamental data point used by in many products and clients. A manual review of Investment Criteria for 1860 funds in the middle of September 2012 yielded a defect rate of 23.2%, nearly five times higher than the 5.16% defect rate calculated in May’s Fund Audit Report.

Objective Statement:Reduce defect rate to below 1% by the 4th quarter QA audit