The Lean Six Sigma methodology involves stakeholders through a set of project reviews. Each type of review has a goal and purpose.
When to use
Each of the different types of stakeholder and management reviews is conducted at different times and for different purposes.
These reviews are between members of the project team and stakeholders or process subject matter experts. They can be held virtually or face-to-face.
Information meetings are status and data sharing meetings with stakeholders and subject matter experts. These are often held at regular intervals such as weekly. The meetings are straight-forward and review progress.
Problem Solving Meetings
Problem solving meetings are normally held with subject matter experts or interested stakeholders. These are called as needed to address a specific problem that the team has encountered. The agenda is based upon the nature of the problem. While not called a decision meeting, they normally do lead to decisions concerning the specific problem.
Tollgate Decision Meetings
Tollgate (or phase gate) meetings are the key milestones of a Lean Six Sigma project. These are decision meetings conducted with stakeholders and black belts. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that the previous phase activities were successfully completed and based upon their results to approve the plan for the next phase of the project. These meetings are scheduled once a phase has completed and the timing between meetings could be as short as a few days or as long as a few months. These meetings are a combination of backward facing presentations of the data and analysis that has been completed and forward facing presentation of plans and risks to be addressed for the next phase. The decision to be made is whether the project should progress to the next Lean Six Sigma phase.
Hints & tips
- Conduct problem solving meetings at the point of the problem in the process so that the meeting attendees can see the problem.
- If possible, have a whiteboard or flip chart available at problem solving meetings to facilitate the brainstorming process.
- Suggested agenda for a Tollgate meeting:
- Quick review charter to keep everyone aligned
- Summary of results from phase that is completing.
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