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Six Sigma Team Charter

The six sigma team charter is the official document which forms the backbone of the six sigma process improvement project. You must be wondering that how can a document be the backbone of a project. Well, the team charter guides the team to complete the project as it contains the project scope, problem statement, and the boundaries that constrain the focus of the team members. The team charter is formed early on in the Define stage of the six sigma project.

So why is this document being addressed as a team charter and not the project charter? The reason is that any six sigma project cannot be completed without a team. The team forms the core of the project.

Now that we know what a team charter is, let’s identify the key elements of the charter. The essential components of a team charter are listed below:

The 9 Key Elements of a Six Sigma Team Charter

1.0 Project Title

The team charter should include the name of the project. Whilst naming a project ensure that it is self-explanatory and conveys the gist of the project. Hence try to steer clear of the current vogue of naming projects after Greek Gods!

Once your project is completed successfully, it will become a benchmark for others to follow and therefore the title should, at first glance, convey the intention for undertaking the project.

2.0 Project Leader

The project leader should be identified at the beginning of the project and named in the team charter. It is important to name the project leader in the charter so that the project management stakeholders know as to who is driving the effort for the process improvement project.

3.0 Mentor

The mentor for Six Sigma projects needs to be identified and named in the team charter. This person will provide expert guidance to the project team. Ideally a mentor will be a Master Black Belt certified person. You can read more on how to attain Master Black Belt status in Six Sigma certification

4.0 Project Team Members

The project team members who are driving the process improvement project are also named in the team charter. These people are responsible for executing the project and ensuring that the project is a success.

5.0 Project start and End Date

You must include the Six Sigma project start and tentative end date in the project charter. The project end date is decided in consultation with the mentor.

6.0 Business Case

Your project business case should spell out the reason or need for taking on the process improvement project to the top management. It should explain how the project will benefit the business.

The business case should also emphasize the penalties the organization will have to bear by not undertaking the project. Similarly, it should also drive home the gains that will be accrued by implementing the project.

7.0 Problem Statement

The problem statement in the team charter should detail the exact nature of the business problem and the extent of its impact on the organization. The loss of revenue per annum for the organization should be stated. Often this can be included in the project justification document which is delivered after the project business case is completed and approved.

8.0 Goal Statement

The goal statement in your team charter should detail the objectives for executing the process improvement project. The goals should be action-oriented and quantifiable. A time-limit should also be specified for each goal. You should also ensure that the goal laid out is achievable.

9.0 Operational Definition

You should formulate a metrics for judging the success of the project. This can be done in consultation with your project mentor. Now that you know the key components of a team charter, you can get started with creating one for your project. Remember that it is extremely important to formulate a well-thought through team charter as this is the main document that will guide you throughout your six sigma process improvement project.

Six Sigma Team Charter - Tip

It is extremely important that you quote numbers (in financial terms) in the business case and problem statement of your team charter. It is a terrific way to grab the attention of your senior management to ensure buy-in for your project and start the path to successful project management.

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