Control Phase | Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma Certification

What is Project Closure in Six Sigma

Typically, by describing a project closure, you can identify project completion criteria. This, in turn, helps identify performance improvements and additional opportunities. It is a formal project summation in which the project team can officially close the project. It allows for the quick handover of deliverables and documentation. Inefficiently done, it will reduce the level of project success and incorrectly identify additional opportunities.

Project Closure in Six Sigma

What the steps involved in project closure process?

The project closure process involves closing out all project activities after the Control phase of a Six Sigma project and it consists of five steps:

  1. The process starts with gathering the project team, which consists of all Belts involved in the project. The team updates the relevant records and reports of the various phases of the Six Sigma project. The project team also establishes procedures that help validate and document deliverables and formalize acceptance of those deliverables.
  2. The Master Black Belt reviews all documents and the project management plan to ensure that all project work is complete, the objectives are met, and the deliverables are achieved.
  3. The process owner verifies project results by comparing them with customer and stakeholder expectations and requirements and conducts financial audits. The process owner also tracks down the results of the project including process metrics and financial savings.
  4. Using the project results and the inputs from team members, the Green Belt prepares best practices and lessons learned reports and writes a final report or presentation of the project.
  5. The process owner officially declares the closure of the project.

Describe the role of closeout meetings in six sigma projects?

Closeout meetings are sessions held during the project closeout process and they involve all the stakeholders of the project. During a closeout meeting, the participants discuss the work and capture lessons learned and the best practices of the Six Sigma implementation. Based on the outcome of the meetings, the process owner will prepare a Six Sigma case study of the project. Closeout meetings typically follow a formal agenda and may require official minutes to be recorded. Not all organizations or projects require closeout meetings. Some organizations require the minutes from closeout meetings to be completed in full, approved by management, and preserved in a specific manner.

How are lessons learned report prepared?

Lessons learned reports are documents that capture salient and helpful information about work done in a project or project phase; they identify both the project team’s strengths and areas for improvement. They can be formal or informal, depending on the organizational norms or requirements. They are compiled for the benefit of future project teams, so that people can capitalize on the organization’s knowledge base about work that has already been done, avoid repeating mistakes, and benefit from ongoing organizational learning.

Analyses include adequacy of personnel, time, equipment and money, effectiveness of the entire project, how well the project was tracked, how well top management and project sponsors were informed of the project’s status, and how well the project team performed together.


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All processes need a control or management mechanism to ensure that they meet or exceed customer expectations consistently.  Process parameters that go out of control need to be restored back to their normal values. How fast this has to be done depends on the type of process. For a surgeon, he needs to restore parameters back to normal within seconds. Engineers working in processing plants like paint shops need to react within minutes. However, for some processes, a couple of hours or a couple of days would be good enough.
A process control or management plan, usually prepared in the control phase of a Six Sigma project, provides insights on a reaction or response plan.
A reaction plan or response plan specifies a course of action that is needed to be taken when process control parameters go out of control. And, it includes both immediate and long-term actions to restore a process performance to its desired level.
There are 5 different types of reaction plans that can be considered while creating a process control plan:

  1. A plan to continue the process with close monitoring: – A process needs to be closely observed to see where it is going wrong, what is causing the parameters to go out of control, and how often is it occurring; for example: the source of the noise level of a generator or machine. Therefore, at this point, continue to run the process but closely monitor it as well. It is indeed, a very low impact reaction plan, but this is good enough for many processes.
  2. Enforce a manual override: – If a system is running automatically, stop and run it manually in order to exert a little more caution. This not only helps observe which part of the process is failing, it also helps to get a better handling of the process.
  3. Follow special instructions: – The next thing to do, when out of control parameters have been identified, is to follow instructions that are kept in place; for example: in case of a fire, check the instructions to find the exits, etc. Therefore if instructions are followed, then it will help bring the process back on track.
  4. Stop and escalate: – If a process goes wrong, and none of the above actions work, only then we should stop a process and escalate it to the experts or concerned department.
  5. Stop, correct, and resume: – This action can be observed if a process goes wrong and none of the above actions work, and if there is an expert among us who can fix the issue. Then, we can stop the process, correct the process and continue the process; while observing if the process has been restored to its desired level of performance. This reaction plan will have a quick and immediate impact. For some critical processes, this reaction plan is very apt.

The concept of a reaction plan or response plan is not only applicable in control phase, but also for standalone situations. Be sure to follow the 5 steps or types of procedures that need to be observed in the event of a process going out of control.


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