Yesterday we chatted about defining the business problem – the starting point to the tools and processes that make up ShoreTel’s Quality Management program.

So lets start the project.

Step 2: Project Initiation.

Begin the project with a SIPOC: Supplier, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers. This special process mapping tool is used to define the high level process that includes key customer(s) as to ensure inclusion during the project. (Example attached).

  1. Determine mapping tool: If this is a cycle time (the period required to complete one cycle of an operation; or to complete a function, job, or task from start to finish) project use the Histogram (a graphical representation showing a visual impression of the distribution of data) to view today’s outcomes. Ensure you collected your data in time series order (day/time of arrival). Example attached
  2. Define Measurement System: Set up data to track moving forward (add any missing, need to know information now).
  3. Organize the data: Track daily, weekly, monthly etc.
  4. Team Selection: Review your SIPOC. Identify and include members from all areas of impact. Ensure you have a Champion (an individual who has the authority to use resources within or outside a business unit to work on the designated project) and a Sponsor (the key link between the project management team and the organization's executive management).
  5. Gather Customer Feedback: Collected in your SIPOC. Gather the voice of the customers. Remember: You must gain top down support or the project is worthless.
  6. Communication: Return to SIPOC. Determine how you will communicate with all suppliers/customers: When, frequency, vehicle, etc. Create a communication plan.
  7. Create Operational Definitions: i.e. what formula is used to calculate a variable? What does an acronym actually mean? (you would be amazed how many things have the same acronym yet mean different things i.e. FCR)
  8. Obtain Finance Team Member: The financial costs to the business should elicit your executive sponsorship, so add one final member to the team, a finance person. They will validate your key metric and ensure it is measured.
  9. Re-scale/Focus the project: What is in scope? What is out of scope? You simply cannot attack everything. Sharpen/Clarify focus.
  10. Write a Charter: Define outcomes and define the key metric to prove the project has value


Digital transformation has become a top initiative for business and IT leaders. In today’s business world, sustainable market leadership is no longer based solely on which company has the best products or even the best people. Instead, organizations that are agile and can quickly adapt to rapidly evolving market trends will become market leaders.

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