Build a Rock-Solid Business Case for Your Lean Six Sigma Project
Before you begin any Lean Six Sigma project, you need to determine whether a business case exists for the goal you intend to achieve. Every project needs to be linked to a business benefit. There is a shared responsibility between the business leader and the Lean Six Sigma professional to communicate clearly with each other around the cost-benefit evaluation before resources are committed. The business literacy of the Lean Six Sigma professional – the ability to speak the language of business (revenue, operating margin, earnings, free cash flow, and return on equity) – is a key leverage point to introduce and sell a proposed improvement opportunity at the business tier of the organization. The business case is the heart of a project charter. The approval of the charter signals the activation of the Lean Six Sigma project. This is the first point where project responsibility and accountability are formally declared.
As the project moves forward, the business case can serve as a dynamic component of the decision-making process throughout the project management life cycle. In many cases, the financial numbers are validated prior to each phase’s milestone review (financial validation is a requirement of passage to the next phase).
Finally, when a project is complete, an additional validation must take place as Finance attempts to accumulate and report financial benefits of completed projects.